Betty Jean (Mather) Freeman went to her heavenly home on April 12, 2021. Betty, who was a Christian, loved the Lord, her family, church, and community. She passed away at her home in Merriam Woods, Missouri surrounded by her family. At the time of her death, Betty was 89 years, one month, and three days old having been born to Orval Howley and Stella Mildred (Walker) Mather in Tarkio, Missouri on March 9, 1932. She grew up in Tarkio, Missouri, along with her brother Orval Dean Mather (Shirley), and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. Betty graduated from Tarkio High School in 1950 and attended Omaha Business College to complete a certificate in clerical studies.
Betty is survived by her husband, Dean Eugene Freeman. They were high school sweethearts, and married on December 24, 1950, at the First Baptist Church of Tarkio, Missouri. Prior to her passing, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. After living in several places as young adults, they settled down on a farm near Oregon, Missouri. While Dean operated a bulldozer and raised cattle, Betty worked for Holt County Farm Bureau for 36 years. During that time, they also contributed to establishing the First Baptist Church of Oregon, Missouri. She was a member of the Holt County Republican Club, the Garden Club, Holt County Historical Society, and Girl Scouts. After retirement, they moved to southern Missouri where Betty became involved with the Bridge of Faith Community Church, Christian Women’s Connection, Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and the Taney County Republican Women’s Club.
Betty loved to surround herself with beautiful things. Beauty was one factor that prompted the move to the Ozarks. She was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed sewing. In addition, after her retirement, she took classes in watercolor painting. On Friday evenings, you could often find her dancing at the Merriam Woods Community Building and visiting with her friends. In fact, Betty spent numerous years teaching country western line dancing. Betty’s biggest passion, though, was pointing her friends toward Jesus. She went on mission trips within the United States as well as to Jamaica. One of her favorite Bible passages was Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Betty and Dean had three children: Michael Eugene Freeman of Oregon, Missouri; Pamela Jean Shuman (Denny) who preceded her in death; and Rebecca Renee Hendrix (Russell) of Powersite, Missouri. They also had 11 grandchildren: Thaddeus Freeman (Lori), Halley Freeman, Jennifer Caba (Michael), J. Adam Freeman (Sabrina), Samuel Freeman (Sydney), Latonya Elliott, Laurie Lockerby (Malcolm), R. Zachariah Long (Courtney), Jaron Hendrix (Lindsay), Kellen Hendrix, and Kobe Hendrix. In addition, Betty and Dean have 15 great grandchildren (Michael and Nicholas Freeman; Morgan, Jaimen, and Mikinlyn Caba; Barrett, Remington, and Oakley Freeman; Baylee Elliott and Riley Cotton; Ryan, Isabell, Ki, and Kimber Long; and Mila Hendrix) and one great-great grandchild (Maci Morris).
A visitation will be held on April 14, 2021 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Bridge of Faith Community Church in Rockaway Beach, Missouri. The family will also greet friends at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, April 16, 2021 at the Tarkio First Baptist Church, Tarkio, Missouri preceding a celebration of life at 2:00 p.m. A graveside service will follow immediately at Tarkio Home Cemetery, Tarkio, Missouri.
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Bridge of Faith Community Church
P. O. Box 1059, Rockaway Beach MO 65740
American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City OK 73123
Merriam Woods Betterment Association
4385 State Highway 176 % Ingrid Reagan, Merriam Woods MO 65740