Robert Eugene “Bob” Freeman, 88, of Summit, died Nov. 16, 2020, of congestive heart failure at Peace Hospice House in Great Falls, Mont. His daughter and son-in-law, Becky and Randall Jackson of Choteau, Mont., were at his side.
Family visitation is noon to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday at Tangipahoa Baptist Church, where Mr. Freeman had been a member for 47 years. A drive-through visitation will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m., with an outdoor service following at 2 p.m. A private graveside service will follow in the church cemetery. Tangipahoa pastor the Rev. Mike Morris, the Rev. Randall Jackson and the Rev. Jerry Gressett will officiate. Hartman-Jones Funeral Home of McComb is in charge of arrangements.
Mr. Freeman was born July 25, 1932, in New Albany, and was the last surviving child of Sallie Mae Wicker Freeman and Franklin Pierce Freeman.
“Lefty,” as he was nicknamed, was a graduate of Clinton High School and Mississippi College, where he was a pitcher on the MC baseball team. He met his wife of 66 years, Ella Joy Jones, in college, and they were married on Nov. 26, 1953.
After marriage, he was in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was stationed in Japan. He was scouted by the major leagues in college, and during his Army stint he was eyed for Olympic track training.
Mr. Freeman was a longtime asphalt and concrete businessman. Among his many projects were helping pave the campsite roads at Percy Quin State Park.
At age 60, Mr. Freeman returned to college and updated his teaching license. He then taught alternative school classes at Amite County High School, where he also drove a bus and coached.
His passion was white perch fishing, and he was a regular at Percy Quin and at other regional lakes, where he put in countless hours fishing. He loved to share his catch with a fish fry and his homemade hushpuppies, especially with his children and grandchildren, of whom he was very proud.
Mr. Freeman was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; and his siblings, Bill (Minnie), Jim (Vera), Sara (Wayne) and John (Doris).
Survivors include five children, Karen Freeman and Angela Green (Shelton Simmons), both of McComb, Michael Freeman (Teresa) of Tylertown, Robin Klung (Don) of Phoenix and Becky Jackson (Randall); nine grandchildren, Kalie, Alex and Mason Green, Amy and Eric Freeman, Bailey and Alena Jackson and Rachel and David Klung; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Tangipahoa Baptist Church for its cemetery fund.
Pallbearers will be his nephew, Harvey Grass, and friends, Doug Robinson, Kyle Bass, Dale Bailey, Gary “Fish” VanNorman and Eli Harrell.
Honorary pallbearers will be his grandsons.