Gerald "Jerry" Russell Freeman, 76, was lost to us on Dec. 25, 2004, after a courageous battle with cancer and its complications. Survived by his beloved wife of 25 years, the Honorable Ann L. Alton, Hennepin County District Court Judge, and their son Brady, who were at his side at the end. Jerry is also survived by his children, Gerald R. Freeman Jr. (Jeri), of Maple Grove, Minn., Jon L. Freeman (Sandra), of Bay Minette, Ala., Craig Freeman, of Big Lake, Minn., Samantha Freeman and Kelley Freeman, both of Minneapolis. Jerry also is survived by eight grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; brother, James (Jim) Freeman (Geraldine), of Bloomington, Minn.; and niece, Cheri Freeman. Preceded in death by infant son, Matthew Alton Freeman; mother, Mildred Linton Wofford; father, Samuel Freeman; stepfather, John V. Wofford, who raised him; and sister, Lois May Freeman. Jerry was a beloved husband and father, born in Minneapolis, Feb. 14, 1928, he graduated Marshall University High School, Minneapolis, 1946. He served in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper in 1946-48. He attended the University of Minnesota, B.A. 1952. He worked for the Minneapolis Police Department, first as a patrolman, then as a homicide detective, from 1950-60. He continued to work for the police force while attending William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, where he graduated with a J.D. in 1960. Jerry worked as an attorney in Minneapolis in his own practice and as a partner in the following firms: Collins, Freeman and Flakne, 1960-67; Freeman, Gill, Keating & Ebersold, 1967-73; Freeman, Alton, Dodd and Greer, 1973-86; and most recently with Freeman and Alton Ltd., 1991-2004. Jerry was well-known in the legal community as a founder of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (L.C.L.), an organization created to help lawyers and judges with issues related to chemical dependency. He has served on their Board of Directors since its inception in 1977 and served twice as chairperson. Many lawyers were helped by Jerry's work in this field and many more will benefit from this organization in the future which provides an Employer Assistance Program endorsed by the Minnesota Supreme Court for licensed Minnesota attorneys. Jerry also was a member of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association and a master member with the Douglas K. Amdahl Inn of Court. He was a member of the Minnesota and American Bar Associations; American Trial Lawyers Association and the American Judicature Society. Jerry was a Freemason, a Shriner, and also a member of the Minneapolis Sportsmen's Club, formerly Fur, Fin and Feathers. Jerry was part Dakota Sioux from Gray Cloud Island. As an attorney, he worked on the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe Constitution, and was very proud of his heritage. He served as a tribal court judge during the late 80s and 90s for the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa. He was an adjunct professor teaching trial practice at Hamline University School of Law during the 1980s. He was a lecturer on chemical dependency at Golden Valley Medical Center, Minneapolis; legal counsel, Board of Directors, Vinland Nature Center, Minneapolis; member of chemical dependency advocacy committee at United Hospital, St. Paul; member of the Board of Directors at NuWay House, Minneapolis; and a member of ABA Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. He served as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for many years. He served as a member of the Minnesota Board of Professional Responsibility 1989-1995, and served as chairperson, Hennepin County Chemical Dependency Advisory Committee. Few people who met Jerry failed to call him a friend and many found him a formidable adversary in court. He was an exemplary attorney, always ethical, with a great heart. The family would like to thank all the friends and colleagues who provided support and visited Jerry during his illness. Many thanks to the staff at the Mayo Clinic and Methodist Hospital in Rochester, Minn. Special thanks to the head of Cardiology, Dr. George Gura, and his wife, Jan, whose skill, time and friendship were invaluable. Visitation will be Tuesday, Dec. 28, 5-8 p.m., at the David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata. Jerry's life will be celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 11 a.m. at Wayzata Community Church, 125 East Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata. The Burial Service will be at the Sunset Memorial Park in Minneapolis. Memorials preferred to Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, 2550 University Avenue West, Suite 313N, St. Paul, MN 55114.
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