Friday, August 24, 2007

Charles Hillyer Freeman

Born: December 7, 1941
Died: Thursday, August 23, 2007

It was not my pleasure to know Charles Freeman as well as others did. But it was not necessary to know him well to appreciate Charles Freeman fully.

My memory of Charles is as an eminently practical man. An engineer by discipline, he mastered the conditions of physicality. And I remember him as a man of vision. He saw for Texas and our nation a future powered by renewable energy, sustainable in every sense.

He was a professional. And he was a leader.

With Charles' absence, we must work all the harder. No less tribute to this great man seems fitting.

Charles was a graduate of Texas A&M and a military officer early in his career. I am proud to say that we had this in common. There is a great tradition at Texas A&M, called the Muster. Each year, on April 21, Aggies gather around to world to remember and honor those of their comrades who died in the previous year. The names of those who have passed are softly called, and a friend answers "here."

I will answer "here" for Charles next April, and I invite others to do so as well.

Here is part of a poem about Muster:

Before we part and go upon our way,

We pause to honor those we knew so well;

The old familiar faces we miss so much today

Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.

Softly call the Muster,

Let comrade answer, “Here!”

Their spirits hover ‘round us

As if to bring us cheer!

Mark them ‘present’ in our hearts.

We’ll meet some other day

There is no death, but life etern

For our old friends such as they!

by Dr. John Ashton 1906


Blogger oZ said...

Thanks PT, for all of us.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for remembering Freeman. I never knew him except by sight and occasional speeches but I knew he was a good man.

10:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Charles was a regular rider with our loosely organized Gatesville area cyclists known as Cycloholics. By his estimate he'd ridden 16,000 miles with us. We're finding out that our group was an important part of his life. We wish we could have him back to let him know that he was so important to us too. We're going to miss him for a very, very long time.

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not know Charles very well and only for a short time. I had the privilege of riding together with him on a few bike rides. I like the way he said my name. He told me once to every up there is a down, I don't know why I remember that. I will always remember him. It was an honor to have known him. Thanks for the cycling memories Charles.


10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will dearly miss Charles, he was one of the finest individuals to ever serve as TREIA president, was a visionary who saw Texas renewable future before most others did, and wore his honesty and integrity in the low key, humble way that was his hallmark. It was a privelege and honor to be his friend.


8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had the privilege of sharing many cycling miles with Charles on the roads around Gatesville. He loved cycling and enjoyed working hard at it. He was a very humble man, and a man of few words. But when he spoke, you could bet you were hearing the truth. He was truly a classy guy, and I’ll never forget the way his face seemed to light up when he laughed at a good joke. I feel extremely fortunate to have been his friend.

Kenny W.

7:58 AM  

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