Forever In the Hearts They Leave Behind

Mervin L. Freeman

September 4, 1929 – February 11, 2024


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BORN SEPTEMBER 4, 1929 TO RUEBEN AND HELEN (LANGE) FREEMAN IN FERGUS, FALLS, MN. HE GREW UP ON THE FAMILY FARM NEAR DEER CREEK, MN. HE ATTENDED COUNTRY SCHOOL AT DISTRICT 101 AND GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AT DEER CREEK, MN. HE PARTICIPATED IN TRACK AND FOOTBALL EARNING HONORABLE MENTION IN STATE ATHLETICS.

HE FARMED WITH HIS FATHER UNTIL ENLISTING IN THE ARMY IN 1952 DURING THE KOREAN WAR. HE SPENT HIS MILITARY CAREER IN THE WASHINGTON D.C. AREA SERVING IN THE ARMY SECURITY AGENCY. AFTER DISCHARGE HE ENROLLED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MN AND GRADUATED IN 1959 WITH AN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION DEGREE. IN 1957 HE MARRIED PHYLLIS LADWIG AT BARNESVILLE, MN.

AFTER GRADUATION MERVIN WAS EMPLOYED AS AN AGRUCULTURAL COUNTY AGENT IN DOUGLAS COUNTY AT ALEXANDRIA, MN. THEIR SON, DAVID, JOINED THE FAMILY IN 1962. MERVIN RETURNED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MN FOR GRADUATE STUDIES AND OBTAINED A MASTERS DEGREE IN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS. DAUGHTER JILL ARRIVED IN 1964.

MERVIN SUBSEQUENTLY ACCEPTED A POSITION WITH THE AG. EXTENSION SERVICE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA IN FAIRBANKS. HIS POSITION REQUIRED HIM TO TRAVEL THE STATE AND HE SPENT CONSIDERABLE TIME WITH THE NATIVE ALASKAN POPULATION. HE WORKED WITH REINDEER HERD OWNERS AT NOME AND BEEF FARMERS ON KODIAK ISLAND TO DEVELOP MARKETING SKILLS. WHILE IN ALASKA MERVIN WAS ABLE TO HUNT MOOSE AND CARIBOU. ALASKAN SALMON CAUGHT BY THE FREEMANS WAS ALSO A HOUSEHOLD STAPLE. THE MOUNTED DOLL SHEEP HE HUNTED AND OBTAINED IN THE ALASKAN BROOKS RANGE IS ONE OF HIS TREASURES.

IN 1967 MERVIN ACCEPTED A POSITION AS FARM MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MN EXTENSION SERVICE LOCATED AT ROCHESTER, MN. IN 1968 SON, SCOTT, ARRIVED. THE FAMILY LIVED IN THE ROCHESTER AREA FOR 20 YEARS. THEY WERE ACTIVE IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST WHERE HE WAS A DEACON. HE TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL AND SERVED AS PTA PRESIDENT.

MERVIN WAS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENTS AND SERVED AS IT’S TREASURER. IN 1989 HE TRAVELED TO NEW ORLEANS TO RECEIVE THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AGENTS. IN 1989 HE RECEIVED THE U OF MN DEAN AND DIRECTORS AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED EXTENSION FACULTY. HE WAS PROMOTED TO FULL PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MN. THROUGHOUT HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER MERVIN ALWAYS REMEMBERED HIS AGRICULTURAL BACKGROUND. HE HELPED DEVELOP AND PRESENT MANY EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR FARM FAMILIES.

MERVIN RETIRED IN 1992. THEY REMODELED THEIR LAKE HOME ON DEAD LAKE IN OTTERTAIL COUNTY AND MOVED TO THE LAKE. THEY CONTINUE TO LIVE ON LAND THAT WAS HOMESTEADED BY GRANDPA FREEMAN IN THE LATE 1800’S. IN RETIREMENT MERVIN CONTINUED TO BE ACTIVE IN HIS CHURCH AND WAS AN ELDER AT MAINE PRESBYTERIAN. HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE DEAD LAKE ASSOCIATION AND SERVED AS ITS’ PRESIDENT. HE SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE OTTERTAIL COALITION OF LAKE ASSOCIATIONS (COLA). HE COLLECTED WATER QUALITY SAMPLES ON THE LAKE FOR MANY YEARS. HE HAD BEEN DEDICATED TO PRESERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF WATER QUALITY IN OUR LAKES AND RIVERS.

