Mildred Freeman 1927- 2021
Mildred Freeman, 93, of Amarillo, TX, died on May 24, 2021. Memorial service will be at 10:00 AM, Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel with Dr. G.A. Roach officiating. Arrangements are made by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.
Mildred was born August 24, 1927 in Amarillo to Richard and Anna Groves. She graduated from Amarillo High School before attending West Texas State University, after being offered a band scholarship. The college was working to expand the band program and welcomed students from the surrounding area that would enhance their spirit. She then went on to Amarillo College, as their classes in nutrition and anatomy were prerequisites for Northwest Texas Hospital School of Nursing to become an RN at the time. Her mother was very worried about her daughter being a nurse, as her mother’s sister had died during the flu epidemic of 1918 after nursing a family with the flu. Her father (Richard) had the Spanish Flu during World War I while in France with the 35th Balloon Corp. His lungs were damaged so badly that the doctor advised them to move to a dryer climate than East Texas or he would not survive. They chose Amarillo.
Before Mildred could enter nursing school, she had to get a note from the doctor that she was well and stable with no communicable diseases. The whole family had been going to osteopathic doctors for all their years and, in fact, their lives had been saved more than once because of the dedication of these fine doctors. Mildred and her parents were told that she would have to see a “real” doctor to get a health note, or she could not enroll.
Mildred grew up in the San Jacinto area and her parents always made sure there was money for private music lessons from Oscar and Helen Wise, even during the depression and war years.
She was proud of the fact she played flute in every school band from elementary to college, as well as with the Amarillo Symphony. Her most precious memories were playing the Messiah with the symphony. She learned to play the piccolo in Jr. High, and they asked her to travel to area elementary schools to perform so the kids would become interested in joining the school band. She also marched in the parade with the “Uncle Sam” band when President Franklin Roosevelt came to Amarillo. As long as she was able, Mildred never missed a year watching the high school marching band contest at the stadium, as well as the annual WTAMU Showcase of Music in support of the music programs, even though she didn’t know any of the kids or families performing. She knew how important it was to show community spirit. Mildred was proud to be an Amarillo Sandie and of playing the flute in the school band with Gary Garner. As a supporter of Amarillo Opera, she was nominated for the Golden Nail Award for her dedication to the arts.
Mildred loved playing bells with the First United Methodist Church in Canyon and St. Stephens Alleluia Ringers. She was very active in the Bible Study groups and began the prayer group at Craig Senior Living. She was given the Denman Award for Evangelism for her dedication and discipleship at the Methodist Church, as well as a Stephens Minister. She was instrumental and very proud for getting one hundred new members at the Canyon church when they celebrated their 100th anniversary.
She graduated from Northwest Hospital School of Nursing and became an RN in 1950. Her first nursing job was at the Neblett Hospital in Canyon, where she was hired by Dr. Neblett. There she met Clayton Freeman as a patient, and they married in the Joseph Hill Chapel on the campus of WTSU on May 6, 1951. She did private duty nursing and also worked at several nursing homes in Amarillo, and LaCasa Nursing home in Canyon. At LaCasa she cared for many of the pioneer families. A treasured gift she received was a handkerchief with tatted edging made for her by Mrs. “Granny” Harrell who was living there.
She loved baseball and the Texas Rangers and always watched the games. Her daughter, Rebecca, took her to see the Rangers play once, and also to watch in Amarillo at the ballpark. She would have loved to have watched the Sod Poodles.
Survivors include her children, David Freeman and Margaret of Anton, and Sharon Stevens and Joe Don of Canyon; her grandchildren, Andrea and William Keller of Irving, Jennifer and David Colette of Oklahoma, Michael Freeman, Amanda Freeman, Dasha Hilton, and Lelani Hilton of Amarillo.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Clayton Freeman; parents, Anna and Richard Groves; brother, George Groves of Virginia; sister, Evelyn Soule of Amarillo; and daughter, Rebecca Hilton.
Mildred wishes memorials go to Sam Houston Middle School Band Instrument Program- 815 South Independent Street, Amarillo, Texas 79106; to Amarillo Opera, 2223 South Van Buren Street, Amarillo, Texas 79109; to Opportunity Plan Inc., 504 24th St., Canyon, Texas 79015; or Grove Hill Cemetery Association-Grove Hill Methodist Church, P.O. Box 564 Leonard, Texas 75452, in memory of Mildred Groves Freeman.
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