August 26, 1923 Strathmore, Alberta
November 6, 2017-Strathmore, Alberta
George passed away peacefully surrounded by a caring community on November 6, 2017 at the age of 94 years. Dad was born on August 26, 1923 to Harry and ‘Polly” Freeman in Strathmore, Alberta. The youngest of 6, Dad was active in sports, and a notorious prankster. A member of the cadets, on graduation in August, 1942 he joined the forces and stormed the beaches of Normandy on the first wave of D Day in World War II. One of the iconic adventures of his life, he was awarded a Knight in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor for his efforts in Europe. Marrying Helena Donovan upon his return, he settled in Strathmore. A lifelong naturalist, Dad joined Ducks Unlimited in 1947, retiring after 54 years. His many adventures included leading goose banding with the Greenwings and travelling southern Alberta constructing waterfowl habitat. His passion for wildlife led to a 19 year involvement as a Director of the Calgary Zoo, which he did as a voluntary ‘side job’. Dad was always active in the community, serving as town volunteer fire chief for 17 years, organizing the annual Heritage Day parade…. His quick wit and keen sense of fun was always appreciated in the myriad events he was asked to MC. An active member of Royal Canadian Legion #10, he participated in Remembrance Day services, sharing his exploits in WWII with generations of Strathmore students during school visits. Dad was an ardent conservationist, introducing school students, and then his grandchildren, to the wonders of nature. Dad received many awards encompassing a broad spectrum of involvement: The Order of the Bighorn, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, Strathmore Citizen of the year (twice!) and ultimately had ‘George Freeman Trail’, a road in Strathmore, dedicated to him. Two Ducks Unlimited Projects were also dedicated to him. Dad was editor of the Strathmore history ‘The Town that Moved’ and co-authored a WID history “Flow Beyond the Weir”. He leaves to mourn his wife of 65 years, Helena, daughter Gina (Roger), son Larry (Debbie) and grandchildren Sarah, Tim and Anne Wozney. He was predeceased by his brothers Johnny, Harold, and Bert, and sisters Dorothy and Margaret. Special thanks to all those who cared for George in his last years. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to George’s favorite causes (Strathmore Handibus, Legion #10 Poppy Fund, WFCSS Christmas Hamper, Western Historical Society, Ducks Unlimited) or charity of your choice. A Celebration of George’s life will be held on Tuesday, November 21, 2017 at Strathmore United Church at 11 am, followed by a lunch at the Strathmore Legion. We will miss you, Dad.
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