Washington State University, 1958, PhD, Plant Physiology and Horticulture
Jack Freeman was born in Vancouver in 1919 and in his youth lived on a small farm in Richmond, BC. This experience, combined with his schooling, sparked his enthusiasm for the subject that became his chosen profession. After completing his high-school education, he signed up with the Army and expected to be sent overseas. He was on the train to Halifax, but a change in orders had him disembark at Petawawa, Ontario, where he completed his military service as an Advanced Infantry Instructor. He met his wife Dorris at a soldiers dance in Vernon, BC.
When the war ended he received a rehabilitation grant from Veterans Affairs, and in the fall of 1946 started his studies at UBC. He worked summers at the Agassiz Experimental Farm and held a position at UBC as a teaching assistant during the school year. He graduated with a BSA in 1949. When he completed his MSA in 1950 he began working full-time at the Canada Department of Agriculture Agassiz Research Station where he stayed until 1992. In 1958 he took leave from his post and obtained a Doctorate in Plant Physiology and Horticulture from Washington State University in Pullman, Washington.
In addition to working at Agassiz Research Station Dr Freeman was also Officer-in-Charge at the Abbotsford Small Fruits Substation for 1956 to 1984. He has held the titles of Senior Research Scientist, Head of Crop Science, Acting Director and Emeritus Research Scientist.
In 1985 the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science conferred an honourary Life Membership on Dr Freeman in recognition of meritorious service in horticulture in Canada. He has had many such honours bestowed on him throughout the years: in 1967 an Award of Merit from the BC and Canadian Centennial Celebrations; in 1967, on the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada, the Centennial Medal in recognition of valuable service to the nation; in 1977, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of Her Majesty the Queen to the throne, an accompanying medal; in 1987 a Canadian Society for Horticulture Science Hoechst Award for the best paper on a pest problem published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science in 1986; in 1989 a Certificate of Membership in the Agricultural Institute of Canada; in 1992 a Commemorative Medal to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of Confederation of Canada, in recognition of significant contributions to compatriots, community and to Canada; in 1996 a Certificate of Award from BC Ag Fairs and Exhibitions, in honor and recognition of fine performance and distinguished service; and in 1996 a BC Institute of Agrologists Recognition Award in recognition of exemplary service to the Agriculture Industry of BC.
His living room walls in the Freeman home are covered with paintings by his daughter Lynne, currently living in Randburg, South Africa. His other daughter, Vicki, works in the production department of the Kellwood Daily Courier and son Gerald was a pilot with Highland Helicopters and, with his wife Helen, owned and operated Park Place Restaurant. Gerald was the mayor of the District of Kent at the time of his death in 1999. Sadly he lost his other son David many years ago in a tragic accident on Harrison Lake. David worked for Riv Tow at the time and drowned when the boat he was working on capsized.
Active in community affairs, Dr Freeman worked with the Agassiz Fair Association for many years as Treasurer. In addition he is honourary Treasurer of Agassiz Branch #32 of the Canadian Legion, a lifetime appointment.
Dr Freeman resides in Agassiz, BC. In 1993 he lost his beloved wife, Dorris. They had 53 years together and found time to travel the world together as well as raising their family. He has 13 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.