Celebrating the Life
Katherine Ann Freeman


"Lord, teach us to number our days."   -- Moses

Arthur's Message Board

Arthur's Tribute Page

Katherine's Tribute Page  Katherine's Message Board
  Arthur's Photo Gallery    Katherine's Photo Gallery  


~ Katherine Ann Freeman ~


November 28, 1918 - February 14, 2009
90 years of age



A memorial service was held on Monday, February 23rd in Vancouver, BC.
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

Donations may be made in Katherine's honor at GFA.org or OMships.org


After 65 years of marriage, Katherine and Arthur passed into eternity a mere 33 days apart!


Near the top of the page you will see links to more photos of Katherine, along with a
message board for you to leave your thoughts, feelings and fond memories of Katherine.
Arthur's tribute page, photo gallery and message board are also linked above.
You are about to meet two remarkable people...




   Earth has lost one of the most saintly people.

                                               Heaven has gained a precious treasure.

   Proverbs 31:26-28 states it well, "She speaks with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her."

   A definition of success: "Those who are closest to you love you the most." If this is a valid concept of a public/private life of integrity -- a life well lived -- Katherine Freeman (Oma, to her grandchildren) was one of the many unsung heroes who have journeyed their way through life on this planet...who have epitomized this statement.

   Katherine's main focus in life truly was heaven. Loving and serving her family (Arthur, Nancy, Stephen, Joel and Beth) was the main purpose of her life. She was the heart of the family. Studying the Bible, singing/humming hymns around the house and prayer were the main disciplines that cascaded down from her consciousness of living for all eternity with Jesus. And did she pray!!!

   Eternity will reveal it all. On earth we view some people as celebrities and others as important world leaders. Perhaps it's an upside down view of eternal reality. While in later years Katherine was physically frail, there is no doubt that in heaven Katherine was (and is) viewed as one who impacted the world from her knees. Smashing beyond the four walls of her bedroom...doing battle in the invisible realm. A world leader, a commanding general, someone who lived the warrior ethos -- known and respected by angels everywhere. Feared by demons throughout the universe. Famous in heaven. Famous in hell. 

   Is this an overstatement? We'll see...

Katherine Ann Freeman, 1942
Graduate of Gordon College, BA
-- Photo Gallery --
-- Message Board --
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

   Here is an unsolicited note from a family friend who visited Katherine while she was in the hospital: "I've been to Burnaby General a few times in the past couple of weeks... elderly parents of good friends are there, possibly close to their "glory going time." They are 90 and 91, married 64 years. The wife is possibly the most passionate person I know when it comes for a deep heart love for Jesus and pleasing him. I think all of Heaven will roar when she passes through the gates. Although she is not in any pain or really ill... just old age, she is so eager for her time to go, and just for the sake of seeing Jesus that she is almost pained by staying here, although she dearly loves her husband, kids, grand kids, etc. One of those people who, when you are with them, you almost feel you are trespassing on holy ground."

   Funk & Wagnall's dictionary defines the word godly as "filled with love for God." W.E Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words states that the term godly is "...characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is pleasing to Him...the reverence of God..." Katherine's name should be included in both definitions as a down-to-earth illustration of the meaning of the word.

   Katherine had her heart and mind on the invisible much of the time -- almost like she had one foot in heaven and the other foot on a banana peel. With her love for eternity, she was still very practical about life here on earth. You've heard of the phrase that depicts hyper-spirituality: "She's so heavenly minded that she's of no earthly good." Well...the phrase that's true about Katherine changes it up a bit with an opposite meaning, "She was heavenly minded so that she could be of greater earthly good."

   A hard worker. Uncomplaining. Never an unkind word about anyone else. Giving until it hurts and then giving some more. Would give her full attention when talking with you. Extremely frugal. Loved her HUGE vegetable garden, which us kids had to weed. A big fan of vitamin pills, cod liver oil, flax seeds, carrot juice (drank so much my hands seemed to turn a subtle shade of orange...honest), liverburgers (her version of Hamburger Helper...50% liver & 50% hamburger -- awful!), brewers yeast (yuk), pep-up health drink concoction (triggered the gag reflex), etc.

   Enthusiastic about projects, like unusual campmobile designs, that would provide basic traveling accommodations without the need for staying at motels or eating at restaurants. Well educated. Intelligent. Fluent in German ("aber junge!"), with a rudimentary understanding of Russian. Very focused on some things, absent-minded about other things. A "packrat" of odd items like Mason jars. An incredible wife, mother, sister, daughter, grandmother, aunt, friend and neighbor. It's all true.

   She endeared herself to others in such a genuinely "unselfconscious" manner. Plain and simple: To know her was to love her. But everyone who knew her...knew that her ultimate focused attention was truly on heaven.

