Donald Jay Freeman (or Donnie as many called him) was second born to Lester and Alta Freeman on October 5, 1944, in Mountain Grove, Missouri. He passed away November 4, 2021 at his home in Mountain Grove.
At 17, Don went to work in Mountain Grove for Lake McGown at Vickers Service Station. He had the pleasure of filling up an older model Chevy station wagon for singers Jim Ed Brown, Maxine, and Bonnie.
On January 16, 1964, Don married Linda Lee Hurst, and to this union two children were born, one boy and one girl.
Don worked at several service stations before going to work at the Cabool shoe factory, where he met Kris Kristofferson in person before he became famous. They became good friends, and Kris was a guest in Don and Linda’s home on Chapman Street before Kris left to go back to California, after selling Don his 1951 Ford dark green pickup.
In 1966, Don and his family moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where he worked at Libby Welder, a military manufacturer. He had to sign a document that he would not reveal information of what he was working on. When the first spaceship landed on the moon, employers of Libby Welders revealed Don had a part in wiring a panel board.
Don and his family then moved back to Mountain Grove, Missouri, where they worked with dairy and beef cattle before moving back into town and starting Freeman Fencing Company for 31 years with a host of family and friends working together.
Besides his parents, Lester and Alta Freeman, Don was preceded by his wife of 46 years, Linda,; daughter, Lisa Freeman Akers; two brothers, Kenneth Freeman and Roy Freeman; one sister, Joy Freeman; grandson, Tyler Freeman; nephew, Jeff Carder; niece, Sheila Carder; and many others.
Don is survived by his significant other of 11 years, Jan Rector, who has stood by his side through three emergency surgeries. They have laughed, cried, yelled, and sang together. Their favorite thing to do was casino hop, go to flea markets, and work on pickups. One pickup, a 1953 Ford, was sold to JV Show Richard Rawlings in Texas. The truck went on to Australia.
He is also survived by son, Randy Freeman (Gina) and children, Olivia and Trinity; grandson, Derek Akers (Amanda) and their children, Hayden A, Hayden J, Kenzie, Kyler, and Parker; granddaughter, Melissa Bibens (Kenny) and their children, McKenzie and Tyler; granddaughter, Sasha Wilkerson (Josh) and their children, Blake, Chole, and Catie; and granddaughter, Sheena Wilkerson (Caleb) and their children, Kinsey and Preston.
Don was grandpa to so many, Allie Jo, Tia, Taydie, Harlie, Andrew, R.J., and Braxton. He was so proud to be a great-grandpa, as long as he didn’t have to change diapers or keep them overnight.
Don is also survived by Dennis and Theresa Freeman of Republic, Troy and Ann Freeman of Mountain Grove, Bonnie Freeman of Ozark, Sherry Miller of Ozark, Clay and Marsha Freeman of Norwood, beloved sister-in-law Linda Sue Freeman, many nieces and nephews, and other family and friends who will miss his quirky humor.
Funeral services for Don Freeman were held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 10, 2021, in Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home of Mountain Grove. Officiating were Rev. Mike Freeman and Rev. Frank McCune. Special songs were “Wine Into Water,” “Granddaddy’s Gun,” “When I Get Where I’m Going,” “Mama, I’m Coming Home,” and “Lead Me Home.” Serving as pallbearers were Derek Akers, Nate Parsons, Jacob Perkins, Travis Conley, Kenny Bibbens, Matt Gunter, Mike Hurst, Matt Hurst, Hayden Akers, Hayden Johnson, and Blake Hopkins. Burial was in Pleasant Home Cemetery of Drury under the direction of the Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.
The family has requested memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.