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James Melvin Freed

James Melvin Freed, 80, of Delaware, Ohio, passed away on Saturday, April 13, 2019. He was born on a farm in Garfield County, Oklahoma, on April 6, 1939, the son of B Leon and Ada Myrtle (Moyers) Freed. He was a member of Okeene High School Class of 1957. As president of that class, Jim felt that he had a responsibility to keep the class together by fostering communication between the classmates. In 2007 he was given an Alumni Recognition Award for outstanding achievement in education and professional contributions. He was a faithful subscriber of the Okeene Record since 1957.

Jim received his Bachelor of Science (magna com laude) in 1961 from McPherson College in Kansas. In 1996 the McPherson College Board of Trustees awarded Dr. Freed an Alumni Citation of Merit for exemplary service to his profession.

Dr. Freed received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois. During his last year at the university, he joined an expedition to the Gulf of Alaska, studying invertebrates and their acclimation to different temperatures. In 1969, he joined the faculty of Ohio Wesleyan University where he taught genetics, anatomy, and cellular physiology in the Department of Zoology for 32 years. He was involved with the Ohio Academy of Science’s State Science Day for 24 years, including being the director for most of those years. In 1991, the Ohio House of Representatives selected him as an Ohio Academy of Science Centennial honoree.

On August 16, 1969, Jim married his beloved wife, Judith V. Miley, in Muncie, Indiana. Jim and Judi were dedicated to researching extensive family history. With the help of sixty chapter editors around the USA, Jim edited a 1000 page book on his Mason-White family, researching and writing the early genealogical history in a well-documented and completely indexed volume of which he sold 1000 copies. With this editing background and with his experience in genetics, Jim became interested in genetic genealogy. He was a pioneer in this field of study using Family Tree DNA to confirm or deny family relationships and connections. With that experience he started giving genetic genealogy presentations all over the USA, in Ireland, and on a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea. After a presentation in Denver, he was invited to give the same presentation to the National Genealogical Society. Jim was president of the Delaware County Genealogical Society for three years.

Jim and Judi traveled extensively and visited many of the countries in Europe, as well as Russia, China, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, and the Galapagos islands. Having lived in Delaware for nearly 50 years, they were members of Asbury United Methodist Church and Jim served on numerous committees.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Judi; his daughter Jana Loel (Freed) Wynett (Jon) of Boulder, Colorado; his son Jonathan David Freed (Shannon) of Buchtel, Ohio; five grandchildren, Jeremy James and Jackson Riley Wynett, and Atticus David, Adalyn Sue, and Ardenne Isabel Freed; three brothers, Ronald B Freed of McPherson, Kansas; Merlin David Freed (Nancy) of Vici, Oklahoma; Robert V. Freed (Barbara) of Okeene, Oklahoma; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

Visiting hours will be held at the Snyder Funeral Homes, 101 Valleyside Drive, Delaware, Ohio, from 7:00-8:30 pm on Friday, April 19, 2019. A memorial service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, April 20, at Asbury United Methodist Church, 55 W. Lincoln Avenue, Delaware, Ohio, with a reception following.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jim’s memory to Asbury United Methodist Church (55 W. Lincoln Avenue, Delaware, Ohio 43015), McPherson College fund (online), Ohio Wesleyan Jane Decker Arboretum Fund or Ohio Wesleyan Jed and Bam Burtt Fund (online), or the Delaware County Genealogical Society (84 East Winter Street, Delaware, Ohio 43015).

The Okeene Record

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