Herbert H. FREISE
Herbert H. FREISE

Passed away May 4, 2012

Herbert H. Freise was born May 1, 1917, in Palatine Township, Illinois, the third of the four children of Louis H. and Marie Kirchhoff Freise. He is a graduate of Concordia High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana (Bachelor of Arts degree, 1939; J.D. degree, 1941).

He was sworn in as a lawyer in the State of Illinois in November 10, 1941. Shortly thereafter, in the Spring of 1942, he graduated from Northwestern Midshipman School with the rank of Ensign.

His first tour of active duty was as communications officer at the Naval Air Station in Kodiak, Alaska. From April 13, 1943 he served as an officer aboard the USS Mission Bay (CVE-59). Beginning on March 21, 1945, he served as the navigator on the Badoeng Straight, bringing the ship to Seattle in early 1946. On January 25, 1946, he was discharged from active duty in the Navy Reserve. He attained the rank of Lt. Commander and remained active (on a non-active duty basis) in the Navy Reserve for many years.

Herb then became associated with the Chicago law firm of Brooks and Clusman, but returned to Seattle in late 1948, where he was sworn in as a member of the Washington State Bar on March 21, 1949. Beginning on April 11, 1949, he moved to Walla Walla where he practiced law in Cameron Sherwood's office. On October 15, 1949, he married Vera Jeanette White. Vera was the daughter of Vere and Jenny White of Seattle (during WWII, Mr. White moved to eastern Washington to work on the Hanford Project and then to Walla Walla where he was a principle in Miller Supply). Herb and Vera married at Trinity Lutheran Church and remained married for 51 years until Vera died on July 5, 2001.

Beginning on September 30, 1951, Herb served as Walla Walla County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He served in this position until September 30, 1954. He tried many cases as Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, including the first successful prosecution in Walla Walla County of a drunk-driving homicide.

On October 1, 1954, he opened his own law office. He served as General Counsel of Walla Walla General Hospital and led its successful fund drive to construct a new facility; and did the legal work for a number of other corporations important to the Walla Walla economy. Despite the broad scope of his law practice, his particular interest and love was trial work.

Beginning in 1956, Herb served three terms in the Washington State Senate. He successfully sponsored a number of pieces of landmark legislation, including revamping the Washington State securities laws, and certain consumer protection laws-e.g., making Washington the first in the nation to require safety glass in sliding doors. Other successful bills included "right-on-red" and requiring white "fog" lines on the right side of state highways (suggested by Vera). His bi-partisanship in the State Senate led to securing the funding for the beginning of Walla Walla Community College.

Herb also served on the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod's Committee on Constitutional matters--its highest ecclesiastical court--from March 1, 1971 through December 31, 1979.

Herb retired to Seattle shortly after July 31, 1984. He remained active arbitrating Superior Court lawsuits and securities cases; actively serving as Judge Pro Tem in the Seattle Municipal Court for 16 years; and, as Pro tem ex parte in King County Superior Court and Court Commissioner for six years. He also enjoyed the company of his pals and playing golf at Broadmoor Golf Club. It was with great sorrow that he discontinued that practice due to his failing eyesight.

Herb and Vera raised their three children in Walla Walla. Herb is survived by their children and their families: Eric L. Freise (engaged to Deanne DeWitt) (Clinton, WA), children: Elizabeth, Mark, Ann, and Erin. Mark H. Freise (Peggy Freise, DVM) (Southampton, MA), children: William and Jennifer. Ellen Freise-March (Lewis March, M.D.) (Pittsburgh, PA), sons: Brian Freise and Zachary and Benjamin March; and by his one remaining sister Lorraine Heidorn (Florida).

Please see obituary in Walla Walla Union Bulletin, 6/10/12 and www.legacy.com

A memorial service will be held 10:00 o'clock a.m., August 9, 2012, at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Bellevue, Washington. A private interment ceremony be held at Floral Hills, Lynnwood, WA.

Memorial contributions can be made to Lutheran Ministry Services, 7040 36th Avenue NE, Seattle, WA 98115-5998.

Published by The Seattle Times from Jul. 9 to Jul. 8, 2012.
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