Dean Eugene Freeman went home to live with Jesus on May 12, 2022. Dean, who was a Christian, loved the Lord, his family, church, and community. He passed away at his home in Merriam Woods, Missouri surrounded by his family. At the time of his death, Dean was 91 years, ten months, and nineteen days old having been born to Jessie Owen and Alta Mae (Ramsey) Freeman in Tarkio, Missouri on June 24, 1930. As he grew, he lived in several different communities in northwest Missouri and graduated from Tarkio High School in Tarkio, Missouri in 1948.
Dean married his high school sweetheart, Betty Jean (Mather) Freeman, 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 the Flying F Farm near New Point, Missouri. Dean operated a bulldozer and raised Beefmaster cattle. His skills with the bulldozer are still visible as one drives the highways in Atchison and Holt Counties as many of the terraces, he built are still in use today. In addition, his work drew the attention of Governor John Ashcroft who appointed him to the Dam and Reservoir Safety Council of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 1989. He served on the committee for 12 years including a stint as chairman of the committee.
Dean also served on the Holt County Farm Bureau Board and contributed to establishing the Mound City Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church of Oregon, Missouri. The church in Oregon has a basement today because of his skill with construction equipment. In addition, he was involved in Boy Scouts, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say (Big Yellow Horse) affiliated with Camp Geiger, Holt County Republican Club, and an officer for what is now the Ozarks and Heart of America Beefmaster Breeders Association. They were also known to kick up their heels at square dances at the Tarkio Community Building or to be showing sheep or exhibition cattle at the Missouri State Fair.
After retirement, Dean and Betty moved to southern Missouri where he was active in the Merriam Woods Betterment Association and attended Friday night dances there regularly. They also became involved with the Bridge of Faith Community Church. He was often seen on Wednesday nights driving the church bus to deliver children home from services. Dean passion for farming and cattle was second only to his desire to tell others about Jesus. One of his favorite Bible passages explains it all he said. “For God so loved the world, that He gave only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Dean was preceded in death by his wife Betty, his parents, three sisters, a daughter, Pamela Jean Shuman, and son-in-law Richard (Dennis) Shuman. He is survived by his brother and wife, James and Patty Freeman of Bolivar, Missouri and Mt. Ayr, Iowa; his brother and wife, Donald and JoAnn Freeman of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; and brother-in-law and wife Dean and Shirley Mather of Rock Port, Missouri.
Dean and Betty had two other children and are survived by their son, Michael Eugene Freeman, of Oregon, Missouri, and their daughter, Rebecca Renee, and her husband, Charles Russell Hendrix, of Powersite, Missouri. They also had 11 grandchildren. Thaddeus (Lori) Freeman, Halley Freeman, Jennifer (Michael) Caba, J. Adam Freeman, Samuel (Sydney) Freeman, Latonya Elliott, Laurie (Malcolm) Lockerby, R. Zachariah (Courtney) Long, Jaron (Lindsay) Hendrix, Kellen Hendrix, and Kobe Hendrix. In addition, Betty and Dean had 16 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 and W. Dean Hendrix) and two great-great grandchildren (Maci Morris and Eastyn Elliott).
A visitation for Dean's friends will be held at Whelchel Grace Funeral Home, Forsyth, Missouri on Monday, May 16, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
The family will also greet friends at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 20, 2022, at the Tarkio First Baptist Church, Tarkio, Missouri preceding a celebration of life at 11:00 a.m. A graveside service will follow immediately at Tarkio Home Cemetery, Tarkio, Missouri.
Memorials to Terrace Home Health and Hospice or Missouri Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture Scholarship in his name may be made to: Dean Freeman Memorial, c/o Terrace Home Health and Hospice, 4650 South National Ave, Suite D2, Springfield, MO 65810; via mail to Dean Freeman Memorial Giving, c/o MOFB Foundation for Agriculture Scholarship, PO Box 658, Jefferson City, MO 65102; or, online at https://mofb.org/support-the-foundation/, and under Additional information, in the Order Notes box, please type "Memorial for Dean Freeman, MOFB Foundation for Agriculture Scholarship."