Funeral services for Mr. Reginold Dempsey DeFreese, Sr., will be held Friday, November 25, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Bastrop with Rev. Jim Ingram officiating. Interment will follow at Concord Cemetery in Chatham, Louisiana under the direction of Golden Funeral Home. Visitation will be held Thursday, November 24, 2011 from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at Golden Funeral Home.
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Reggie DeFreese, Sr., worked for 22 years in Morehouse Parish, and Northeast Louisiana, as a heavy equipment operator for Entergy (formerly known as Louisiana Power & Light). When he retired, he kept working-no longer under streetlights and in power stations, but in his church, and his community. After being raised in Richland Parish, Big Reg settled in Bastrop in 1953. Big Reg, who was raised on a farm, is perhaps best known for his support of the local Farmer's Market. He was President of the organization for twelve years, and served on its Board of Directors for twenty years. He was an avid gardener, so this involvement came naturally to him. But his other interests and activities were many and varied. He served as tax counselor for the AARP Tax Counseling Program providing free tax help to the elderly, and others who asked for his help. He was a member of the Silver Haired Legislature, and the local distribution of the USDA commodity program. Perhaps, most important to him was his involvement with First Baptist Church. Although he enjoyed gardening, hunting, and fishing, however, he said that his main enjoyment was his church. He loved visiting people who were sick-helping them, and doing what he could to make their life better.
Big Reg served as a deacon, taught Sunday School, and served on the Building Committee, the Renovation Committee, and the Benevolence Committee. He was instrumental with other members from First Baptist in obtaining, renovating, and teaching Sunday School at the First Baptist Mission Church on North Odom. He was very active in all sorts of community activities, events, and charitable fundraisers. In 1978 he received the Bastrop Daily Enterprise's Nathan Bolton Community Service Award. In 1977 he received the Boys Club of America Medallion for Meritorious Service for the Advancement of Boys.
Having sons, he was very interested in the welfare of boys in the sixties, and Big Reg helped with others to organize the Bastrop Chapter of the Boy's Club of America. This was challenging to him, and such a blessing seeing young boys mature, have fun, and engage in clean recreation, especially the boxing team. In the years that followed so many adult men came by to see "THEIR" Mr. Reg. He always felt one should be interested in civic duties and support those areas that would improve his favorite city--Bastrop.
He had great enjoyment in meeting new people, and from them came his increasing knowledge regarding areas of their interest gained from years of: Just Living". Big Reg loved the Lord, and the precepts he taught. These precepts came to reveal great joy in life, as he applied them in his life. He always stated that "This was successful living for him".
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jessie and Mary DeFreese; two brothers, Harold James and Bobby Joe DeFreese; one sister, Louise (DeFreese) Osbon; one son, Michael Glenn DeFreese and one foster son, Tom Foster.
He is survived by his wife and partner of 61 years, Rita Nedra Dickerson DeFreese; brothers, Clayton DeFreese, William DeFreese, BJ DeFreese; sister, Sammy Haynie and husband Larry; son, Lil Reggie DeFreese and wife Diane; grandchildren, Celeste Allen, Lauren Sallinger and husband Eric, Aimee Socha and husband Stan, Julie and Marc Young; great grandchildren, Abbey, Ann Marie, Audrey, George, Jane, Joey, Madeline, and Mia Catherine; numerous nieces, nephews and many friends.
Pallbearers for the service are the deacons of First Baptist Church. Honorary pallbearers are Dr. Byron Dickerson, Tony Osbon, Jessie DeFreese, Eddy DeFreese, Randy DeFreese, Tommy Parker, Greg Kennedy, Richard Northcut, and Charles Dumas.
The family wishes to extend a special thanks to Dr. David Burkett, and the caring staff at the St. Francis Medical Center Cardiac Care Unit in Monroe, Louisiana.
The family requests in lieu of flowers memorials be made to cancer research.
Vicisti, Galilae - Thou has conquered, O Galilean and Reggie is Home.
Golden Funeral Home - Bastrop
2016 East Madison
Bastrop, LA 71220
Published in Bastrop Daily Enterprise from Nov. 23 to Nov. 27, 2011