LANDRUM -- Dr. John Ernest Freeman of Landrum, SC returned home to his Heavenly Father on January 10, 2021. Born in Anderson, SC July 23, 1952, he was a devoted son, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, and friend. He lived his life dedicated to the service of others.
Dr. Freeman had an undying thirst for knowledge. After beginning his collegiate studies at Clemson University, he received an AA in Business Administration from Anderson College, Anderson, SC (1974), and a BA in Liberal Arts from Central Wesleyan College, Central, SC (1975). In his pursuit of a closer relationship with God, he attended the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY earning his Master of Religious Education degree (1977). In his never-ending quest for answers, he ultimately achieved his Doctor of Ministry degree from Luther Rice Seminary, Jacksonville, FL (1979).
He used his newly acquired education to spread the loving word of God as an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church, Hamlet, NC and College Street Baptist Church, Walhalla, SC. After serving several years in the Ministry, he felt God’s call toward a new direction. For the last 37 years of his life, he was a champion for at-risk youth and their families. He began this new path in 1986 as a Social Services Supervisor with the Department of Social Services, Greenville, SC. In 1990, he joined Human Service Associates, Spartanburg, SC as a Family Therapist in their Home-Based Intervention Program. He was accredited as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist through Post-Graduate Training with Westgate, TCN, Spartanburg, SC AAMFT in 1994, moved to Chapin, SC in 1995 to serve as Vice President for South Carolina Human Service Associates, Cayce, SC until 1997. He then returned to the Upstate and his beloved Blue Ridge Mountains in 1998 to work as a Private Therapist at Anchoring Place Therapy Group, Spartanburg, SC. He became the Clinical Director of the Day Program for Excalibur Youth Services, LLC, Travelers Rest, SC at its inception in 2002. He maintained this position until his retirement in 2012. Since his retirement he most recently worked part time for All About Change, Greenville, SC. Throughout this journey, he worked with severely, emotionally disturbed children, adolescents, and their families. He presented at state and national conferences on issues related to working with difficult children and adolescents. He served as a consultant in various venues including Edmonton, Alberta University Hospital, where he helped in designing and implementing a program for the return of self-harm patients to the community. In his private practice he worked to prevent children from being placed into the foster care system and with families whose children were transitioning home from out of home placements. He was a steadfast advocate for every child he counselled, firmly believing each one deserved to be given every opportunity to not just survive their present situations, but even to exceed their own expectations of a successful future in life.
He was welcomed into his new eternal life by his father, Alvin Freeman, brother, Al Freeman, and his dearly loved son, Kyle Freeman. Those left behind to await their own joyful reunion with Christ include: his mother, Florence Neal Gantt Freeman, Tryon, NC; brother, Dan Freeman (Judy), Mooresville, NC; sister, Susan Freeman Eernisse (Glenn), Carrollton, GA; daughter, Michelle Freeman Brewer, Walhalla, SC; daughter, Melissa Freeman Snipes (David), Chapin, SC; grandsons, Christopher Brewer and JonMichael Snipes; granddaughter, Megan Snipes; nephews, Mark (Colista), Scott (Kathleen), and Adam Freeman; nieces, Melody Rouse (George) and Jessica Eernisse; great-nephews, Noah, Caleb, and James Freeman; great-nieces, Madeline Freeman, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah Rouse; and faithful furry companion, Pirate, without whom he would have been lost. They will all be reunited one day, and what a joyful reunion it will be!
John loved his Clemson Tigers and was blessed to witness them achieve three National Football Championships in his lifetime. College football season was one of his most favorite times of the year. He was an avid reader, and his home was filled with books of all types. Spy thriller novels with no nonsense heroes gave him the most joy.
Even though he had recently developed a slight addiction to Amazon shopping, which his daughters may have enabled, he cared very little for material things. If something he had could help someone else, he would gladly give it away. He was always the first to offer help and the last to ask for it. His greatest love was his family, whether related by blood or kinship. His children, grandchildren, and Pirate were the lights of his life. He told the best stories and he always had a tale ready to tell. He left a trail of smiles and laughter behind him everywhere he went, and he never met a stranger. He lived his life full of compassion for those around him. With a heart as big as Texas, he will be missed by all who knew him.
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8
The Celebration of Dr. Freeman’s Life has been rescheduled and will be held, March 6, 2021 at 2:00pm at McFarland Funeral Chapel.
In Lieu of Flowers, Donations May Be Made To a Children’s Organization of Your Choice.
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