Bernard Randolph Freeland, age 100, of Austin, Texas, formerly of Bellaire, Texas, passed away peacefully Sunday November 19, 2017.
Born September 6, 1917, in Monumental, he was the youngest of four children of the late Enoch R. and Alice Tennent Freeland.
Bernard enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1941 where he eventually became a navigator of a B-24. He flew in 13 missions over Italy. After the war in Europe ended, he flew several mercy missions delivering food to starving Italians. In 1945, he was transferred back to the states, where he ended his active duty and later enlisted with the Air Force Reserves, which he served for 36 years retiring as a Major.
Bernie graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1948 and began a career as a business analyst for Stanolind Oil and Gas, which eventually became Amoco Oil then BP Oil Corporation.
As a life member of the Houston Men’s Garden Club, Bernie showcased his gardening talents not only at his home, but by volunteering at the Bellaire Nature Center at Pittman Park. He was a long time participant of the landscaping committee at Bellaire Methodist Church, where he was a member until he moved to Austin, Texas, in 2009.
Bernie was a loyal Scout leader, taking the scouts on exciting canoeing, camping and backpacking adventures throughout the United States. He was an avid beekeeper and kept the neighborhood well-stocked with honey. He served as president of the Houston Genealogical Society and created an extensive Freeland family history.
Traveling was one of Bernie’s passions. His adventures carried him from canoeing the Amazon River in Brazil, hiking the Great Wall of China, camping in Siberia to see the Whooping Cranes, to helping in Romanian orphanages. He was always an environmentalist and was a life member of the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. He was proud that he had stepped on every continent and dipped his toe in every ocean.
In June 1946, Bernie married May Elizabeth Blackhurst, of Cass. They spent 63 wonderful years together before her death in 2009.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Alicia Linda Freeland.
He is survived by two daughters, Jean Shoup, and husband, Mike, of Brenham, Texas, and Bernadine Bering, and husband, Conrad, of Austin, Texas; a son, Thad Freeland, and wife, Monica, of Mulberry, Arkansas; three grandsons, Randy Shoup, and wife, Hana, Nick Shoup and Allen Freeland; four granddaughters, Kelly Shoup Anderson, and husband, Jared, Hannah Bering, Moira Bering and Kelsey Freeland; two great-grandsons, Jared M. Anderson and Jesse D. Anderson; and a great-granddaughter, Julia May Anderson.
A Celebration of Life was held January 27, 2018 at Antique Rose Emporium, Brenham, Texas. Burial will be in Arbovale Cemetery Saturday, September 29, 11 a.m.