Professor David H. FreemanProfessor David H. Freeman

David Haines Freeman, former professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Maryland, College Park, died in his sleep at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. on October 28, 2019, where his family had gathered. The cause of death was lung cancer, according to his wife Linda R. Freeman.

Professor Freeman’s research focused on separation methods, and included pioneering work with ion-exchange resins, chemical and isotope micro standards, and new methods in liquid and gas chromatography. He used this expertise to study molecules in oils and ancient sediments and contaminants in the environment, including in the Chesapeake Bay.

Professor Freeman began his career as an assistant professor at Washington State University, transferred his research interests to the National Bureau of Standards, where he was recognized for establishing highly precise standards for isotope measurements, and finally returned to academia at the University of Maryland, where he did research and taught for 25 years. He collaborated with colleagues around the world, as well as locally at the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Active in professional service throughout his career, he served as president of the Chemical Society of Washington (1980-81) and as Chair of a Gordon Research Conference (1977).

Dave Freeman was born in Rochester, New York on June 24, 1931. He attended schools in the Irondequoit suburb of that city and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1952 with a BS in chemistry. He earned a master’s degree in chemistry at Carnegie Institute (now Carnegie Mellon University), completed a Ph.D. in chemistry at M.I.T. in 1957 and did post-doctoral research there for another two years.

While still a graduate student at M.I.T., Dave met Linda at a dance at her college (Wellesley). Their marriage lasted for 63 years and produced four children: Charles (husband Michael), Katherine (husband Mark), George (wife Anne), and William (wife Courtney). He and Linda were the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.

Even before his retirement, Professor Freeman followed his passion for art by taking studio art courses at the university, and afterward he also mastered advanced forms of digital photography, teaching that subject in several programs, most recently in the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at American University.

Always active physically, Dave Freeman enjoyed vigorous down-hill skiing from early childhood up to and including the year of his death. He also played varsity tennis when younger and was an enthusiastic hiker in coastal Maine and the hills of Pennsylvania. He and Linda loved to travel and for many years hiked with groups in Greece, Italy, and England. For over 30 years he and Linda sailed his boats, based in Annapolis, from Chesapeake Bay up the Atlantic coast to Penobscot Bay in Maine. He also sailed three times from Annapolis to Bermuda. His crews for these trips were made up of family members and friends.

Dave Freeman served as a vestry member and junior warden of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bethesda. A member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. since 1977, he served on several club committees and was chair of its arts and its photography committees.

Dave Freeman’s survivors include his wife Linda, his four children, Charles (Palm Beach Gardens, FL), Katherine (State College, PA), George (Palm Harbor, FL) and William (Silver Spring, MD), and his seven grandchildren. A Requiem Holy Eucharist will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bethesda, MD on Saturday, November 23 at 2 p.m. Interment will be in the church garden.


– Linda R. Freeman and Katherine H.Freeman

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