George Freier

Published 3:09 pm Wednesday, August 25, 2010

George Freier died early Saturday morning, August 21, at Hospice House in Landrum with his wife, Patricia, and children, Connie and Jim, by his side. He was 89 years old.

George is survived by Pat, his wife of 69 years, his daughter, Connie Freier of Arden, N.C, and his son, Dr. James Freier and wife, Martha, of Seattle Washington. He will also be deeply missed by his sister, Elinor Potter, seven grandchildren (Patti, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham, Danielle, Heather, Nathan), and five great-grandchildren (Gaia, Joshua, Zavier, Owen, Aiden), plus numerous loving nieces and nephews.

George was born to Gottlieb and Caroline Freier on a 30-acre fruit farm just outside Benton Harbor, Mich., on March 15, 1921. He was the 12th of 13 children, preceded in death by six brothers and five sisters. He learned the lessons of hard work and dedication while growing up on the farm and applied those throughout his life in both his profession and lifetime of community service.

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George graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1939, where he met the love of his life, Patricia Curtis. They married on June 28, 1941. George completed his veterinary studies while attending the college of veterinary medicine at Michigan State University, graduating in 1943.

Upon graduation, the Army Reserves commissioned George a second lieutenant with orders to practice large animal medicine in Unionville, Mich. At the end of the war, he and Pat and their two small children moved back to Benton Harbor where he established the Freier Animal Hospital and later, the Hawthorne Animal Clinic. During the next 40 years, in addition to practicing veterinary medicine, George served as president of both the Michiana Veterinary Medical Association and the Michigan State Veterinary Association, and also was chairman of the Michigan Board of Examiners in Veterinary Medicine. He loved his profession, often saying that he could not remember a day when he did not look forward to going to work.

In 1985, George and Pat retired to Columbus. They built a house in Morgan Chapel Village, where they lived for 11 years and where he served as president of the homeowners association. He also served as president of the Rotary Club of Tryon, an organization of which he was a member for 25 years. In 1997, they moved to Tryon Estates, a loving retirement community.&bsp; There George made many good friends and took an active part in several committees, including the medical liaison committee and the Christmas gift committee.&bsp; George was an active member of the Tryon Presbyterian Church for 25 years. In 1992, he was awarded the State of North Carolina Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and devotion in providing volunteer services to North Carolinas greatest resource, her people.

It was Georges commitment to community service that led him to become involved with Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, serving as a volunteer for over 20 years. So it was fitting that he spend his final days in Hospice House, surrounded with the loving care of the medical staff and volunteers.

George was highly respected and loved by all who knew him, and will be greatly missed. His memorial service will be held at Tryon Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 4, 2010. Remembrances may be made to Hospice of Carolina Foothills, Tryon Rotary Scholarship Fund, or the Tryon Presbyterian Church.