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David Haines Freeman (1931-2019)

Categories: Alumni

Dr. David Freeman (PhD '57) passed away on October 28, 2019

David Haines Freeman, professor emeritus at the University of Maryland, College Park, died in his sleep at Sibley Hospital in Washington, D.C. on October 28, 2019, where his family had gathered. The cause of death was lung cancer, according to his wife Linda R. Freeman.

A long-time resident of Maryland, Dave Freeman had lived for 47 years in Potomac before downsizing with his wife to a condo in North Bethesda six years ago.

Professor Freeman’s research focused on separation methods, and included pioneering work with ion-exchange resins, chemical and isotope micro standards, and new methods in liquid and gas chromatography. He used this expertise to study molecules in oils and ancient sediments and contaminants in the environment, including in the Chesapeake Bay.

Professor Freeman began his career as an assistant professor at Washington State University, transferred his research interests to the National Bureau of Standards, where he was recognized for establishing highly precise standards for isotope measurements, and finally returned to academia at the University of Maryland, where he did research and taught for 25 years. He collaborated with colleagues around the world, as well as locally at the Carnegie Institute of Washington. Active in professional service throughout his career, he served as president of the Chemical Society of Washington (1980-81) and as Chair of a Gordon Research Conference (1977).

Dave Freeman was born in Rochester, New York on June 24, 1931. He attended schools in the Irondequoit suburb of that city and graduated from the University of Rochester in 1952 with a BS in chemistry. He earned a master’s degree in chemistry at Carnegie Institute (now Carnegie Mellon University), completed a Ph.D. in chemistry at M.I.T. in 1957 and did post-doctoral research there for another two years.

While still a graduate student at M.I.T., Dave met Linda at a dance at her college (Wellesley). Their marriage lasted for 63 years and produced four children: Charles (husband Michael), Katherine (husband Mark), George (wife Anne), and William (wife Courtney). He and Linda were the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.

Even before his retirement, Professor Freeman followed his passion for art by taking studio art courses at the university, and afterward he also mastered advanced forms of digital photography, teaching that subject in several programs, most recently in the Osher Life-Long Learning Institute (OLLI) at American University.