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Saturday, August 26, 2023
Starts at 1:00 pm (Central time)
Freeman McLain, Jr., 69, passed away at his home August 6, 2023, after a lengthy illness, surrounded by his loving and dedicated wife of 50 years, Linda McLain, and a host of family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Freeman McLain, Sr., and Ruth McLain of Shreveport, and leaves behind his sister, Kathy Murphy; sister, Karen Vanderkuy; brother, Patrick McLain and wife, Eileen; sister, Kristy Clements and husband, Charles Clements, Sr.; and sister, Kelly Yokem, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
Born August 17, 1953, he was a lifelong resident of Shreveport, where he was raised along the banks of Cross Lake, later making his home on the same property where he grew up.
He will be remembered as a man all his friends called their “best friend,” a devoted husband, and an avid outdoorsman who often traveled the country hunting and fishing.
However, his greatest loves – besides M&R Hunting Club – were “Miss Linda,” whom he met in 1969 and married in 1973, and his large family, who say they will miss his quick wit and humor (if he didn’t “pick” on you, he didn’t like you) and his superb cooking.
His family asks everyone who knew Freeman to remember him as a survivor. Through countless surgeries, bouts of cancer, and other complications, he was recognized as someone who never complained, and was often up before the sun, outworking everyone else while remaining fun-loving and full of joy.
Freeman always said he was at peace when he was on the lake or in the woods hunting. It was only fitting, then, he passed away at his home August 6, 2023, surrounded by his loving and dedicated wife of 50 years, Linda McLain, a host of family and friends, and situated comfortably in his home just feet away from Cross Lake.
His fishing partner of over 45 years, David, knew Freeman’s love of fishing and being on the lake. He wanted to be sure Freeman had that opportunity while going through and recovering from chemo. Each morning started with a phone call asking, “where you want to fish today?” Before long, the “boat taxi” would be at the end of the pier to pick Freeman up. It was only for a couple of hours, but that was his happy time. A special thank you to David for this and your tremendous support with his care.
His other love was hunting, and if you knew Freeman, you absolutely knew that. He had so many memories at the deer camp, M&R Hunting Club, with some amazing friends - Sonny, Bill, Michael, Wayne, Pat, Kyle, Mike, Eric, Tyler and his lifelong friend, Al, and camp cooking partner, Robert. The club was founded by his father, Freeman McLain Sr. and Al, and hunting with his dad was another highlight of his life. The camaraderie of hunting buddies is a bond no one can understand unless you are one of them. Trips to the camp would start in August, cleaning up the deer blinds and the camp, cutting brush, getting their home away from home ready for the next three months of serious hunting, cooking, and telling deer stories.
Thanks to all his devoted camping partners, and a special thanks to Robert and Al for the years of “priceless” friendship, especially the week after Thanksgiving. During hunting season, there was no staying at home even if the camp was empty, but Freeman’s love for the woods could not keep him away. If Robert or Al knew he would be alone, they would pack up their truck and join.
Freeman also valued hunting in Plain Dealing with his nephew, Christopher, and their daily phone calls during hunting season to “hear a story” about how many deer were seen, how big the deer and his horns were, and how many yards away they were. Linda said these conversations were special to both.
Friendship was so important to Freeman, and he had some amazing friends. Some of that friendship allowed him to travel and see magical places, like the seven-hour trail ride on mule back in Gila National Forest on “Sadie” the mule, a hunting trip that included his brother, Pat, and that Freeman called one of the highlights of his life. And yes, he came home with an amazing Elk he was proud to show off.
Freeman wanted to see all the beauty that God created, and he had such an appreciation for it all and always wanted to see more.
Thank you, Bill and Suzy (our navigator) for our travels together and Suzy’s ability to read an actual printed map. You both allowed us to see this beautiful country with him.
He formed a bond with so many home builders, plumbers, and electricians in his career that also turned into true friendships.
Freeman and Linda were high school sweethearts. Linda said she knew from the first time she saw his blond hair and beautiful blue eyes, they were destined to be together, even if she jokingly told Freeman that one friend was “a bad influence” on him – we love you, Joe, and consider you family. She knew quickly he loved to fish and hunt, which was OK with her because her dad also loved those activities, leading to a great father and son-in-law relationship.
Linda said Freeman’s love over 54 years was “indisputable,” and one of her fondest memories is when Freeman used to throw newspapers on Sunday morning during high school. Each Sunday she would receive an extra paper on the porch “just for me.” She always knew which one was “mine” because he had written on the front page a simple “I love you.”
Linda said this love extended to his large family also, which he considered one of the most important parts of his life. He loved each family member with his entire heart.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, August 26, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the McLain Family Pavilion to celebrate this amazing man. Please feel free to share your special memories of Freeman with us on this day.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Wiggins, Sandra, Dee Dee, Kelly and Elizabeth at ACS for their dedication, diligence and especially for their friendship. Our family also wishes to thank Shirley, and his fishing partner, David, for all the support and countless hours they spent caring for Freeman.