Clarence Thomas Freeman, 94, of Gold Hill, Ore., passed away November 16, 2011, at his home.
Clarence was born on November 9, 1917, in North Bend, Ore. The family moved to a ranch on Cow Creek, north of Grants Pass about 1931. Later they bought a ranch in Hugo where Clarence graduated from Standard High School in 1936. After graduation he moved to Algoma, a mill town near Klamath Falls, which no longer exists. It was in Algoma he met the love of his life, Helen L. Brown. They were married December 10, 1939, and were together for 67 years until Helen's death in January 2007.
In September 1943, Clarence enlisted in the army. He took his basic training in Camp Abbott (now Sunriver, Ore.) and trained as a demolition specialist. He was assigned to the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division (Red Arrow Division). He served in four major campaigns in New Guinea, Southern Phillippines and Luzon, fighting as a flame thrower operator. Clarence was awarded the Bronze Star for his meritorious actions in the Villa Verde Trail campaign on Luzon. Before coming home, Clarence was part of the occupying force in Sasebo and Fukuoka Japan. He was a staff sergeant by his discharge in January 1946.
Clarence was a head sawyer for Double D Lumber Company of Tolo. He retired in 1983, and took up golf with a vengeance. For years he bowled on several leagues with Medford Bowling Lanes and later Lava Lanes. He retired from bowling at age 89. In 1992, at 75 years of age, Clarence fulfilled a life long dream of learning how to fly. His instructor, local aviator Richard Jones, was 80 at the time. Other retirement activities included travel, hunting, fishing, reading and spending time with his family.
Clarence is survived by his daughter, Pamela J. (Al) Oligino, of Laguna Beach, Calif.; three grandsons, Sean (Patrizia) Cook, of Sardinia, Italy, Michael Freeman and Andrew Freeman of Brea, Calif.; two great-grandsons, Thomas and Jan Cook of Sardinia, Italy; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Clarence was preceded in death by his wife, Helen L. Freeman; son, Howard E. Freeman; parents, Thomas and Joanna Freeman; brother, Howard A. Freeman; and sister, Sadie (Milton) Durham.
Arrangements by Conger-Morris Central Point Chapel, 541-664-3361. Services at Conger-Morris Chapel in Central Point on Saturday, December 3, 2011, at 1:00 p.m. Burial with the military honor guard and flag ceremony will be held on Friday, December 2, 2011, 2:00 p.m., at Hillcrest Memorial Park, 2201 N. Phoenix Road, Medford, OR. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Asante Hospice, Rogue Valley Medical Center Foundation, or a charity of your choice.