   Katherine had a regimen. On certain days of the week she would pray for certain people and certain countries. If she had met a person she would remember details about that person that were uncanny. Months later she would ask, "So, how is so and so?" And then she would recount aspects of their life that were obviously part of her prayer regimen.

  Katherine was a selfless person who modeled putting others ahead of her personal desires. By the way, once you are finished reading this page about Katherine, feel free to visit Arthur's tribute page HERE. The following vignette about Katherine (told by Nancy Freeman Brown) was characteristic of her life:

   In 1954, our family of four, with a baby on the way, moved into an old Litchfield, Maine parsonage that lacked indoor plumbing. Dad (Arthur) was the principal of Litchfield Academy, and the interim pastor of two local churches.  Having a great love for the local young people, our parents started a youth group that quickly outgrew their small quarters. Knowing that Mom (Katherine) was about to have a third child, the head of the church board approached her about building an indoor bathroom. 

   Mom thoughtfully considered their tempting proposal, but said, “No.”  Her desire was that they take the funds and remodel the shed, attached to the house, into a youth meeting room.  She knew the next occupants of the parsonage would get a bathroom; however, the youth would not get their meeting room.  The board did as she desired, and the church had a thriving youth group for a number of years, while we, as a family, continued to use the outdoor facilities.

  If there was one thing that Katherine struggled with in the early years it was the spirit of fear. Tracing back to her childhood one could understand why. She was born in the Ukraine during the height of the Russian Revolution. It was a time of upheaval, with her father (a respected educator) and mother experiencing much uncertainty at this time before taking advantage of a small window of opportunity to come over to Canada, with the help of the Mennonites.

   Her father (Gerhard Schroeder) had his life threatened numerous times by bandits who thought of life as of little to no value. The stories we have read in Gerhard's book, Miracles of Grace and Judgment, are gripping enough. Who knows what Katherine saw, heard or felt during the first four or five years of her life that will never be chronicled in any book but were a part of her psyche?

   (Feel free to come back to read about Gerhard Schroeder's experiences in Russia after you have read the rest of Katherine's tribute, viewed the photo gallery, pictures of the memorial service, and then shared your words of encouragement on the message board. You will be rewarded with a new perspective about the Russian Revolution.)

   Happiness and depression never mix. Joy and sorrow mix all the time. We're still here, but she has arrived...with a celestial reception beyond description. Who will pick up her mantle of intercessory prayer?

   "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Katherine has a front row seat), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith..." Hebrews 12:1-2.

Click on image to visit
Photo Gallery

   Vignettes (verbal snapshots) of Katherine: 

  • Humming hymns while washing dishes, cooking or scrubbing the kitchen floor...

  • Apologizing for something benign, wanting to make sure that there was no offense so that she was keeping short accounts with the Holy Spirit and with the other person...

  • On her knees, deeply in prayer by her bed, with the Daily Light open before her...

  • Pushing clothes down into the agitated water of the old wringer washing machine in the basement of the apartment in Three Hills...

  • Sitting at a desk writing an encouraging letter or note to yet another person...



We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.
Rather, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.



A memorial service was held on Monday, February 23rd in Vancouver, BC.
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

