In Memory

Kenny Freeman

Kenny Freeman

Kenny Freeman

'79er Classmate Cheryl Gaede (Kenny's wife) submitted the following biographical sketch for Ken Freeman on March 12, 2009:

"Kenny and I married in 1980 and moved to Spearman, TX, when work in Rapid City was becoming harder and harder to find.   Ken did electrical work in the oil field for many years and then was plant manager at the hospital in Spearman for 13 years. Our children, Jared and Jessica, were both born in Spearman.  Although we always thought we could return to Rapid City,  the work was never there so we raised our children in this small Texas community.

Kenny was always very involved in the community.  He played softball, volleyball, and anything else that was fun. As the kids grew up we had every "big boy toy" you could own: 4-wheelers, boats, campers...  the list goes on and on. 

In late 1994 Kenny started having numbness and pain in his leg, and in 1995 was diagnosed with Sarcoma and had a very large tumor removed.   For the next two years we traveled extensively; consulting with M. D. Anderson in Houston and the Cancer Treatment Center in Tulsa, OK.   Ken received radical surgery in Houston (removal of the tumor, including the nerve in his leg), chemotherapy, and radiation.  Needless to say, he had no movement or feeling in that leg.   Ken made his own splint for his foot and he learned to walk again (despite the doctors saying he would be unable to do so).   

Kenny lost his battle with cancer in Tulsa in April of 1997.  We were married 17 years.

Jared, Jessica, myself, and Kenny's entire family (his Dad, his brothers and their spouses) and many friends were there in the hospital in Tulsa when he died.  Ken's mother had died several years before (also of cancer) and his brother Jim (Cobblers '77) died just a few years ago.

I continued to live and raise the kids in Spearman until I remarried and until Jessica graduated from high school. I now live in Borger, TX, which is 45 miles from Spearman.  Jared still lives in Spearman where he is a welder. Jessica is in Amarillo where she attends college.  She will graduate in August, 2009."

The Class of '79 extends its sincere condolences to Cheryl, Jared, and Jessica Freeman.  Kenny was a vital member of our class, and his absence is notable.  Thank you Cheryl for your gracious contributions of personal notes and photos.



 Kenny and Jared after a poker run.                                             Kenny with Jessica (age 18 months).



Kenny teaching Jessica to dance at a cousin's wedding.          Kenny and Jared, building a boat for Boy Scouts.


Christmas Family Photo


 Another family photo, taken just before Kenny was to start Chemo.


Easter 1997 in Denver.  Kenny passed away a few weeks later.


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02/26/09 10:06 AM #1    

Rick Dail

It's not a matter of what can I say about Kenny, it's a matter of what can't I say! And that sentence is meant in the most positive way possible!

When our band Deuce was kind of getting going (Dale Warner, Kelly Tracy, Tom Plambeck and myself) not only did Kenny support us in showing up at the different places we played, he always lent a hand in setting up and tearing down. We even played at his house out in Rapid Valley one night!

Kenny had the strength of about 6 bulls, but I can honestly say I never saw him attack anyone. I remember one night, a guy a fair amount bigger than me who was certainly going to kick my ass (it wasn't my fault his girlfriend thought I was cute!) was on his way to do just that. Kenny walked over to him and put his hand on his shoulder and whispered something to him. The guy looked at Kenny and just turned around and walked away. Later that night I asked Kenny what he had said to the guy. Kenny smiled that shit-eating grin he had, and said, "I told him, to get to you, he has to go thru me, and he's not going to get thru me!"

I haven't talked with his then wife Cheryl in quite some time, but I did see her at Kenny's funeral. They have beautiful kids whom are missing out on one truly wonderful human.

Kenny, my brother, I miss you hugely! Wherever you have ended up, I will see you at that same place some day!
(what can I say, we did a lot of the same things!)

03/06/09 09:53 PM #2    

Jolaine Kjos (Ball)

I've known Kenny for a very long time. He had a passion for a good time and many friends, which he had.
There was never a dull moment when he was around, there was always laughter and fun.
It was sad that his life was so short, when he had so much to offer. My hat goes off to Cheryl for being able to raise two GREAT KIDS!

Kenny will always be remembered by his friends and the people of Spearman, TX.

Jolaine Kjos Ball

03/15/09 11:49 PM #3    

Jim Kurtenbach

I can honestly say we had some of the best times spending the night at Angostura partying all night and sleeping it off at the cabin!!...Kenny, you are missed and loved by all!!

05/23/09 04:48 AM #4    

Sue Ghere (Garofalo)

Kenny & I were cousins and had many great times together. Our birthdays are very close so we celebrated together at times. We spent a lot of time at the lake with his brothers & my sister and brother since we had a trailer up there. The parties were amazing and this way, no one had to drive home.

I was so happy when Kenny married Cheryl. They were such a great match. Cheryl is so sweet, which matches the golden heart of Kenny. They both always have a smile and kind word for you.

Now Kenny & Jimmy (Class of '77) are both in Heaven with my brother Gene (Class of '78) who died in 1996.

Cheryl - you and your family continue to be in our prayers. We put flowers on the graves today - included Kenny, Margo and Jimmy along with the rest of the relatives at Pine Lawn.

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