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William James Freeman

Dr. William James Freeman, MD, avid pilot, outdoorsman, businessman, and physician passed away Sunday, October 23rd, due to complications from a car accident, and having just turned 81 on Friday.

Born among the wheat fields in Colfax, Washington, he excelled in school and golf, and worked the fields during the summers. He attended the University of Washington with a major in zoology, was a Sigma Chi, and graduated magna cum laude. 

Following in his father’s and his grandfather’s profession, he pursued medicine and was accepted at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, graduating in 1967. He completed specialty training otolaryngology (ENT), reconstructive plastic surgery, and immunology with training at Columbia University Hospital in New York City, University of Hawaii-Honolulu, and finally at University of Alabama-Birmingham. 

One of his passions was aviation, and he joined the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam war. He was trained to be a flight surgeon and flew as co-pilot of the F4 Phantom. From there, his passion really took off with adventure trips during the 1970’s, flying to Alaska, circumnavigating South America, around the islands of Hawai’i to name just a few. 

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In 1977, he met his soul mate, Patsy, while practicing in the quad-cities in northwestern Alabama. Their tied passion of international travel brough them together, and they were married in 1978. In 1983, he moved his family to Tullahoma, where he started his successful medical practice serving the four surrounding cities. 

They had many adventures – and mis-adventures – while traveling to more than 80 countries resulted in amazing and sometimes very funny stories. A particular passion of his was exotic hunting and went on a number of African Safaris, but also hunts to Siberia for brown bear, and the North Pole for polar bear. He also was an avid fisherman and was always looking for the best fishing holes whether local or in Alaska.

Bill had a natural ability to do things against the grain whether that be in his medical profession, his business ideas, or his ideas for vacations. This completely unique quality coupled with his wide knowledge of things brought many unique discoveries and experiences for him, his family, friends, and his patients – all of whom he cared for deeply.

He was a devoted husband, caring and teaching father and grandfather. He brought his family on many trips, and instilled a passion for travel, activities, and the great outdoors in them.

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He was a devote Catholic his whole life, and took special interest in learning about God, the life of Jesus, and developing his spirituality. 

He is survived by his devoted wife of 44 years, Patsy, children- Devlen (Marie), Keri (Ron), Bill (Anait), & grandchildren – Dylan, Alyssa, Blake, Leonardo, Elena, Genevieve, and Tristan. He is also survived by his brother – Dr. Richard Freeman, and brother-in-law – Frank Green. We thank all of our family and friends for the love , support, and prayer during this difficult time and we look forward to seeing him again one day.

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