DOBSON — Clara Smith Freeman died the evening of October 29, 2012 at 104 years, Dobson's oldest resident.
She was born July 19, 1908 in Reidsville, NC to Dillon C. and Mattie Amos Smith on their farm, which has been in her family since 1835. She was educated in the Reidsville public schools and was graduated from North Carolina Woman's College (UNC-Greensboro).
Her first job was in 1930 as a teacher in Germanton in Stokes County where she met her husband Frank Freeman of Dobson, then a teacher and later a lawyer and 17th Judicial District Court judge.
After marriage in 1934 she taught home economics, algebra and biology in Dobson and later Surry Central High Schools for a total of 33 years. She was an active member of the Dobson United Methodist Church for over 70 years. An accomplished gardener, she also loved sewing, quilting and crocheting. In 2006, she moved to a nursing home in Raleigh where she remained alert and attentive until the end of her life.
She is survived by her five children: Franklin, former Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and senior state government official, currently with McGuireWoods, Raleigh, and his wife Lynn; Smith, former chief fiduciary officer of Citibank and U.S. Trust/Bank of America, New York City; Amos, retired from the N.C. Department of Administration, Raleigh; Samuel, professor of philosophy and law at the University of Pennsylvania and his wife Annette Lareau Freeman of Philadelphia; and Betsy Fox , former English instructor at Greensboro College and a Democratic Party organizer in Guilford County and her husband Dr. Richard Fox. Mrs. Freeman also has eleven grandchildren: Meg Whalen (Bob) of Charlotte, John Freeman of Chicago, Dillon Freeman of Harleysville, PA, Rachel Freeman de Dios (Miguel) of Seville, Spain, Edward Freeman of New York City, Rebecca Fox of Durham; and Lorrin Freeman (Robert Padovano), Katherine White (Joe), Aaron Freeman Fox (fiancée Lani Clough), Alexander Freeman, and Mary Clare Freeman all of Raleigh; plus six great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 from 7 pm until 9 pm. at the Moody-Davis Funeral Home in Dobson, NC. Funeral services will be held at Dobson United Methodist Church, 204 South Main Street in Dobson, on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 2 pm. The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorials be sent to Dobson United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 497, Dobson, NC 27017, for the Frank and Clara Freeman college scholarship fund.
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Published in News Record on October 31, 2012