Betty Hunter Freeman

Published 2:42 pm Sunday, January 31, 2021

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GATES, NC – Betty Ballard Hunter Freeman, 89, of 234 Water Plant Road, Gates, NC, known locally as the “Big House”, passed away on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at her home.

Born on February 24, 1931 in Washington, DC, now called Fort Belvoir, she was the daughter of the late Ulysses Grant and Mildred Virginia Brewer Ballard.

A graduate of George Washington High School, she went on to attend advanced training in business, finance and accounting. In June, 1950, she entered civil service as an Army employee at Fort Eustis, VA in the office of Finance and Accounting. In May 1954, she married Donald G. Hunter of the US Navy. From their marriage were born two sons, Glenn and Alan. Donald later died from leukemia in May, 1962. As a single parent with the help of loving parents and supportive friends, she raised her sons in Yorktown, VA.

Continuing her career, she rose to the position of Executive Secretary to the Commander, MacDonald Army Hospital. In 1972, she met Army officer, Captain J.B. Freeman, who had been assigned to the hospital. Their friendship and love grew until they were married on December 8, 1973. Betty retired from civil service in July 1993, having completed 44 years of continuous service to our country.

After retirement and upon moving from Hinesville, GA to Savannah with her husband, she continued to use her skills to stay active through employment at different volunteer work. In January 2001, Betty and J.B. moved to the Freeman family farm home place in Gates where they continued to reside.

Family and friends will remember Betty in many ways: a devoted wife, a loving and caring mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, a person of Godly ways. She was a skilled basket weaver, Bridge player, an ardent coin collector, a lover of jewelry, a great cook, and always eager to explore new destinations. In reflection, she would often cite her love for her Reynoldson Baptist Church Sunday School Class and her basket making class. Betty will also be remembered for her generosity to others which had no limits.

Surviving are her loving husband of 47 years, Colonel (Ret) J.B. Freeman, US Army; her two sons and their families, Son: Glenn and Diane Hunter of Gloucester, VA, grandson Christopher and Mandy Hunter, and great grandson Christopher Dylan of Martinsville, IN, granddaughter Lauren Hunter and great-granddaughter Daphanie of Gloucester, VA; Son: Alan and Cathy Hunter, granddaughter Sarah Bartlett, (husband Christopher), and great-grandchildren, Mason, Camryn, and Alexis, of Fredericksburg, VA, and grandson, Brandon Hunter of Falls Church, VA and granddaughter Lindsey Fircetz (husband David) and great-grandchildren Zachary and Ellie of Culpeper, VA. Also surviving is Betty’s brother, Ulysses “Grant” Ballard (wife, Sidney) of Gloucester, VA as well as other extended members from the Ballard, Hunter and Freeman families.

A private graveside memorial service will be conducted at a later date in the Freeman-Jenkins-Sears Family Cemetery at the home place. Friends are invited to visit the family at the residence, but under precautionary measures due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Reynoldson Baptist Church, Gates Ruritan Club, Eure Baptist Church, Leukemia Foundation, or the American Heart Association.

The family wishes to express their deep appreciation to the caregivers, the staff of Sentara Obici Hospital, and to Amedisys Hospice for the comfort and care given during her final days of life.

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