Freeman “Freem” S. Dennison, 86, of Greenwood left the hill for the last time on Thursday March 14, 2019. He passed away in Wellsville on Friday March 15. Freem was born in Hornell on December 1, 1932 to Owen Denison and Jessie (Atkins) Dennison. He was the beloved grandson of Mary (Mate) E. Rogers. At the sudden passing of his father when he was 16 years old, Freem was called upon to take up the management of the family dairy farm. He served the farm faithfully for 70 years. He was a graduate of Greenwood Central School class of 1950. However, he spent much of his time in school gazing up into the hill behind the school and thinking about all the farm work he would rather be doing there.
On October 22, 1955 in Niagara Falls, he married Helen (Will) Dennison, who survives. Together they created FreeHeld Farms on the Rogers homestead. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, they undertook a massive renovation to make the farm more efficient and to conserve the land and soil. They gained many friends as part of this project and Freem often remarked that this time was the highlight of his farming career. FreeHeld was recognized by the Department of Environmental Conservation and designated as a New York Century Farm in 2004– indicating a farm that has been held in the same family for more than 100 years.
With dogged determination, through many health challenges, Freeman actively milked cows until 2003, then continued to honor the commitment he had made to his parents and grandmother until the very end.
Freeman was a member of the Masonic Lodge and was part of the Corning Consistory Fall Class of 1977 and former Master of the Andover Lodge. He was a life-long Republican but swore that he voted for his daughter when she ran for a county legislator’s seat as a Democrat.
Freeman and Helen had 4 daughters. He was proud of ensuring that all his girls were able to go to college. Surviving daughters are Susan E. Wetherwax of Lake Mary, Fla.; Cindy C. (Randall) Kratzer of Powell, Ohio; Sandra J. (Joey Lawrence) Dennison of Almond and Bonnie (Hugh) Cornell of Jacksonville, Fla. The boys he always wanted arrived as grandchildren: Timothy R. (Morgan) Hampel of Columbus, Ohio and Wesley M. Dennison, at home, of Almond. We cannot forgot that he also leaves behind his beloved little black poodle and faithful companion, Winkle (Wink).
Arrangements are under the direction of Baker-Swan Funeral Home in Andover. Calling hours will be Sunday March 17 from 6-8 pm at the funeral home with a small Masonic Funeral rite scheduled for 7:45 pm. On Monday March 18, additional calling hours will be from 10:30-11:30 am, with funeral services beginning at 11:45 am with Rev. Phil Barner of the Andover Alliance Church officiating. Burial will be immediately following at Hillside Cemetery in Andover.
Memorial contributions in Freem’s name may be made to Masonic Care Community of New York, 2150 Bleecker St., Utica, NY 13501.