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In Memory of . . . Sidney L. Freeman (1927-2012)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Friday, February 17, 2012

The Rev. Dr. Sidney L. Freeman died on January 12, 2012. He was 85 years old.  Rev. Dr. Freeman was born in Madison, WI on January 23, 1927 to Jacob and Gertrude Freeman. Rev. Freeman attained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin, his Master of Arts degree from Bowling Green University, and his PhD from Cornell University.

He served at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, NC, for 32 years after being ordained there in 1957. He had served as lay minister, prior to that, at the First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, VA. He was Minister Emeritus at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte.

Rev. Freeman was granted full ministerial fellowship in 1957 following his experience as a lay leader in Lynchburg. While there, his roles included preaching, administration, and guiding the life of the church. Freeman also served as Chaplain of Cedar Spring Hospital in Pineville, NC. Besides his work in ministry, Rev. Freeman taught numerous college classes. He was Instructor of Communication Arts at Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC, and Associate Professor of Speech and Drama at Sweet Briar College in VA.

Rev. Freeman was a civil rights leader, a community activist, and a visionary for religious tolerance. His work, alongside others in the civil rights movement, is honored in an exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte, NC. His family reports that Rev. Freeman was once an invited guest, of President John F. Kennedy, to the White House. He was also an advocate for mental health, serving as president of Charlotte’s Mental Health Association.

Rev. Freeman is survived by his wife, Gaynell B. Freeman; his children, Lynn Freeman Love, David Freeman, Michael Freeman, and T. Michael Williams; twelve grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

Family and friends paid their respects to the memory of Rev. Dr. Sidney Freeman on January 21, 2012 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte with the Rev. Jay Leach officiating.

Donations in Rev. Freeman’s memory may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Charlotte, 234 Sharon Amity Road, Charlotte, NC 28211 or the charity of one’s choice.

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