Donations may be made in Katherine's honor at GFA.org or OMships.org


~~~~~~~~~~~ Steve Freeman's Memories ~~~~~~~~~~~

   Conway Twitty released a song years ago entitled “Who Will Pray For Me Now That Mama's Gone?”. My siblings and their families will all greatly miss Oma's powerful prayers. She prayed for us every day but she had certain days each week set aside for intercessory prayer for her individual children. Psalm 116:14 says, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”. Catholics have their saints in death. Mom was truly a living saint. She impacted all those who were privileged enough to have spent any significant time with her.

   Sometimes at funerals you hear such positive glowing words about the deceased that you wonder if they are talking about the same person you knew. The testimonies you will hear and read about my mother are the real thing – no embellishments – because she was the genuine Godly women of Proverbs 31. She was the same sweet person outside our home as she was in it. She never complained about her circumstances.

   At Prairie (PBI, Three Hills, Alberta), where we lived at near poverty levels, she praised God for the privilege of serving and training others for Christ. She lived Philippians 4:11, “For I have learned whatever state I am in, to be content”. She sang hymns with gusto all day as she cleaned the house, prepared meals, washed our clothes and hung them out to dry. We would hear hallelujahs as she put patches on the clothes she bought for us at the second-hand Tillie Shop. She stretched a dime into a dollar as she filled our bellies with goulash, mac and cheese, meatloaf and other basic staples.

   She was never depressed, never gossiped or maligned others. One time my sister Beth had to step in and tell a relative, who my mother was only sharing the love of Jesus with, that she could not communicate with mom again if she was going to keep ripping into her. My mother had no natural or developed defenses against nasty people. She did not live there.

L to R: Stephen Freeman, Nancy (Freeman) Brown,
Joel Freeman, Beth (Freeman) Hankinson -- 2007
[ Her children rise up and call her Blessed ]

   Once when I was younger, my mother came to me with tears streaming down her face as she begged my forgiveness for punishing me in anger. At this time in my life I was very familiar with corporal punishment administered with emotional zest and what my mother had just given me did not have that signature. But my mother insisted that she had felt anger in her heart toward me.

   Mom had no time for television or radio except to watch 700 Club or other Christian programs. She was too busy in her spare time reading her Bible and devotional material. Many a time I heard her praying for me on her knees as she implored the Lord to turn me around. At the age of twenty, I was involved in a lucrative business in Portland, Maine with my friend Ken LaRose. God put a burden on the heart of my mother to go visit me. My mother was a very tranquil women but she had a fire in her belly when it came to the spiritual condition of others especially her children. She was a real closer for God. I knew what was right but I was making too much money in something I should not have been involved with. Mom got me to admit that I really did want to follow the Lord. Then she told me to go get my Bible and write in it a date in the future when I would follow Jesus. God used this visit to turn my heart towards Him and I became a committed Christian soon after this visit. Her prayers and unconditional love would not release me to a satisfied ungodly life no matter how much I tried.

   Isaiah 55:11 states that "God's Word will not return empty, but will accomplish what God desires and achieve His purpose." Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is older he will not depart from it”. I was a product of this kind of parenting. Even though I rebelled as I grew older I could not turn from it. Every Saturday after cleaning my room and weeding a few rows in our immense garden, Mom made me learn a verse from the Bible before I could go out to play. These Bible verses still remain a part of me today. Inspiring and convicting me. She read to us stories of great Christians like Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd, George Mueller, D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday and others. My brother, Joel, and my favorite was “Land of the Giants” (by Harry Rimmer) which was probably read to us at least five times.

In 2003 Bruce and Nancy showed up, as a surprise, to visit dad and mom. This was the wonderful "mom" response when one of us kids arrived unannounced. I can almost see this same look of genuine affection & surprise when she saw Jesus -- face to face. It's a treasured glimpse into her heart of unconditional love. A classic "mom moment" captured forever in digital.

   My sons all have wonderful birthday cards, Christmas cards, letters and inscribed Bible story books from Oma and Opa. Each one is festooned with a Bible verse sticker and words of Godly encouragement from their Oma.

   I will always think of my mother when I hear some of the old hymns that she loved to sing. Songs like “O, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”, “Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah”, “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms”, "It Is Well With My Soul", “Rock of Ages”, "He Hideth My Soul", “Showers of Blessing”, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “God Be with You Until We Meet Again”. I was able to sing “God be with You Until We Meet Again” through my tears to my mother over the telephone in her final hours. Over the last few years whenever Mom was very sick you could always instantly lift her spirits by starting to sing an old hymn. She would be right there with you doing her best to sign along.

   My mother's greatest hearts desire was for all her children and grandchildren to serve the Lord. She lead by example as she lived a life completely devoted to God. She could only handle secular discussions for so long before she would gently steer the conversation to the spiritual dimension. My mother truly lived with her head in the cloud of Heavenly Places. She always reminded us to live for the Lord so we would have rewards to lay at the feet of Jesus. I believe my faithful mother is laying a mountain of rewards at the feet of Jesus right now.

   Mother was a beautiful women with a beautiful voice in her youth. She was voted College Sweetheart at Gordon College in Boston. She and her sister Margaret sang on the radio and in churches all over the country representing Gordon College. I see my mother in my mind today as she appeared in her youthful pictures. Restored as a young beautiful songbird radiating as she sings praises to her beloved Lord and Saviour.

   It was not a great transition from earth to heaven for her. She is Home!

   Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Imitate me just as I also imitate Christ. I want to be more like my precious Mama.

   I love you Mama. xoxoxoxo. Steve

