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DICK FREELAND, 76, was called home by the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, with his family by his side. He was Chairman of the board of Pizza Hut of Fort Wayne Inc. Born March 16, 1937, in Nevada, Mo., he was a son of the Rev. Fred and Helen Freeland. In high school, he moved with his family to Des Moines, Iowa, where he was an ironworker and worked on Atlas rocket launch sites throughout the Midwest. In 1957, he married Deanna Walters and they had three children, Kim (Alan) Cook, Terri Derheimer (deceased), and Todd (Angie) Freeland. In 1967, Freeland took a part-time job at a Pizza Hut for $1.25 an hour. He eventually became a store manager, area manager and a part-owner in an Iowa franchise. In 1972, he and Deanna moved to Fort Wayne and opened their first Pizza Hut on East State near Coliseum Boulevard. Over 40 years the business grew to include 48 Pizza Huts in Indiana and Ohio and four KFC restaurants. In 1995, Freeland traveled to Poland to advise the Pizza Hut team on improving their operations. Soon after, he became a partner in the Pizza Hut and KFC business in Poland and the Czech Republic. Freeland's philosophy was to hire high-quality employees, train them well and empower them to make decisions for the benefit of the customer and the business. "Employees need to be in a situation where...they are having fun and like what they are doing...There are only so many hours, minutes, days, weeks that you are going to live on this earth, and that time should be spent enjoying as much of it as you can," Freeland said in a training tape for new employees. In his leisure time, Freeland was involved heavily in local, state, and national politics. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, traveling, and breeding Arabian horses at his Freeland Farms, some of which were sold in Europe, South America, and the Middle East. He was a founding member and on the board of directors of the Arabian Horse Breeders Alliance and the Arabian Breeders World Cup. In February of 2013, Freeland was awarded the 'Sagamore of the Wabash' by Gov. Mike Pence, who recognized Freeland for his entrepreneurial spirit, public service and courageous work. Ducks Unlimited named him Conservationist of the Year in 2013. His board affiliations included Steel Dynamics Inc., Hall of Fame member of International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce, Lutheran Hospital, Leadership Fort Wayne, and Allen County Republican Party. He was a member of Fort Wayne Business Forum, Young Presidents' Organization, Council for National Policy, Republican Senatorial Committee, Fort Wayne Country Club, Sycamore Hills Golf Club, and regional finance chairman of Bush/Quayle 1992. He was also instrumental in the founding of The Chapel. In addition to his wife and children, survivors include his half sister, Eleanor Mathis of Broken Arrow, Okla.; grandchildren, Tyler Freeland, Dillon Freeland, Deanna Derheimer, Lindsay (Darin) Falk, Tiffany (Mike) Rego, and Austin Freeland; and one great-grandchild, Connor Falk. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Terri Derheimer, in 2009; his brother, John (who died at age 10); and his half brother, Fred Freeland Jr. Funeral service is 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013, at The Chapel. Calling is from 2 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at The Chapel. Private burial services. Arrangements by D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Home. Preferred memorials may be made to Turnstone Center or The Chapel. To sign the online guestbook, please visit www.mccombandsons.com

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Published in Fort Wayne Newspapers on Oct. 22, 2013.
Memories & Condolences
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30 entries
October 16, 2020
So.. Dick left this world 7 years ago..what a wonderful man we lost...but..heaven gained...love you, Dick!
Diana Lorenzen
October 17, 2019
Gosh, Dick! It doesnt seem possible that you left us 6 years ago...I have so many wonderful memories of you, Deanna and Pizza Hut...do they have pizza in heaven?
Diana Lorenzen
November 4, 2013
My dear Deanna,Todd,Kim and family,I remember waiting on the whole Freeland clan both at FWCC and in your beautiful homes o0n Christmas eve and sometimes Christmas day.You always made me feel part of the family.Ever since I moved out to Phoenix to be closer to my daughter and grandkids, there hasn't been a Christmas eve that you all haven't been in my thoughts and prayers.I am so sad to hear about Mr. Freelands passing and was so shocked to also read about Terri she always had a smile when I saw her. My LOVE and PRAYERS are with you all.Luci Gammelgaard(fwcc)
October 31, 2013
What a beautiful celebration of Dick's life....i feel so honored to have been a part of his life..and your company...No one can possibly compare to the wonderful man/person Dick was...May God bless you all..Love, Diana
Diana Lorenzen
October 31, 2013
I feel very blessed that you and your family have been a part of my life. I miss your crooked smile, your hugs and kisses...such a dear, kind man. Thank you Sir. ????????
Kathy Hockman
October 30, 2013
Dear Deanna and Family,
I am so sorry to hear you lost your precious Dick. Patty called and told me today, I was so sad to hear the news. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. God bless all of you.
Linda Trotter Lund
October 29, 2013
May God hold you all close during this time. You are in my prayers.
I grew up next door to Dicks father Fred and babysat for Terri's two boys. My heart aches to know they have both gone before us. What an amazing family and support group you all have!
So many wonderful memories I hold if all three. God bless!
Bernadette Clark (Yaney)
October 28, 2013
So sorry to hear of Mr. Freeland's passing. Fond memories from the Fort Wayne Country Club days.
Patti Ann Bailey
October 27, 2013
Dear Deanna and family:
Sorry I can't be at Dick's Celebration of Life. I'm in an assisted living facility and can't drive or stand for very long.
I will always remember and cherish the fun times that we had. Sunday afternoon on the lake and in the evenings, gourmet dinners. One evening Esther (Kathy)Williams performed in the hot tub. Dick doing his "meow" cat sounds, causing people in the restaurant and elevator to search for the cat. There was also the surprise birthday party where Dick purchased an unusual green flag for the pier flag pole.
I could go on and on... but the big memory to remember is the successful business you and Dick built together which allowed the generosity you showed to so many people and organizations. The two of you truly "did unto others".

