Freeman Rowe Jr.
1930 - 2020
Major Family Funeral Home - Springfield
112 N. A Street
Springfield, OR
Freeman Rowe Jr
9/28/1930 - 10/7/2020
Freeman Rowe Jr was 90 years old; born in Hillsboro, Oregon. Freeman succumbed to Parkinson's Disease on October 7, 2020.
Freeman was a retired teacher who touched many lives in his 90 years. His family, friends, and students are grateful to have known this extraordinary human being.
Early in his career, he taught Math, English, and Science at Toledo High School. Later he taught Mycology classes at Lane Community College.
He made yearly trips to Baja, California, where his many friends called him Hombre Libre (Free Man).
The Gourd Patch was a booth he ran at the weekly Eugene Farmers Market. He sold organic fruits and vegetables he raised on a farm in Springfield. He also hiked coastal forests to collect wild mushrooms and huckleberries to sell.
From time to time, Freeman was called upon as an expert witness in court cases to identify mushroom species and their toxicity.
In 1981, he and his students started the wildflower and mushroom shows at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum. The annual Spring and Fall shows draw thousands of attendees from around the country.
Freeman was a champion for the education and preservation of our natural areas. He knew that as a society we will perish without diversity.
He will be missed.
His family is respecting his wishes that there be no funeral or service for him after his death and we hope the community he knew and loved so well will do the same.
Please sign the guest book at
Published by Eugene Register-Guard from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, 2020.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Funeral services provided by:
Major Family Funeral Home - Springfield
Sponsored by Major Family Funeral Home - Springfield.
Add a Message

Not sure what to say?

10 Entries
Freeman Rowe, lo recordaremos siempre con gran cariño, sus amigos de Baja California Sur, México (Familias Castro Lucero y Avilés Castro).
Gracias por todo.
Santa Rosa Avilés Castro
January 11, 2021
Freeman was a wonderful and generous human being. His spirit continues in the work of his many students and the Mt Pisgah Mushroom festival. We used his gourds in most of our scarecrow entries. He is missed
Kathleen Fitzgerald
October 28, 2020
I moved to the Eugene area in late 1982, a refugee from the urban-blight madness of Southern California. I quickly became enthralled with the natural beauty and bounty of the Pacific Northwest and, within a few years, had taken Freeman Rowe’s Mushroom (twice) and Field Botany classes at LCC.

Oh sure, lots of us have. The kicker for me was that, long story short, Freeman was _directly_ responsible for changing the course of my life...

Besides fueling my enthusiasm for the natural world with his own infectious, childlike enthusiasm as well as a well-honed ability for making just about anything he taught interesting and easy to understand, at the end of the Field Botany class in ’87, Freeman steered me into what became a seasonal volunteer position on a northern spotted owl monitoring crew.

As a professional mechanic who was taking these classes solely for personal enrichment, not only was this totally outside my field of expertise, I didn’t think there was any way I would even be considered for, let alone accepted into, the program. But it sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot, and I was. Then again, as a volunteer, I expected to be tasked with cleaning the office or somesuch while the real crew were out doing actual field work. But on my very first day on the job, I held a spotted owl in my hands.

My life hasn’t been the same since. A transition from turning wrenches to wandering in the woods looking at (and for) plants and animals, I completed a degree in wildlife science and am a wildlife field biologist, bringing along a rather well-honed knack for repairing or improving just about any equipment we use.

Thank you, Freeman.
Richard Leach
October 25, 2020
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Rhonda Ray Schmaltz
October 18, 2020
I taught Writing and Literature courses in the English Department at Lane Community College starting in 1971 and created a Political Science course called Peace and Conflict Studies that I taught in the Social Science Department beginning In 1988 until my retirement in 1998. In the early 1980s I took Freeman Rowe’s Mycology course and remember it well and with great appreciation of his knowledge and his method of teaching. He would send
us, his students, off deep into the forest to bring back as many mushroom
varieties and as many mushrooms as we could find, sort them into piles, identify the shrooms in one pile after another with important, detailed, pertinent, information and then turn toward the lonely remaining pile which he always with a twinkle in his eye identified as LBMs or little brown mushrooms.
Freeman was a remarkable and admirable human being and a knowledgeable and excellent teacher. I will conclude by saying of him what Hamlet said of King Claudius, his murdered father: “He was a man. Take him for all in all. We shall not look upon his like again.”
Jerome Garger
October 13, 2020
My husband Harold and Freeman grew up together as they were only 10 months difference in age. Freeman would always attend the family picnics and we both enjoyed talking to him about the mushrooms.
When my husband passed away Freeman made the trip to Hillsboro to attend his memorial and I was honored that he came
RIP Freeman
Margaret Hoffman
Margaret Hoffman
October 12, 2020
I worked with Freeman for years at LCC. He was beloved by students and staff. My own children loved their trips to Mexico with Freeman. I talked with him at the market often and never bought any mushrooms without his consent. He was good humored and kind and wise. I miss him

Marjorie Takei
October 10, 2020
Freeman Rowe was one-of-a-kind. He had a sparkle in his eyes, his voice and his soul. He cared deeply for the education of all his students, including those just asking him a question. He was extremely patient and he probably was personally responsible for the “awakening” of a love of nature (particularly fungi) in dozens if not hundreds of students. In about 1981, he started the Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom and Wildflower shows, festivals which still occur annually! The herbarium at Lane Community College bears his name (the Rowe-Love Herbarium). I took his Mushrooms class in about 1991 and audited it again a year or two later so I could soak in Freeman’s vast knowledge by going on the field trips again! He attended his beloved mushroom show through 2017, and then was no longer able to. He will be deeply missed by his former students from LCC, and the many lives he touched in many other ways. Goodbye, old friend!
Bruce N.
October 10, 2020
Freeman was a wonderful human being and an amazing force of nature :)
I feel truly blessed to have known him - he was a good and inspiring shepherd of the living world.

I took two classes with him - his famous mushroom course with identification of 100 mushroom species as the final exam
(for each shroom you had to know - its common name, scientific name, edibility, psychoactive properties :) Also helped with
his dazzling annual mushroom shows at the Arboretum. He introduced me to the joy of wild mushroom gathering - and this
has lead to a lifelong delight and fascination with mycology. I also took his incredible and revelatory class trip to Baja for botany,
zoology and marine biology. It was a great adventure - and typical for Freeman, aka Hombre Libre, he brought clothes and gifts for the children
of Baja and felt like a mixture of Charles Darwin and Santa Claus :) He had this delicious blend of the whimsical anarchist,
the laser-focused naturalist, the warm and inspiring and mellow but super-organized teacher, and was venerated as a
legendary nature guru in hippy circles in Eugene and throughout the Northwest

Freeman was sensitive about not having a doctorate - and yet knew far more about the natural world than most
scientists I know and was one of the keenest observers I have ever met. He also was mild, with a dry and sly sense of humor, and an
ineffable humble charm - who knew how to engage and exhilarate his students with warmth and share their excitement as they
discovered a new flower or new mushroom. He was not pretentious in the least, and not afraid to say he did not know - but would
always be eager to learn more. He also had a real sense of artistry in the beautiful way he arranged the mushrooms or flowers at
the Arboretum show. I was always happy with every moment I shared with Freeman - he was one of the greatest human beings I
have ever known. May his memory shine in all the lives he touched.
Jonathan Fritz
October 10, 2020
I was not fortunate enough to attend one of Freeman's classes, but I still learned a lot from him. We often would bring mushrooms to Freeman at The Gourd Patch on Saturday's. Freeman was always happy to share his knowledge.
Sandy Patton
October 9, 2020
Showing 1 - 10 of 10 results