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Ray Winston Freeman, M.D.
Funeral Services will be Monday June 4, 2018

(06/01/18 Insider Obituary Archives) - The newspaper clippings collected over a lifetime cannot fully tell the story of Ray Winston Freeman, M.D., a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, uncle, physician and life-long friend of Hale County Texas. A true Renaissance Man if there ever was, Dr. Ray Freeman died May 30, 2018, in Plainview, Texas, completing a remarkable lifetime of achievement and service.

Born December 18, 1922 on a ranch in Stephens County Texas, to Ora Elizabeth Williams Freeman and Roscoe Albert Freeman, Dr. Ray Freeman, was the fourth of five children, one of whom died at birth. Following the death of his father in 1927, his mother moved the family to Bosque County, Texas. Graduating from Meridian High School in 1940 with the highest honor, he attended Trinity Christian University and Texas Wesleyan, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with honors in 1946. Upon receiving his Doctor of Medicine in 1950 from Southwestern Medical School, he completed his training as an intern at Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, Texas during the Korean War as a First Lieutenant in the Medical Corps. He then completed his residency at E.A. Conway Memorial Hospital, Monroe, Louisiana.

Like many men of the greatest generation, Dr. Freeman's college education was interrupted while in service to his country. He served in World War II in the Asiatic South Pacific theatre with the United States Joint Purchasing Board (USJPB) in New Zealand.

On February 28, 1943 Ray married Lila Govett. They moved their family to Hale Center in March of 1952 where he practiced medicine for 38 years. A highly respected physician, his compassion for his patients and his willingness to share his experience and knowledge with other doctors helped make the Hale Center hospital a major care unit on the South Plains. Through his continued efforts the small 8-bed hospital soon developed into a modern facility with a pharmacy and nursing home. Because of his dedication to the medical field and to his patients Dr. Freeman was one of the top nominees for the 1990 Texas Family Physician of the Year. His vast knowledge and experience was not limited to helping train local staff members. He served as a Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine for the Texas Tech School of Medicine. Since his coming to the community, Dr. Freeman preformed approximately 5,500-6,000 surgeries, delivered over 2,000 babies and made countless house calls. He was a diplomate of The American Board of Family Practice and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

The same surgeon hands that can operate with precision and mastery also bring life to canvass with the same qualities. Always interested in art, his first attempts were with pen and ink drawings and charcoal. In high school he studied architectural and mechanical drawing. He studied oil painting as a student at Texas Wesleyan. While on a two-year stint with the U.S. Army in New Zealand in World War II, he experimented with oil painting while living with a family of New Zealanders whose son was an artist. Medical school and residency along with the long hours that were required of a doctor, interfered with his hobby for more than two decades. But in 1979, Dr. Freeman took up the medium of watercolor and has confined his work to this medium since that time. His most famous painting - the one which hung in the office of former Texas House Speaker Peter Laney - depicts Walter House, the former ranch foreman at the YO Ranch in Kerrville, sitting on his horse. House died just before Freeman finished the painting, which is why physician-turned-artist titled the picture, "Last Trail Drive."

Seven years after the death of his first wife, Ray married Marjorie Dulin in Hale Center on July 11, 1987. The couple were the driving force behind the murals which adorn many of the buildings in Hale Center. He painted the first one and local artists banded with him in producing some 16 others, all within two-blocks of Main Street. Many other county residents contributed in many ways to make it possible.

He was a member of Plains Art Association for years. He was also a member of American Physicians Art Association which he served as President in 1998-1999 and earlier as secretary-treasurer. He won over 140 awards in juried shows, exhibited four selected works in Cork Gallery at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York. His work has been displayed in civic and convention centers in Chicago, San Francisco, Orlando, New Orleans, Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Nashville, and Atlanta. His painting, "Yellow Grosbeak," was featured in the Wyeth-Ayrst calendar for 1992. His watercolors are displayed in many private and corporate collections.

As recently as 2016, Dr. Freeman received the annual Silver Star Award from the Plainview Cultural Arts Council, for his outstanding support of the fine arts. He was nominated by the Plains Art Association and Abraham Family Art Gallery.

Known to his close friends and family as 'Speedy', a nickname given as a result of his fast service while working in a drive in during his college years, he was known as a gentleman, to be inquisitive and diligent, kind in his responses, brilliant, reliable, and possessing a quick wit. He was a devout Christian and a faithful servant to his church, from teaching to singing. He spent many happy hours nurturing his Japanese Garden in Hale Center. In his younger years, he would just as soon go fishing, hunting or spending time at "The Land" he once owned in central Texas. He was an Eagle Scout and active Scout supporter. He liked to play the piano and loved ballroom dancing. He truly was a Renaissance Man who valued learning and life.

He is survived by wife Marjorie, as well as his three children; Tricia Bell of Tn, Ray Winston Freeman, Jr. and wife, Kathy, of Liberty, Mo, and Michelle Heath and husband Jody, of Flower Mound, Texas, and two step children, Debbie Price and husband Mike of Hale Center, and Jack Eddie Dulin and wife Marilyn of Clyde, Texas, as well as 15 grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Lila Govett Freeman in 1980 and also by his three brothers, Horace A. Freeman, James Hershall Freeman, Ross E. Freeman and half-sister, Sonja Bynum Daniels.

The family would like to thank the Administration and Staff of Santa Fe Place Senior Living Facility and Staff of Area Community Hospice for their love and care of Speedy.

Memorial Service will be held Monday June 4, 2018 at 10:00am at the First United Methodist Church, 202 W. Stevenson, Hale Center, Texas followed by a reception and family visitation in the Fellowship Hall. Memorials can be sent to the First Methodist Church, Hale Center or the Hale Center Beautification Committee.

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