Don Lewis Freeman has come to live with us at Caring House. We are honored.
Don was born in 1931 to Cecil and Marjorie Freeman, the youngest of their three children, in Long Beach, California, where he also grew up. He attended Polytechnic High School there, beginning his lifelong enjoyment of music by participating in singing and music production.
Planning to become an agriculture teacher, he attended Pierce Agricultural College in Woodland Hills earning an AA degree in horticulture, and then continued on to Fresno State College majoring in general science. During a couple of summers there he worked at Yosemite National Park, where one of his jobs was to clean bear nose prints off the panes of the lodge windows every morning!
After graduating, he became Second Lieutenant in the US Marine Corps and spent 2 years on the East Coast, in the Caribbean and Mediterranean as platoon leader and operations officer.
During his time in the Marine Corps he met his first wife Peggy while attending First Congregational Church in Washington, and the two were married there 5 months later. While stationed at Camp Lejeune, their first child, Fred, was born, but he died just 2½ months old.
After Don’s discharge from the Marines, Don and Peggy lived for 4 years in Hanford near Fresno State, California, where Don received his teaching credential. While teaching general science and journalism to 7th and 8th graders in Hanford, he obtained his MA from Fresno State. During this time he also joined the Marine Corps Reserve, with whom he continued to spend many summers on active duty for years to come, rising to the rank of Marine Major.
While living in Hanford, Don and Peggy had two more children, Susan and Alan, and in 1959 the family moved to San Diego County. At Sweetwater High School, National City, Don taught mainly biology, as well as journalism and photography for a time, advancing to head of the science department. No ordinary teacher, he was honored as Teacher of the Month in 1963! He stayed at Sweetwater High until he retired in 1991.
His love of agriculture continued as on their Jamul property he raised household produce and macadamia nuts, as well as a hog, and dogs with the potential to be Seeing Eye Dogs. In 1990, one year before his retirement, Don’s wife Peggy passed away.
After six years as widower, during an art tour in France in 1996, Don met Suzanne “Shan”, and the two began to see each other regularly. They were married in 1997, making their home in Manhattan Beach. Both of them love traveling and have made numerous trips together, starting with their honeymoon when they visited several European countries. Many other trips have followed since, both within the US and abroad.
We are glad Don is with us at Caring House. We look forward to caring for this multi-talented man and patriot.
Don died on September 25, 2018. Honor him. Remember him.