Harrison L. "Jim" Freeman passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 11, 2019, in Leesburg, Fla., following a brief illness.
Jim was born on July 17, 1936, in Northfield to Lydia (Bennett) and Sidney Freeman. He graduated from Northfield High School and attended Carleton College. He married Darline DeCoux in 1959 and they had five children. They later divorced. Jim worked for IBM as a computer programmer. In 1982, he married Kathy Billington and welcomed her two sons into the family. He retired from IBM at age 50 to make fireworks.
Jim was known for the 4th of July shows in and around Rochester and was nicknamed "Rocket Man" for shooting off fireworks at John Marshall High School football games. He loved sports and played and umpired softball throughout his life.
Jim is survived by his wife, Kathleen Billington; brother, Jon (Phyllis) Freeman; sister, Debbie Buchbinder (Jim Diderrich); sons, David (Barb) Freeman, Andrew Freeman, Carl Freeman, Bruce (Jen) Billington, and Bryan (Patricia) Billington; and daughters, Jeanne Freeman (Mike Billings) and Angela Freeman. Jim was also blessed with 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Daniel Freeman.
There will be an open house celebration of Jim's life from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the home of Andrew Freeman, 9327 Rhoy Ave., Chaska, MN 55318 (phone 952-594-5124). There will also be a service in August at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Kasson. Date to be determined.