Harold B. Freeland Jr., age 85, a lifelong resident of Sturgis, passed away peacefully at home on Saturday, July 30, 2011.
He was born May 16, 1926, in Sturgis, a son to the late Harold B. and Florence June (Beebe) Freeland.
Harold graduated from Sturgis High School with the class of 1944 and then joined the U.S. Army Air Force. He served during World War II as an airplane and engine mechanic and earned the rank of Corporal before his honorable discharge in Nov. of 1946.
After returning home from the military he went to work as a production supervisor for Freeland & Sons Co. (‘46 – ‘63), Grumman-Olson (‘63-‘65), Pierson Screw Co. (‘68), and Godfrey Conveyor Co in Elkhart, Ind. (‘68-‘70). From 1970 – 1975 he was in RV sales in service working for Teds Trailer Sales and Key Industries. He then worked as the St. Joseph County Veteran’s Affairs director and counselor from 1975 – 1988 from which he retired. He also worked part time at Prairie Lake Tavern in Sturgis from 1970 – 1975.
Harold was a life member of the Nueman-Wenzel Post #73 American Legion and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks #1381 both of Sturgis and the Am Vets in Baldwin, Mich. He enjoyed fishing and playing cards.
Harold was first married to Nancy Dixon, this marriage ended in divorce.
On Sept. 18, 1982, in Colon, Mich., he married Susan Stark who survives along with one daughter, Vickie Goins of Cleveland, Tenn.; one sister, Jean Shank of Sturgis; one brother, William D. Freeland of White Pigeon, Mich.; and three nephews and five nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, James in 2005; and an infant sister.
According to his wishes, there will be no visitation, as cremation has taken place. A graveside service and interment celebrating the life of Harold B. Freeland Jr. will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, at Oak Lawn Cemetery, Block KK, with the B.P.O.E. – Elks #1381 presiding. Full Military Honors will be preformed by the U.S. Army Air Force Honor Guard and the Capt. John J. Kelley V.F.W. #1355.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggest memorial donations by directed to the Elks Major Projects, 365 Banks, which is a program developed to help special needs children. Donations may be sent to: Sturgis Elks Lodge, 66200 Grey Lake Rd., Sturgis, MI 49091.
His obituary is also available at www.hackmanfamilyfuneralhome.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.