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William G. Freeman

July 3, 1932 - April 27, 2013
Emeritus Professor of Speech Communication at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), actor, husband, father, friend, and rhetor passed away at his home in Granada Hills, CA after a two-decade struggle with chronic renal disease.

Born to Glen and Sylva (Swan) Freeman in Portland, OR, Freeman graduated from Centralia High School in WA and went on to earn his AA at Centralia Community College prior to serving two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

Upon discharge from the Army, he earned his BA in Theatre from the Pasadena Playhouse College of the Arts. After pursuing a career in theatre acting, he returned to higher education, enrolling at San Fernando Valley College (now CSUN) and earning both a BA and MA in Speech. He wrote his dissertation on the "Homiletical Theory of Cotton Mather" and received his Ph.D. in Speech from the University of Iowa in 1970. That same year he joined the faculty of CSUN.

During his 27 year tenure at CSUN he conducted research, published on rhetorical and homiletical studies, made numerous scholarly presentations at Speech Communication Association and Popular Culture Association conferences, and served as Graduate Coordinator/Advisor. His graduate students were his passion, and his focus and diligence never flagged as he mentored them. His own experiences gave him the kind of hard-headed wisdom to keep his students on track. He knew when to give them words of encouragement, and he also knew when they needed to talk to him, and he needed to listen and he most certainly knew when to give his opinion.

Subsequent to his retirement from CSUN in 1997, he continued to pursue his personal passions for music, film, decorative aluminum wares, the Los Angeles Lakers, and Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks. In his 70s, he returned to the acting career that he had abandoned more than 40 years before, booking roles in commercials and independent films, and becoming a very proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

Freeman is survived by his wife of 23 years, Bonita J. Campbell of Granada Hills, CA; his son from his first marriage, Gage K. Freeman of Northridge, CA; and numerous close friends and colleagues. At his specific request, there were no formal services.

MEND (Meet Each Need with Dignity) in Pacoima, CA was one of his favorite charities.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 9, 2013
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