Robert Laverne "Bob" Freeman passed away peacefully at his home in Henderson Nevada on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. Bob was 97. He is survived by his second wife Waneta, two sons Thomas and William, and his daughter Nancy Smith. Bob was a talented athlete, World War II Navy veteran, career high school teacher and coach, and locksmith.
Bob was born and grew up in Alton, Illinois. He played many sports, but his family was a baseball family. In high school he trained with the St. Louis Browns baseball team, and he turned down a professional contract in favor of attending college in 1940.
World War II interrupted Bob's college studies. In 1942 he enlisted in the US Navy, entering an accelerated officer training program that sent him to Columbia University. In 1943 he was assigned to LST619 as Communications Officer, which took part in several invasions in the South Pacific. After the war ended, Bob married Marjorie Squires and resumed his undergraduate studies. He also returned to baseball, playing on Cubs and Giants minor league teams for three summers while completing his MA Teaching degree. His teaching career began in Illinois, where he taught and coached in Athens and Gilman.
In 1957 Bob moved his family to Portland, Oregon, where he continued his teaching career at Cleveland High School. He taught Architectural Drawing, Technical Illustration, Drafting, Mathematics, and Wood Shop. He coached baseball and basketball, plus refereed football. Bob was a well-liked teacher by both his colleagues and students. He was often visited by former students who had gone on to university studies.
Bob retired from teaching in 1982 and began a locksmith career. He enjoyed locksmithing for several years, working with a team that re-keyed hotels and opened safes for clients. After death of Marjorie, he married Waneta Ulrich and the couple moved to Lincoln City on the Oregon Coast. They lived happily at the Oregon Coast until moving to Henderson Nevada in 2008. Bob chose their Henderson home at first sight because of its panoramic view of the Las Vegas skyline.
In 2009, they purchased a condo in Fort Myers Florida and spent January to June there each year, returning to Henderson as hurricane season began. Their condo is on an executive golf course, where Bob recorded his first hole-in-one at age 93.
Bob will be remembered for his fascinating stories about his family and friends, love of food, enthusiasm for college and professional sports, and interest in technology.