It Takes a Family to Comfort a Family
Dr. John D. Freed
ohn D. Freed, 79, died on June 8, 2021, at his home in Newport News, Virginia. He was surrounded by his family that he so dearly loved.
John was the son of Murray and Virginia Freed and was born in Long Island New York. At a very young age, the family moved to Clear Spring, Maryland, a town of 300 people, and the farming community where his mother was raised on the family farm. He and his sister were raised by their mother in this old-time American community. It was one of his most favorite times where he learned to fish, hunt and explore as young boys did then. He grew up with solid American values.
John is survived by his wife of 21 years, Tyra M. Freed; daughters, Jennifer F. Hall (Chris), Laura E. Freed and son, Stephen A. Sexton; grandchildren, Madeline, Lillian and Christian; sister, Mary Lou Pokrowka of Chambersburg, Pa.; and nephews, Gary Greene and Paul Pokrowka. He was preceded in death by his father, Murray Freed; mother, Virginia Morton; step-father, Walter Morton; grandfather, Samuel Schnebly; grandmother, Mary F. Schnebly; grandfather, David Freed; grandmother, Anna Freed; and uncles, Jack Barr Schnebly, John Schnebly, and Louis Schnebly.
John received his B.S. degree from Lynchburg College in 1964 and his D.V.M. degree from Michigan State University in 1968. Upon graduation from veterinary school, he received the Upjohn Pharmaceutical Award as the outstanding student in his class. It was an award voted on by his classmates and the faculty jointly.
Upon graduation, John enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and served as a captain in the veterinary corps for 2 years. During that time he was responsible for the sentry dog program for the Air Force. He opened his veterinary practice on August 6, 1973, in Hampton, Virginia. He retired from full-time practice in 2002 but continued on a part-time basis with his hospital until his death. He not only loved veterinary medicine, but he cherished the lasting relationships he built with his clients over the years.
John had the honor and pleasure to serve as president of the Greater Peninsula Veterinary Medical Association for 8 continuous terms, was past president of the Tidewater Veterinary Medical Association, and served as a representative to the State Veterinary Medical Society. He encouraged his colleagues to not advertise, but rather rely on good words from clients to spread the word about you and your practice. “Clients will come to you if they like you and they will stay with you.” He loved his fellow veterinarians and felt so pleased to be part of their community. He simply liked being a veterinarian and felt honored to be part of the profession.
He was a member of American Veterinary Medical Association, Virginia Veterinary Medical Association, Greater Peninsula Veterinary Medical Association and was one of the founding members of Peninsula Veterinary Associates and the Emergency Veterinary Clinic on Route 17, Yorktown, Va. He was a member of James River Country Club, Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton Roads Assembly, and Hampton Roads Cotillion. He served on the board of First Peninsula Bank.
John continued his love for the outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman, and golfer. Over his lifetime, he traveled to most of our western states, Europe, and Africa big game hunting. He had his first rifle at age 9 and spent many days on their farm outdoors walking the fields. He was a founding member of Peninsula Bass Masters in 1971. John loved to be in the kitchen. Their pantry was always stocked with canned vegetables, chutney, pickles, and the like. Family dinners were important and most evenings were enjoyed at home rather than in a restaurant. He loved sharing his cooking with friends and neighbors and they were his guinea pigs on new recipes.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday, June 15 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601. A funeral service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, 45 Main St, Newport News, VA 23601.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Dr. Freed’s memory to PARC Emergency Veterinary Clinic, Good Samaritan Fund, c/o Karin Fary, Director of Operations, 1120 George Washington Memorial Hwy., Yorktown, VA 23693.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home.