GIBSON CITY — Michael A. Freehill, 79, of Gibson City, died at 1:10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, surrounded by his family, after a brief illness.
A funeral mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Gibson City with Father Dong Van Bui officiating. Burial with military honors will be at the Melvin Cemetery. A rosary service will be at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, followed by visitation until 7 p.m. at the Rosenbaum Funeral Home in Gibson City.
Mr. Freehill was born July 8, 1940, in Bloomington, a son of Claude P. and Marjorie F. Bergan Freehill. He married Joyce E. Swearingen at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Gibson City on Feb. 2, 1963; they were married for 56 years. His wife survives in Gibson City.
Also surviving are their children Janice (Luke) Johnson of Kirkland, Wash., Jim (Jennifer) Freehill of Melvin and Ken Freehill of Gibson City; three grandchildren, Ben, Jessica and Amanda Freehill; three brothers, Tom (Barbara) Freehill of Saline, Mich., Al (Jane) Freehill of Chenoa and Dale Freehill of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; his sister, Anne (John) Zick of Hinsdale; two sisters-in-law, Doris Freehill and Gail (Lynn) Anliker of Gibson City; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Freehill was preceded in death by his daughter Katherine in 1989 and brother Chuck in 2015.
Mr. Freehill was a farmer in the Melvin and Gibson City area all of his life. He attended St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, Ind. He was an active and longtime member of St. George’s Parish in Melvin and Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Gibson City. He was a fourth-degree Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
Mr. Freehill served six years in the Army National Guard, seeing active duty in the 1968 Chicago riots, and was a member of the Lee Lowery American Legion post.
Mr. Freehill served 11 years (1974 to 1985) as treasurer of the Melvin-Sibley school board and eight years (1985 to 1993) as land commissioner for the Melvin-Sibley school district.
Mr. Freehill’s gentle nature and warm smile will be forever remembered as will his commitment to faith, family, friends and farming.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 534 N. Wood St., or Gibson Area Hospital, 1120 N. Melvin St.
Memories and condolences can be shared at www.rosenbaumfh.com.