Long-time LINC commissioner Herby Freeman dies

LINC Commissioner Herb Freeman participates in a meeting in June 2013.

LINC Commissioner Herb Freeman participates in a meeting in June 2013.

Herby Freeman, an advocate for mental health issues and a long-time LINC commissioner died July 11. Freeman served on the commission since 2002. He was 81.

Visitation will be Saturday, July 20, at 8:30 a.m., with services to follow at 10 a.m., at St. Monica Catholic Church, 1616 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., 64108.



Herby Marshall Freeman was born on July 6, 1938 in Brookhaven, Mississippi to Sam Freeman and Julia Brent Freeman. He was an only child. His transition to eternal rest occurred on July11, 2019 at 8:30 am. He lived in Brookhaven until 1956 when he moved to Kansas City, Missouri after his graduation from Alexander High School. He enrolled in Rockhurst College as a part time student initially. In 1976 he earned an Associate Degree from Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City after taking classes while working full time. He worked at Allied Signal Bendix from 1960 to 1993 as a quality control specialist where he retired after 33 years. 

He met Edith Newton in 1956 and they married on December 6, 1959. They were married for 48 years until 2007. To their union three children were born. Throughout those years Herb was a proud and involved father to his children David, Meredith, and Karen Freeman. All three cherish his enduring love for them throughout the years and remember a rich family life as children and teenagers at home and during holidays, travel, and other special times. As his health began to deteriorate, his children became part of his health support team, He remained supportive and involved in all of their lives and in the lives of his grandchildren.

In his later years Herb and his companion, Retha Lindsey, together with her sons Alex and Aaron and their families, celebrated holidays together and participated in many social and family experiences. In addition, Herb and Retha traveled together all over the United States and also visited relatives and friends. Retha and Tony Ellis were also part of his health support team during his final illness and transition.

Herb Freeman with LINC site coordinators at a 2019 luncheon for the Black Archives of Mid-America

Herb Freeman with LINC site coordinators at a 2019 luncheon for the Black Archives of Mid-America

Herby was known as “Herb” Freeman throughout the metropolitan area. He joined Ward Chapel A.M.E. Church and was a member until 1966. Then he became a devoted member and church leader of St Monica Catholic  Church (formerly St. Joseph Catholic Church). He believed in and was committed to mentoring children and youth. Therefore he was the chair of St. Monica’s school board, one of the school’s athletic coaches, and St. Monica’s representative on numerous committees for the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese.

Herb served on several state boards, including the State Advisory Committee of the Missouri Department of Mental Health. He also served on local community boards, including the Local Investment Commission (LINC). And he served as an informal advisor to other community organizations, like the Black Economic Union (BEU). He often represented Allied Signal and his union, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers - Local 314, throughout the 33 years of his employment. 

In his “spare” time Herb enjoyed listening to jazz, blues, and rhythm and blues music, He had an eclectic love of music and was especially proud of his collection of 78 inch blues records given to him by a relative. Herb was an avid reader and collected the works of classic and contemporary African American authors. And as most family members and friends remember he enjoyed travel within the U.S., throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and Africa over the years. Most of all he enjoyed sharing his numerous pictures and tales about those travels with relatives and friends.  Herb was preceded in death by his parents Sam and Julia Freeman. He leaves many other family members and friends to cherish their rich memories of him: including his children David Charles, Meredith, and Karen; grandchildren David Samuel (Morgane), Theodore, and Olivia (LaWanda); cousins Leonard Irons Sr., Leonard Irons Jr, Diane Whitney, Linda Campbell, Susan Shields, Charles Robinson, Pete Robinson, Sylvester Robinson Jr., Valerie Lisk, James Whitney (Tia), Christopher Irons (Natalie), Michael Bennett (Kelli); and many other close friends including Edith Freeman, Retha Lindsey, Clarence Parker, Nate Brown (Richetta), Naleathon and Zella Byers, Tony Ellis, Alex Lindsey (Angela), Aaron Lindsey (Latisha) and a host of other friends and  acquaintances.  A 10:00 a.m. Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at St. Monica Catholic Church 1616 Paseo Blvd. KCMO 64109.  Visitation 8:00 a.m.  Private Disposition. 

Obituary from Lawrence A. Jones & Sons Funeral Chapels

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