John Edwin “Jack” Freeman, 89, of Streator passed away peacefully at 9:45 P.M. Friday, July 13, 2018 at O.S.F. St. Elizabeth Hospital in Ottawa watching his much-loved Chicago White Sox beat the Royals 9-6. Jack loved all Chicago sports, except for the Chicago Cubs, and was “on top of the world” when the White Sox won the 2005 World Series. Ask him any questions about sports, he knew the answer.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, July 19th at St. Mary’s Church in Wenona. Visitation will be held at the church from 8:30 A.M. until the time of the service. The Franciscan Friars of the Church and Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Small will concelebrate the funeral Mass.
Burial will be in Lostlands Cemetery in Eagle Township. Full military rites will be accorded by members of the Leslie G. Woods American Legion Post 217 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1492.
Jack was born on January 4, 1929 in Harvard, Illinois. He was the son of Joseph and Rose (Anglavar) Freeman of Ottawa. He married Lois (Whalen) Freeman on June 6, 1953 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Leonore. Lois preceded him in death on December 17, 2013.
He is survived by two daughters, Cathi M. Freeman and Melissa A. (Michael) Peters both of Streator; and two grandchildren, Sean M. Peters and Catherine A. Berry.
Preceding him in death were his parents; an infant daughter, Julie; a sister, Rosemary Mosbach and a brother, Charles Freeman.
Jack was proud of his hometown of Ottawa, although he lived in Streator for over 65 years. He served in the United States Navy. He was employed at Libbey Owens Ford for over 42 years, retiring in 1991. When he was hired at LOF, he considered himself “the luckiest man on earth!” He worked many double shifts to provide a better life for his family. He had a very strong work ethic which upon his retirement led to working three part-time jobs at Tuscarora Plastics (12 years), JC Penney (4 years) and Spurgeon’s (2 years).
He was a longtime parishioner of St. Anthony of Padua Parish, and loved St. Anthony’s Parish deeply.
Pallbearers will be Michael Peters, Sean Peters, Rick Arkels, Jim Whalen, Ken Corcoran and Jimmy Lynch.
Sean Peters will be the lector. Gift bearers will be daughters, Melissa and Cathi. The organist will be Don Cassady, along with vocalist Greg Tullis. The entrance hymn will be “Hail, Holy Queen”, Offertory hymn will be, “Peace Prayer of St. Francis”, Communion hymn will be, “The Supper of the Lord and “Memorare”, and the Recessional hymn will be, “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.”
During his retirement he met many new friends at Burger King, Hardees and McDonald’s. Those friends included Jimmy Lynch (who was like a son to him), Jerry Thacker, Eddie Entwistle, Tom Dzurisin, Jack and Nancy Fiedler, Jack and Kathy Kerner and Jim Ryker.
Jack was a devoted husband and father who had a positive outlook on any situation. He frequently said, “I have lived a long good life, don’t grieve over me when I’m gone.” He will be so greatly missed by his family and friends, and his special companion, Junior the orange cat.
Memorials may be directed to St. Mary’s Church in Wenona.