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February 10, 2013

Chester Freeman remembered for community building

CULLMAN — Chester Freeman, a Cullman area civic leader who was the driving force behind the city’s Field of Miracles and other recreational facilities, passed away early Saturday. He was 90 years old.

According to a family member, Freeman died around 6 a.m. after a recent illness.

Freeman was involved in parks and recreation development in Cullman for more than 30 years. He served on the City of Cullman’s parks and recreation board as well as the national board. He had also been a member of the Cullman Lions since 1955, just less than a year after the organization was chartered locally.

John Hunt, director of the city’s parks system once said of Freeman: “Anything good that happens in Cullman, Chester is a part of it.”

By Saturday, as news of Freeman’s passing began to spread across the community, former Cullman Mayor Don Green recalled a man who worked only for the community to become a better place to live.

“Chester probably gave more volunteer hours than anyone in the history of Cullman,” Green said. “He had a genuine care for our community. There was no monetary value for him in what he did. He was a once-in-a-lifetime person. He didn’t care if he got credit for anything; he was happy as long as things got done. This is a great loss for community.”

Cullman Lions Club member Jim Howard said Freeman was a dedicated servant in his long history with the organization.

“He had perfect attendance all those years. He also played a big role in the fair, not as a member of the board, but as an adviser. When he had an idea you knew you needed to listen, investigate and get it done,” Howard said.

Freeman served in World War II and was decorated during his time of service.

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