Elwyn Francis Freemonth

Elwyn Francis Freemonth

Elwyn Francis Freemonth passed away at home on Friday morning, December 1, 2012. His passing was peaceful, as he succumbed to the effects of Parkinson's disease.

Elwyn was born on August 3, 1922, in Fernley, NV, to Oliver and Lillian (Austin) Freemonth. He grew up in Fernley and later moved to Reno with his family after their house burnt down. While attending University of Nevada Reno, his senior year was interrupted with the breakout of WWII. As he was part of the R.O.T.C. program, he was recruited and shipped off to Officer Candidate School in Ft. Knox, Kentucky, and into the European Theatre. He served as an S1 Adjutant of Special Missions and a tank commander in Patton's 7th Armored Group, landing on Normandy Beach, on June 9, 1944 (D-Day + 3) and participated in the infamous Battle of the Bulge. He received the commission of Major upon his return.

After the war, Elwyn married Elizabeth Flyge and had three children. He also went to work as a C.P.A., starting his own firm with Newell Hancock, Bill Geyer, and Thornton Audrain. After Betty's passing, he married Billie Hybarger in 1960. Together they raised five children. Elwyn is survived by his daughters, Linda Mandelkow of Denver, Corinne McCombs of Salt Lake City, and sons, Gary of Las Vegas, Randy of Reno, and is preceded in death by his son, Greg.

Elwyn went on many hunting and fishing adventures from hunting bear and moose in Alaska to deep sea fishing for marlin in Mexico. Even into his eighties, he was a crack shot with trap, skeet and sporting clays with his buddies from the Prospector's Club. At the age of 76 he won the "California Indians" Skeet Class Championship, hitting 100 out of 100 targets in a row. He loved to fly, taking his first flying lesson when he was only 15, and owned his own plane for many years. Through his love of flying came his involvement in the Reno National Championship Air Races as a founding member in 1964. Bill Stead, a fellow Sigma Nu fraternity brother, came to him with the idea for the air races and asked him to be the financial director. He was very active in the community, serving as president of the Prospector's Club and as a volunteer for the Reno Aero Squadron. He also donated his time and resources to the YMCA, Boys' and Girls' Clubs, and St. John's Presbyterian Church, to name a few.

Our Dad was a great father and a devoted husband. The family spent many summers camping, boating and water skiing, as well as snow skiing and snowmobiling in the winter. We enjoyed it all. Dad was quick to jump on the piano to the delight of his family to play a few tunes with his unique honky-tonk style and even played in a jazz band. He always had a quick response of wit and humor and hundreds of ready sayings passed down from his father, Oliver. He will be missed by so many friends and by all of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He exemplified patience, integrity and finding joy in life. Thank you, Dad, for all you have done for us. You were the greatest man we've ever known.

We will honor our father's wishes with a private family service. In lieu of flowers, kindly make a donation to the National Parkinson Foundation, P.O. Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018.

You are invited to express memories or condolence messages in the Book of Memories at the website www.waltonsfuneralhomes.com.

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Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on Dec. 6, 2012