First Sergeant James Garland Freeman Sr. of Jacksonville passed away Monday, April 19, 2021, at age 97. He died peacefully at home while surrounded by family.
The family welcomes friends and loved ones to share in honoring their hero. Jones Funeral Home will host a wake from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM Sunday, April 25, in Jacksonville. A graveside service in his honor with Military honors and Scottish Rite ceremony will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, April 26, 2021, at Onslow Memorial Park. The family will be accepting visitors at 139 Greencrest Circle following Monday's service.
James was born May 13, 1923, in Pulaski, VA, to James Kelly Freeman and Beatrice Texas Hurd. As a boy, he grew up in a coal mining community in West Virginia. Jim was the youngest of six children -- Ruby Blankenship, Elsie Freeman, Bureda Freeman, Juanita Harmon, and Kelly (Bud) Freeman -- each of whom was waiting to receive him in Heaven.
Aside from his family, Jim's greatest devotion was to the United States Marine Corps. He was a Hardcore Warrior serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. In June 1941, Jim enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving honorably twenty-three years. During his career, he also served as head of the Marine Corps Security Guard Company for President Dwight D. EIsenhower and President John F. Kennedy while stationed at Marine Corps barracks 8th and I. As part of the Marine Corps rifle team, he often took first place at the National Rifle and Pistol matches; later, he went on to coach winning teams for the United States Marine Corps.
In 1946, he met and married the love of his life, O'Rean Randell. They were married 56 years until his love went home to be with the Lord. In 1947, they were blessed with their son James (Jim) G. Freeman Jr.
Service to his community was close to his heart. Jim served as an active member in our community as a previous Disabled American Veteran commander, 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, and Shriner.
He was again blessed with love and companionship by his second wife, Patricia Corbett, whom he married in 2008, and who also went home to be with our Lord shortly after they were married.
James is survived by his son, Jim G. Freeman Jr. (Margaret Carol); grandchildren, James G. Freeman III (Gina), Phillip R. Freeman, Jamie-Carol Freeman-Nettles (James); and five great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in his honor to the Carolina Museum of the Marines