Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Grandpa's Home-Going Celebration

Photo by Don's Photography, Hillsboro, Kansas
Obituary provided by McDonald Funeral Home, Beloit, Kansas.

William Ronald Freeman
(January 15, 1932 - February 28, 2012) 
William Ronald “Ron” Freeman was born January 15, 1932 in Minneapolis, Kansas to Herbert Gordon and Ruth Eloise Payne Freeman. He went to be with the Lord from the Beloit Resident Care Center on February 28, 2012 at the age of 80 years, 1 month, and 13 days.
Ron was from a large family which included 9 brothers and 4 sisters. He grew up in Minneapolis, KS and graduated from high school there. During his teen years he worked at several jobs, filling in for his dad at the Phillips 66 station, working at a restaurant, and doing a variety of jobs for town florist, including floral arranging.
Rosemary Carlton of Simpson became Ron’s high school sweetheart, and after graduation in May from their respective high schools, they were married on June 24, 1951. They moved to Wichita, KS where Ron worked for Boeing. Their first child, Rhonda, was born there. They moved back to Minneapolis, and he began working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company in Salina, KS.
Ron and Rosemary came to know Jesus Christ as their Savior in early 1953, an event that changed the direction of their lives and those of their family for all time.
Ron worked for Singer for five years. Their three sons, Ronald W., Rob and Randall were born in Salina. They returned to Wichita in 1957 where Ron found his niche in the aircraft industry as an instrument technician.
Through the years Ron and Rosemary were active members of the First Wesleyan Church in Wichita. Among other responsibilities, Ron served as teacher of a class of boys, church treasurer, and Sunday school superintendent.
With their children now in their teens, Ron and Rosemary became house parents for a year and a half at the Wesleyan Indian Children’s Home, which was located in the Black Hills near Custer, South Dakota. Most of the boys and girls they cared for were from the Sioux Reservation. After leaving the Children’s Home, the Freemans began ministry with the American Indian Mission near Rapid City, SD, a literature outreach to Native Americans. Their responsibilities included distributing New Testaments and other literature to homes on the Sioux Reservation and at Indian gatherings in South Dakota and Wyoming.
Family health problems made it necessary to leave this ministry, and Ron returned to the aircraft instrument industry in Wichita. He was general manager at Kelley Instruments, Inc. until his retirement in 1997.
He and Rosemary had moved to Hillsboro, KS several months before his retirement, and for a time after retiring, he did part time maintenance work for a small senior apartment complex in Hillsboro. He was also active in the Marion County Area Agency on Aging for several years. He had taken special delight in his grandchildren over the years, and now began enjoying his expanding family of great-grandchildren.
The Freemans moved to Beloit in 2007-2008 where Ron transferred from Parkside Homes in Hillsboro to the Beloit Resident Care Center. He celebrated his 80th birthday January 15, 2012 with several family members.
Ron is survived by his wife Rosemary, his wife of 60 years, their four children Rhonda Gilbert (Rev W. Robert), Chattanooga, TN, Ronald W. (Marilyn), Fair Oaks, CA; Rob (Theresa) Wichita, KS; Randall (Linda). Yokohama, Japan; 14 grandchilden, 27 great grandchildren and several of his brothers and sisters.
Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, March 3, 2012 at the McDonald Funeral Home with burial in Highland Cemetery near Jamestown. Memorials may be given to the Mitchell County Hospital Resident Care Center or the Solomon Valley Hospice. Friends may call from 9 AM until 8 PM Friday at the McDonald Funeral Home.

Here are some snapshots from the funeral and the family gathering after the funeral.

To be honest, I am never quite sure how to handle funeral photography. Is it appropriate to take photos of your loved one in repose? Is it appropriate to post those photos on your blog? 
Well, I don't know. 
Someone once told me to trust my gut. Although that is not always the best advice, I felt that in this case, I would just go ahead and apply it. 
So, If you have an aversion to these types of posts, please feel free to skip this one. 
No hard feelings!

Some of the plants and memorials that my family gave. the plant on the left was from Jennifer, Jonathan and me. The heart wreath on the right was given on behalf of the great-grandkids: Zachary, Jacob, Ellie and Norah Jayne.

The plant below was given on behalf of my grandpa, Russell Roberts.

Grandpa Freeman. It was hard for me to see him this way.  I am reminded of what C.S. Lewis said inA Grief Observed, “The death of a beloved is an amputation.” 

The loss of a loved one is not something you eventually "get over," rather, it is something that you learn to live with by holding on to the belief that someday you will be reunited. You comfort yourself with the knowledge that they are no longer in pain, no longer suffering! 

I know Grandpa is with Jesus. And in that I rejoice!

We find comfort in family. 
Laughter is sweeter.
Hugs are tighter.
Smiles are truer.

Grammy had the wonderful support of her sister and brother. 
(L-R) Great Aunt Wanda Barnes, Great Uncle Wes Carlton, and Grammy Rosemary Freeman 

(L-R) Uncle Randy Freeman, Regina Freeman, Randy Freeman II, Aunt Linda Freeman, 
and Rosie Bills (My cousin, Rebecca Scott, and her family were represented in the photo my Aunt Linda is holding. The Scotts are missionaries, and were unable to make it to the funeral.)

(L-R) Grammy, Jennifer Waits, Rob Freeman (Dad), Jonathan Freeman, Theresa Freeman (Mom), Jodi Marshall (Me - can you tell that I had been crying my eyes out?)

I feel so bad, but I did not get a good photo of my Aunt Rhonda's family or my Uncle Ron's family... BOOO!

But, I did get some random shots, so they are all somewhat represented.

(L-R) Andrew Gilbert, Leslie Shelton, Aunt Rhonda Gilbert, Rhesa Rodriguez and her daughter, Mikayla, Titus Gilbert, and Veronica Alderman.

The Original Freeman Four + a very weary Grammy

(L-R) Uncle Ron Freeman, Rob Freeman (Dad), Grammy, Aunt Rhonda Gilbert,
and Uncle Randy Freeman

This photo totally captures the individual personalities. Ha Ha! Love it.

All the grandkids (Minus Rebecca Scott & Dedra Gilbert).

Of course we had to do a silly one...

Love my family. Wouldn't trade them for the world.


Jenofwa said...

Very fitting and so bittersweet. This was a beautiful tribute to your grandpa. One more reason to look forward to heaven :)

Kim said...

So lovely Jodi, you will be so grateful for these photos one day. I miss my daddy something terrible and would love to have a memory like this for my children and grandchildren. You gave glory to God through your Grandpa's testimony and life, you are blessed. Also....your family looks FUN!

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