Obituary of Thomas R. Freeman, Sr.
On Friday, August 11, 2023, Thomas “Tom” R. Freeman Sr., beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away. He was eighty-three years old. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Tom was the son of Louis G. Freeman, Jr. and Anne B. Freeman. Tom attended Canterbury School in New Milford, Connecticut and went on to receive an undergraduate degree from Notre Dame (where he was a member of the ‘61 Rat Pack), a masters from the University of Cincinnati, a Ph.D. from Purdue, and a second masters from the University of South Carolina. Tom was employed by Westinghouse Electric Company where he worked for 37 years as a nuclear engineer and statistician. He retired in March 2010 with recognition for numerous patents in the field of nuclear energy.
An avid reader and critical thinker, Tom was known for his piercing intelligence, dry sense of humor and larger-than-life stories. Joyce, his wife of 49 years, loved him with passion as they spent their marriage travelling the world and inspiring their children. Tom was a stalwart father whose approach to parenting was equal parts humor and honesty. The household was often filled with classical music, sci-fi movies, and the sound of Tom reciting poems from memory including some of his own. A consummate scientist and advocate for nuclear energy, he often carved out time to write to scientific journals and letters to the editor. In his leisure, Tom loved playing golf with some of his closest friendships cultivated on the course.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Barbara F. Lane. He is survived by his loving wife Joyce, his daughter Vanessa, son Thomas, Jr., (Kelly) and two granddaughters. He also has three living brothers and numerous nieces and nephews. He will be deeply missed and cherished in the memories of those who knew him.
A private remembrance will be held by the family. In lieu of flowers, in memory of Tom, the family asks that donations be made in support of the musical arts or to a cause close to your heart. Tom would request everyone listen to Verdi’s Requiem and drink a Manhattan (up with extra bitters).
If I’m Not Here
If I’m not here when you return,
Please let it be of no concern.
Don’t hide away or sulk or burn;
The world’s too full of things to learn.
And soon we all will have our turn.
Your friends will say a better place
I’ve gone, as though I’ve won some race,
When barely have I kept the pace.
Surprised I’ll be, if garbed in lace,
Or if I make it Face to face.
If truth be told, I’ll just be gone,
Cry once and then go on to song
Another man be not foregone.
T’wer me I’d have a Double Ron
Recall it’s dusk and not the dawn.
And if you chance to think of me
Please harken to this simple plea;
Think children bouncing on your knee
And even my dumb stunts with glee.
Be happy, that should be your key.
Don’t live for what they say will come;
You’re here just once. For rule of thumb
Pray overdo, almost succumb,
Then lie exhausted drained and numb.
Remember sad things without glum.
Don’t dwell on all the time we lost,
My bad behavior and its cost,
Or maybe sometimes that you bossed.
All these notions should be tossed;
We did our best, the rest is dross.
Enjoy your children, that’s the thing.
Hear everywhere the bells that ring.
Go out and give yourself a fling.
Permit your life to bloom like spring;
And loose your wildest dreams to wing.
Tom “Herschel” Freeman, On my wife’s visit to her daughter, July 2002
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
Proud Members Of