GRANVILLE, NY – Richard Anthony Freed, 94, of Naples, Florida, formerly of Granville, passed away on May 1st, in the company of his daughters, Martha Demick and Patricia Williams. He was born on February 2, 1924 in Providence, Rhode Island, the fourth of five sons born to Francis and Annie (Cafferty) Freed. As a young boy, one of his favorite activities was to wait at the trolley stops on Elmwood Avenue and ask passengers for their unused passes. He would then use the pass to ride around the city on the weekend and he never lost this vagabond spirit, which later in life earned him the title of “the happy wanderer”, He loved the Boston Red Sox, and even though the 1946, 1967, 1975 and 1986 World Series losses made him think he would die before he ever saw them become champions, the new millennium brought him three World Series victories that he would relish. He was also a long time tennis player, having learned the sport from his wife Alice, who was an excellent player in her youth.
Richard Anthony Freed graduated from LaSalle Academy in Providence in 1942 and, with war breaking out all over the world, enlisted in the United States Merchant Marine. This led to him serving in both the Pacific and European theaters and surviving both the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 and the sinking of his ship. He returned from the war, graduated from Bryant College in 1948 and married his childhood sweetheart, Alice Livesey, whom he had known since grade school, that same year on March 29, 1948. Richard and Alice Freed moved to Woodstock, Vermont, in 1956 and then to Granville, New York, in 1959, when he and Alice purchased Granville Gasoline and Oil Company from the Munson family and grew it, together with sons Walter and Richard, into Johnsons Fuel Service and then Apollo Industries over the next 40 years while they also guided the growth of their family. Richard served several community organizations, including as a founding member of the Granville Lion’s Club (and a past President), a member of St. Mary’s Church and the Knights of Columbus, and a member of the Board of Directors of the former Emma Laing Stevens Hospital, to name but a few. In retirement, he continued his commitment to service by volunteering for two years, in Bulgaria, in the Peace Corps.
Richard Anthony Freed was fond of history and wrote a novel entitled The Missing Polar Bears, about the 1918 invasion of Russia by American forces at the end of World War I, and spent years searching for the remains of his uncle who was killed in battle in 1918. He was known to all by his sense of humor and kindness. When asked, at the age of 84, if he had plans for the day, he said “I plan to go outside and listen to the birds. If I can hear them, I know my hearing aid is working.” He kept a journal of his life, and on the front cover he wrote this poem to provide a final blessing to us all.
The light of night rests easily on the burdened traveler.
Would you say of me that I felt not what hurt you most?
And when the last vintage of man’s day is gone
Would he say of me, he was my friend, I loved him so. He is survived by his children Patricia Williams of Queensbury, New York, her children David (and Beth) Williams and their children Madison and Olivia, Nathan Williams, and Caitlin Drysdale and her children Morgan and Lauren; Richard A. Jr. (and Sylea) Freed of Sarasota, Florida, and children Soraya and (and Lee) Rudofski and children Vivian and Charlotte, and Richard (and Roberta) Freed III and children Annabelle and Anthony; Walter (and Marge) Freed of Punta Gorda, Florida, and their children Jonathan (and Rachel) Freed and their children Devon and Sydney, Meghan (and Brenton) Walter and their child Evelyn, and Meredith (and James) Strozier and their children Laura and Charlotte; Martha (and David) Demick of Queensbury, and their children Jeremy (and Paula) Martelle and their children Jeremy and Julia, and Jennifer Bailly and her child Koel; Brian (and Gisele) Freed of Centennial, Colorado, and their children James Freed, Alison and her child Bryant, Abigail (and Israel) Holden and Thomas Freed; Kevin Freed of Las Vegas, Nevada, Michael (and Paula) Freed of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and their children Laura (and Nadira) Kharmai-Freed, Cheryl (and Nathan) Allis and their children Maeve and Everett, and Caroline (and Thomas) Rogers; and John (and Linda) Freed of Granville, New York, and their children Amanda (and Steve) Hale and their children Steve III and Ava, and John T. Freed. He is also survived by his cousin Pat Fee, of Dublin, Ireland, sister-in-law Dorothy Freed of Bowie, Maryland as well as many Freed nieces and nephews.
Richard Anthony Freed was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Alice Livesey Freed, his brothers Frank, John, Bernard and Walter Freed, and his parents. In the last years of his life, he and Alice were personally cared for first by son, Kevin, then for three years by Cheryl Wilson of Granville, whose services are forever appreciated, and finally by the staff of the Wesley Health Care Center with assistance from daughter, Martha Demick. Calling hours were at the Robert M. King Funeral Home on 23 Church Street in Granville on Friday, May 4th from 4-7. The Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Mary’s Church, 23 Bulkley Ave., Granville on Saturday, May 5th at 1:30 PM with the Rev. Joseph Arockiasamy presiding. Burial followed at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery in Middle Granville with full military honors. A reception followed at The Venue @ 26 Main Street, Granville. Memorial contributions may be made to the Granville Rescue Squad, POB 153, Granville, NY, to any of the village fire departments, Village of Granville, POB 208, Granville, NY 12832 or the ACC Foundation Inc, Freed and Livesey Trust Fund, 640 Bay Road, Glens Falls, NY 12804
This Obituary originally appeared HERE, The Robert M King Funeral Home website.