AFTER RETIREMENT THE FREEMAN’S SPENT WINTERS IN THE MESA, ARIZONA AREA. THEY HIKED THE MANY TRAILS IN THE­ SUPERSITION MOUNTAINS. HE ALSO HIKED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE GRAND CANYON NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE! IN ARIZONA MERVIN WAS ACTIVE IN JOHN CALVIN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND OFTEN SERVED AS USHER.

MERVIN CONTINUED TO HUNT DEER UNTIL HIS LATER YEARS. HE ENJOYED FISHING AND THEIR FISHING TRIPS TO CANADA. HE LIKED TO PLAY CARDS AND GAMES AND ENJOYED “COMPANY”. HIS FAVORITE PASTIME WAS SITTING ON HIS DECK AT THE LAKE. HE HAD ALWAYS SAID “I CAN LOOK AT THE LAKE AND BE ON THE LAKE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THE LAKE!” HIS CHILDREN, DAVID (and MARGIE), JILL, AND SCOTT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HIS JOY. HE REVELED IN THEIR EXPLOITS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS. HIS GRANDCHILDREN: DAVID II AND JORDAN FREEMAN, AND COURTNEY NEU AND LEXI OWENS WERE HIS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. HAVING REACHED HIS 90’S HE FELT THE LORD HAS INDEED BEEN GOOD!

MERVIN PEACEFULLY PASSED AWAY IN MESA, ARIZONA ON FEBRUARY 11, 2024, SURROUNDED BY FAMILY.

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  1. David L. Freeman says:

    Dad – you were an amazing father to us, grandfather to our kids, and husband to Mom I was privileged and honored to call you my father. The fact I was 60 and still had my parents alive and well is a great blessing that I am forever grateful for. Thanks for just being a great Dad and friend. I’ll love you forever

    Dave

  2. Jerry Arntson says:

    We were close neighbors with the Freeman’s for many years and enjoyed many neighborhood parties and get togethers. I always remembered the raspberry bushes in the back yard that we would eat playing football and kicking field goals over the swing sets. Our condolences RIP Donna & Jerry Arntson.

  3. Arthur Frame says:

    My condolences to the Mervin Freeman family. I worked with Mervin in the Olmsted Co. Extension Service office in Rochester for several years. He was great to work with on farm management issues. He was aware of the concerns of his clientele and addressed those concerns.
    and addressed their concerns.

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Mervin L. Freeman

September 4, 1929 – February 11, 2024


Share Obituary:

Send Flowers Print Obituary

BORN SEPTEMBER 4, 1929 TO RUEBEN AND HELEN (LANGE) FREEMAN IN FERGUS, FALLS, MN. HE GREW UP ON THE FAMILY FARM NEAR DEER CREEK, MN. HE ATTENDED COUNTRY SCHOOL AT DISTRICT 101 AND GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL AT DEER CREEK, MN. HE PARTICIPATED IN TRACK AND FOOTBALL EARNING HONORABLE MENTION IN STATE ATHLETICS.

HE FARMED WITH HIS FATHER UNTIL ENLISTING IN THE ARMY IN 1952 DURING THE KOREAN WAR. HE SPENT HIS MILITARY CAREER IN THE WASHINGTON D.C. AREA SERVING IN THE ARMY SECURITY AGENCY. AFTER DISCHARGE HE ENROLLED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MN AND GRADUATED IN 1959 WITH AN AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION DEGREE. IN 1957 HE MARRIED PHYLLIS LADWIG AT BARNESVILLE, MN.

AFTER GRADUATION MERVIN WAS EMPLOYED AS AN AGRUCULTURAL COUNTY AGENT IN DOUGLAS COUNTY AT ALEXANDRIA, MN. THEIR SON, DAVID, JOINED THE FAMILY IN 1962. MERVIN RETURNED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MN FOR GRADUATE STUDIES AND OBTAINED A MASTERS DEGREE IN AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS. DAUGHTER JILL ARRIVED IN 1964.

MERVIN SUBSEQUENTLY ACCEPTED A POSITION WITH THE AG. EXTENSION SERVICE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA IN FAIRBANKS. HIS POSITION REQUIRED HIM TO TRAVEL THE STATE AND HE SPENT CONSIDERABLE TIME WITH THE NATIVE ALASKAN POPULATION. HE WORKED WITH REINDEER HERD OWNERS AT NOME AND BEEF FARMERS ON KODIAK ISLAND TO DEVELOP MARKETING SKILLS. WHILE IN ALASKA MERVIN WAS ABLE TO HUNT MOOSE AND CARIBOU. ALASKAN SALMON CAUGHT BY THE FREEMANS WAS ALSO A HOUSEHOLD STAPLE. THE MOUNTED DOLL SHEEP HE HUNTED AND OBTAINED IN THE ALASKAN BROOKS RANGE IS ONE OF HIS TREASURES.

