Freda O. Newlin, 95, a former clerical supervisor for the Philadelphia Health Department, died Tuesday, April 19, from complications of congestive heart failure at her Abington home.

Mrs. Newlin grew up in Germantown where she took singing lessons at a former YWCA on Germantown Avenue that was once designated as “the Colored Y,” her daughter, Bonita Parker, said. The site is now occupied by Settlement Music School’s Germantown branch.

Years later, Mrs. Newlin became a member of the New Dra Mu Opera Company, a Black opera company, in the 1970s.

“She had a good voice and she loved to sing,” said her daughter.

Mrs. Newlin held clerical positions at the Naval Weapons Station and the Veterans’ Administration before joining the Health Department. She was later promoted to clerical supervisor, a position she held until she retired in 1984 after 25 years with the city.

She was also very active with the Germantown Seventh-day Adventist Church.

She sang in church choirs, often as a soloist, and volunteered to work with children at its vacation bible school during the summer. She also taught typing to children at a church-operated school.

“She worked so quietly behind the scenes, but she was a diligent worker who made sure what she did was accurate and good,” Parker said.

Freda Olivia Newlin was born April 25, 1926, in Philadelphia, the only child of Anita R. Marshall Moore and Walter D. Moore.

Her father died when she was an infant. So Mrs. Newlin’s mother raised her with the help of her maternal grandparents, for whom she was named: Freda for Frederick, and her middle name Olivia from her grandmother’s name, Olive.

She was baptized at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church as an infant and was a member of that church, now merged with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, throughout her childhood. She joined the Germantown SDA Church as an adult.

After graduating from Germantown High School in 1944, she began her clerical work at the Naval Weapons Station.

On April 27, 1946, she married Jon A. Newlin upon his return from serving in the Army during World War II. The two had known each other throughout childhood from church.

Their marriage produced two children, a son and a daughter, and endured for 56 years until his death in 2002.

Parker described her mother as “a caregiver, who was gentle in spirit. She didn’t speak harshly, and she loved to laugh. She could find humor in everything. She wasn’t cruel. But she always had witty sayings, and people loved to be around her.”

“I was overwhelmed by the number of people who came to her funeral,” she said.

In addition to singing, Mrs. Newlin loved education and reading.

She liked to crochet and was a member of a club that made “lap Afghans,” and donated them to senior citizen centers so people could place them across their knees to keep warm.

When she and her brother, Lawrence, were young, Parker said their mother took them to museums, tourist attractions, and to dance and piano lessons. Her brother also had drumming lessons.

In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Newlin is survived by 15 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 25 great-great-grandchildren. Her son died in 2013.

Funeral services were April 29.