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Caption (AP)
Charles R. Freeby Sr.

Posted on Dec. 11, 2012 at 12:00 a.m.

Oct. 13, 1931 - Dec. 9, 2012

ELKHART — Charles R. Freeby Sr., 81, was called to rest by God after an extended illness at 9:05 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at Eastlake Rehabilitation Facility.

The son of the late Wayne L. and Luella Freeby, he was born Oct. 13, 1931, in Elkhart. He was preceded in death by both parents and three brothers, Wayne, Jim and Keith.

He married Beverly Jean Wood on Nov. 19, 1960.

She survives along with their three children, Karly Kegerreis of Elkhart; Michael (Kathy) Freeby of Three Rivers, Mich.; and Chuck (Diane) Freeby of South Bend. He also leaves a legacy of 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A 1950 graduate of Elkhart High School, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 1950 and was dispatched to the Korean War in June 1951. He served in four separate campaigns in Korea and received many medals for his service.

Charlie worked various jobs in Elkhart, including a 15-year stint at Federal Paperboard. He worked six years as a custodian in Elkhart Community Schools before retiring in 1995. However, he returned to the schools for 10 more years as a popular substitute teacher who served in a variety of classes including English as a second language.

He was active in the community, helping on Elkhart’s Centennial committee, serving as a board member and volunteer at Elkhart FOP Little League and helping as a precinct worker on many Election Days. He also became very active as a member in Trinity United Methodist Church, serving in the United Methodist Men’s group, TNT and hospital visitations.

Charlie was always quick with a smile and an infectious laugh, which delighted nearly everyone he met.

He enjoyed hobbies such as coin collecting, history and Notre Dame basketball games, but most of all, he enjoyed doting on his family. For years, he lovingly took care of his mother until her death at 103, but also was a loyal and giving husband for 52 years. He always enjoyed playing with his children and grandchildren, whether it was a backyard game of catch or serving as a model so his granddaughters could practice tying hair ribbons.

In accordance with his wishes, Charlie’s body has been cremated. Visitation will be from noon until a memorial service at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2715 East Jackson Blvd,, Elkhart. Burial will follow in Rice Cemetery at a later date. Pastor Mark Dicken will officiate. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Billings Funeral Home of Elkhart.

Memorials can be given to Church Community Services or Trinity United Methodist Church.

Online condolences can be sent to the family at