IN 1967 MERVIN ACCEPTED A POSITION AS FARM MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF MN EXTENSION SERVICE LOCATED AT ROCHESTER, MN. IN 1968 SON, SCOTT, ARRIVED. THE FAMILY LIVED IN THE ROCHESTER AREA FOR 20 YEARS. THEY WERE ACTIVE IN THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST WHERE HE WAS A DEACON. HE TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL AND SERVED AS PTA PRESIDENT.

MERVIN WAS AN ACTIVE MEMBER OF THE MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AGRICULTURAL AGENTS AND SERVED AS IT’S TREASURER. IN 1989 HE TRAVELED TO NEW ORLEANS TO RECEIVE THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF COUNTY AGENTS. IN 1989 HE RECEIVED THE U OF MN DEAN AND DIRECTORS AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED EXTENSION FACULTY. HE WAS PROMOTED TO FULL PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MN. THROUGHOUT HIS PROFESSIONAL CAREER MERVIN ALWAYS REMEMBERED HIS AGRICULTURAL BACKGROUND. HE HELPED DEVELOP AND PRESENT MANY EDUCATION PROGRAMS FOR FARM FAMILIES.

MERVIN RETIRED IN 1992. THEY REMODELED THEIR LAKE HOME ON DEAD LAKE IN OTTERTAIL COUNTY AND MOVED TO THE LAKE. THEY CONTINUE TO LIVE ON LAND THAT WAS HOMESTEADED BY GRANDPA FREEMAN IN THE LATE 1800’S. IN RETIREMENT MERVIN CONTINUED TO BE ACTIVE IN HIS CHURCH AND WAS AN ELDER AT MAINE PRESBYTERIAN. HE WAS ACTIVE IN THE DEAD LAKE ASSOCIATION AND SERVED AS ITS’ PRESIDENT. HE SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE OTTERTAIL COALITION OF LAKE ASSOCIATIONS (COLA). HE COLLECTED WATER QUALITY SAMPLES ON THE LAKE FOR MANY YEARS. HE HAD BEEN DEDICATED TO PRESERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF WATER QUALITY IN OUR LAKES AND RIVERS.

AFTER RETIREMENT THE FREEMAN’S SPENT WINTERS IN THE MESA, ARIZONA AREA. THEY HIKED THE MANY TRAILS IN THE­ SUPERSITION MOUNTAINS. HE ALSO HIKED TO THE BOTTOM OF THE GRAND CANYON NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE! IN ARIZONA MERVIN WAS ACTIVE IN JOHN CALVIN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH AND OFTEN SERVED AS USHER.

MERVIN CONTINUED TO HUNT DEER UNTIL HIS LATER YEARS. HE ENJOYED FISHING AND THEIR FISHING TRIPS TO CANADA. HE LIKED TO PLAY CARDS AND GAMES AND ENJOYED “COMPANY”. HIS FAVORITE PASTIME WAS SITTING ON HIS DECK AT THE LAKE. HE HAD ALWAYS SAID “I CAN LOOK AT THE LAKE AND BE ON THE LAKE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY IN THE LAKE!” HIS CHILDREN, DAVID (and MARGIE), JILL, AND SCOTT HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HIS JOY. HE REVELED IN THEIR EXPLOITS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS. HIS GRANDCHILDREN: DAVID II AND JORDAN FREEMAN, AND COURTNEY NEU AND LEXI OWENS WERE HIS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. HAVING REACHED HIS 90’S HE FELT THE LORD HAS INDEED BEEN GOOD!

MERVIN PEACEFULLY PASSED AWAY IN MESA, ARIZONA ON FEBRUARY 11, 2024, SURROUNDED BY FAMILY.

Share Obituary:

Send Flowers Print Obituary
  1. David L. Freeman says:

    Dad – you were an amazing father to us, grandfather to our kids, and husband to Mom I was privileged and honored to call you my father. The fact I was 60 and still had my parents alive and well is a great blessing that I am forever grateful for. Thanks for just being a great Dad and friend. I’ll love you forever

    Dave

  2. Jerry Arntson says:

    We were close neighbors with the Freeman’s for many years and enjoyed many neighborhood parties and get togethers. I always remembered the raspberry bushes in the back yard that we would eat playing football and kicking field goals over the swing sets. Our condolences RIP Donna & Jerry Arntson.

  3. Arthur Frame says:

    My condolences to the Mervin Freeman family. I worked with Mervin in the Olmsted Co. Extension Service office in Rochester for several years. He was great to work with on farm management issues. He was aware of the concerns of his clientele and addressed those concerns.
    and addressed their concerns.