   The blessed hope is I know I will be with you again. Only at that time there will be no sorrow or separation. As Mom would say, Eternal Hallelujahs!!!


Don't forget to leave
Your Personal Memories
on the Message Board




W H A T   W I L L   Y O U R   L E G A C Y   B E ?


   If you have not made your peace with God, Katherine would boldly tell you that even at 90 years of age, this life is but a short period of time. She would then invite you to ask Jesus (the real Reason for living) to come into your life and heart and to take over. “Jesus, I realize that I am a sinner and that You died on the cross as payment for my sins. Please forgive me and accept me just as I am. I receive you into my life right now as my Personal Savior. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. I want to live for You -- for the rest of my life.”


   On February 14th at around 6:16pm (PST) Katherine passed from this place we all call "reality" and entered into another realm. One split second later she could attest to a remarkable reality -- making peace with the Lord is the most important gift anyone can receive. Katherine is absent from her earthly body and present with the Lord. What a triumphant homecoming for a life well-lived! By the way, how large was the choir of angels awaiting her arrival? Has she already checked out her mansion (with boxed Mason jars in the kitchen closet)?



-- Photo Gallery --
-- Message Board --
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

-- Gerhard Schroeder's experiences in Russia --



   To the right is the slideshow Steve Hankinson put together for viewing before and after Oma’s memorial service.  It’s 8 ˝ minutes long with pictures spanning Mom’s life (not in chronological order) – Steve Freeman found the picture of Mom being baptized in the Red River, Manitoba at age 12 by her Dad (Gerhard Schroeder) about 24 hours before the service on Monday – that is the prized picture in our opinion as it figured largely into Mom’s eulogy (in her own words) and in a short testimony we have on tape that Mom gave at a Schroeder family reunion in 1976.  There is no music on this YouTube piece due to copyright laws. You'll have to hum -->


       -- Do you have any fond memories, personal stories or experiences that will help everyone to get a greater glimpse into the life of Katherine Freeman? If so, please visit our new web-based Message Board designed for you to share your fond memories for others to read.   If the web forum isn't working properly, please email those stories to us and we'll post them for you. Thanks for stopping by to pay your respects to a wonderful woman.



2009 Valentine's Day Message
(read to her about six hours before she graduated into eternity)

Dearest Mother:

  It's Valentine's Day and I wanted to take some time to share my thoughts with you. I do not know if you will even be able to comprehend what is being communicated, but please think of this as a dozen roses especially for you.

  I have been blessed to have you as my mother for the past 54 years. Your mothering methods have changed to adapt to whatever stage of growth I was experiencing throughout my life. But your mother's heart of love toward me has never changed. 

  As I reflect back on your mothering, I realize more and more that you have been a stable influence of prayer, gratitude toward the Lord regardless of the circumstances, hard work, watching over our health, frugality, integrity and whispering words of encouragement into my ear whenever I call on the telephone.

  I know that God is the One who ultimately gives us the proper hatred for sin, evil and injustice. I also know that it is God who gives us the love for His Word, His plan for our lives and for others. But you were the one who modeled these things for me. You gave me a desire to want what you lived. You were the one who read the Word, prayed and loved me when I was unlovable. I still remember walking by your bedroom many time and hearing you intercede for me and the other children through the closed door.

  Please know that I will be sad when your soul leaves this earth. There will be an ache, a hole in my heart that will never quite be filled. But also there will be joy...knowing that you will be basking in the presence of the One who knows everything about us and still recklessly loves us -- Jesus Christ.

  God has been your audience. You have lived out your life before Him. You have impacted more lives just by being friendly, genuinely concerned when you needed to be, writing letters of encouragement filled with Scriptures, and by praying relentlessly for others around the world. Thank you for your selflessness...in spite of the many challenges that surrounded you on many fronts. You have been a faithful woman of God and I rise up and call you "Blessed."

  You are my Valentine. As my mother, you have my heart today and forever. I will live the rest of my life seeking to honor your legacy of integrity, generosity and your focus on eternal value -- with every fiber of my being. I love you...xoxoxoxo


All my love,





The writer of Hebrews (chapter 11) talks about the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah. He then goes on to state, "By faith he made his
home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country...For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on the earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. instead, they were longing for a better country -- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he prepared a city for them."

Katherine Freeman could be included in that list as a stranger/pilgrim,
looking forward to dwelling in a city not made with hands.


-- Photo Gallery --
-- Message Board --
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

-- Gerhard Schroeder's experiences in Russia --



Free from the turmoil and toil of life.  Free from its sorrows, its cares and strife;
Glorious deliverance, release from the fray;  Gone on to glory--Oh wonderful day!

Chorus:  O grave, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?
It's only the door to eternal bliss.  Praise to our Saviour we bring.

Free from the darkening veil we wear;  Free from the conflict, the burdens we bear.
Jesus is standing to open the door;  Angels rejoicing, "Your journey is o'er!"

Free from the bondage of flesh and sin;  Free from temptation without and within;
"Come in, thou blessed, Your work now is o'er.  Enter the joy of your Lord evermore."

Free to behold Him, our lovely Lord.  Free to extol Him, by angels adored;
Emancipation!  Received up on high!  Joy, amid sorrow--it's not death to die!


                                                                                - words by Vivian Bruck


A memorial service was held on Monday, February 23rd in Vancouver, BC.
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

Donations may be made in Katherine's honor at GFA.org or OMships.org


-- Photo Gallery --
-- Message Board --
[ Photos from Katherine's Memorial Service ]

-- Gerhard Schroeder's experiences in Russia --



~ Thank You For Visiting ~


Freeman's, Hankinson's, and Brown's





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