I cherish our time together and consider it an honor to know the Freeland family and the steel worker who drove a Rolls Royce.

Larry Wilson
October 25, 2013
Todd, Angie, My thoughts and prayers are with you today tonight, this weekend and next.
My mother, Ruth used to deliver doc's to your father when she was living. What a small and delicate world we live in. You are in a great Church, The Chapel!
You are strong. Trust God. You do.
Doug Ensch
Douglas Ensch
October 23, 2013
One of the greatest possession that any man has is his name

and what that name means to others. Dick's name is a name of honor..God bless you Dick
Jim Martin
October 23, 2013
I'll miss Dick and his built in Cat.
God Bless You Dickie Joe! Bernie Butler
Bernie Butler
October 23, 2013

It was so nice to catch up with you last Christmas and I wanted to
express my deepest sympathy to you and your family on the loss of your father.
May good memories help to heal your heart.

Pam Miller Reinking
October 23, 2013
Dick will truly be missed by many. His smile would always light up any room. I will always remember that smile and hug whenever I came to his home. I am so blessed to have gotten a chance to become friends with Dick and Deanna. My prayers are with the family.
Tamara Whitlow
October 23, 2013
Words cannot explain how Dick made an impact on a lot of people's lives. His smile would light up the world. He will truly be missed by many. Prayers are with the family.
Tamara Whitlow
October 22, 2013
I was so sorry to hear of Dick' s passing. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time. He was a thoughtful and generous man.
Ellie Brooke
October 22, 2013
Deanna, Todd , Skip and Kim, We are so sorry for the passing of Dick..what a wonderful person he was...I am so blessed to have been a part of his Pizza hut family for 30 years..our thoughts and prayers are with you all...Love, Art and Diana Lorenzen
Diana Lorenzen
October 22, 2013
Todd, So sorry to hear about your dad. Our condolences to you and your family. Our thoughts are with you at this time.
Donna and Jerry Toms
October 22, 2013
I was sorry to hear of Dick' s passing and my thoughts are with you at this very sad time. He was a thoughtful and generous employer.
Ellie Brooke
October 22, 2013
Prayers to the family
Veronica Nelson
October 22, 2013
I'm so sorry to hear of Mr. Freeland's passing. Mr. Freeland was a friend of my family. I remember whenever I would come to one of his Pizza Huts and if he was there he would give me a hand full of free Pizza cards. He would do that every time I would see him. Mr. Freeland was a really giving and gentle spirit man. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family!

Anne Plassman
October 22, 2013
Ducks Unlimited lost a true friend and conservationist in Dick's passing. The Ducks are better today because of his passion and support and he will be truly missed. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Deanna, the entire Freeland family and all those who mourn his loss. Rest in peace Mr. Freeland.

Your friends at Ducks Unlimited
Dave Neal
October 22, 2013
Worked for Mr. Freeland for over 20 years. Whenever I saw him I told him how proud I was to work for him. Truly a man of vision.
Dan Fry
October 22, 2013
I worked for Mr. Freeland for over 20 years and whenever I saw him I told him how proud I was of working for him. Truly a man of vision.
October 22, 2013
Freeland family,
We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your husband,father,grandfather and friend to all.What an awesome man he was.I remember growing up with his children and all the good times we had at the home off Covington Rd.He had a great sense of humor and would give his back to anyone in need.May he be in Gods hands and let him and his daughter share a new life together.Our thoughts are with all of you during this time of your loss.God Bless you all.

Kim(krider)&Randy Lawrence
October 22, 2013
I always heard the name Dick Freeland whenever I stopped by Turnstone.Dick was bigger than life at the center and a great friend to so many.
To the Freeland family,my thoughts and prayers are certainly with you.
God bless .
Terry Haffner
October 22, 2013
Danny Liechty
October 22, 2013
I remember meeting Dick when I worked at Times Corner Pizza Hut back in 1992. It's been a lot of years "doing what's right by the customer." He will be missed and his family members are in my prayers.
Mary Werling
October 22, 2013
I was shocked to read this. Mr. Freeland sat and told me his life story, 17 years ago. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a smart, friendly and compassionate person. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this time of sadness.
Amanda Dehmiri
October 22, 2013
We knew Mr. Freeland through our father who worked for him for many years, he was a super person and a great man. He will be missed greatly.
Robert and Krista Stahl Jr.
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