Elizabeth Irene "Granny" FreemanSeptember 16, 1936 ~ December 12, 2019 (age 83)
Elizabeth Irene Freeman, was born September 16, 1936, the sixth of Arval and Ilona Keeling's ten children. She was born on her father's 33rd birthday and named after her paternal grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Keeling, which according to family lore caused Arval to be a bit partial to the little girl with green eyes and beautiful olive complexion.
Growing up on the Keeling farm in Calvert City, Irene and her siblings were taught the importance of faith, family, and "a good name." By the time she was fifteen she'd met and fallen in love with a young man in an Air Force uniform, named Harrel Freeman. On June 8, 1952, she and Harrel eloped, beginning an adventure which lasted more than sixty years and produced three sons, seven grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren. Irene and Harrel purchased the Keeling family home in the 1980's and spent their remaining years in the rock house built by her father and mother.
Faith, family and friends were driving forces throughout Irene's life.
She attended First Baptist Church and was saved as a young girl. She was secure in her faith and often shared the gospel with others. She led several people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ including Harrel , Steve and Bob.
Irene was the rock of her family. She was a helpmate to her husband and a wonderful mother to her boys. She considered motherhood a joy and wanted her sons to have the best life offered. She was the epitome of a near perfect grandmother. She was “Granny”, not only to her own grandchildren, but also to nieces, nephews, friends, neighbors and random strangers. She often entertained little ones with stories of magical alligators and elves. She chauffeured trips to Hematite Lake for picnics and fishing. She provided hugs, security and encouragement. She spoiled without apology. Everyone should have had a granny like Granny!
Irene loved to be around people. She had a warm smile, a wicked sense of humor and a personality that drew people to her. A warm welcome, a pot of hot coffee and a place at the table were always available at Irene's. Her kitchen table was our compass. The place where she fed the multitudes her famous fried chicken, steak and rice, and fried potatoes. A refuge where she gave advice, discussed the scriptures or quietly listened to problems over a cup of coffee or a glass of her legendary sweet tea. Simply put, Irene made time for her family and friends. Sitting at her table was a little piece of heaven on earth.
Irene is survived by her two sons, Steve Freeman and wife Teresa, and Bob Freeman and wife Donna; three sisters, Aleen Ford, Wanda Evans and husband Larry, Neeta Hale and husband Mike; one brother, James Keeling and wife Shelda; five grandsons, Todd Freeman, Chad Freeman, Nathan Freeman, Bryan Freeman, and Michael Egner; two granddaughters, Amanda Bohannon and Lynsey David; sixteen great grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harrel C. Freeman; one son, Rodney Lynn Freeman; one sister, Linda Beck; four brothers, Thomas Keeling, Leland Loy Keeling, M.R. Keeling, and Johnny Keeling; and her parents.
The lessons she taught and the legacy of the love she left will be passed down for generations. She will be greatly missed, but we rejoice in her homecoming and find comfort knowing she is present with the Lord.
And now these things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is LOVE.
1 Corinthians 13:13
Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at Filbeck-Cann Funeral Home of Milner & Orr. Bro. Jimmy Franks and Bro. James Keeling will be officiating. Burial will follow at Calvert City Cemetery.
Visitation will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Filbeck-Cann Funeral Home of Milner & Orr.