Jean Morgan Freeman Mayfield
When a gallon of gasoline was eleven cents and a loaf of bread was a dime, Jean Morgan Freeman was born on June 13, 1921, to Grace and Bert Freeman in Sandusky, Mich. She passed away peacefully in her apartment in Heritage House in Vicksburg.
At an early age she moved to Port Huron, Mich. where she and her two sisters, Betty and Margy spent an idyllic childhood in spite of the Depression. She read every book in the children’s section of the library and had the distinct honor of checking out carefully scrutinized books from the adult section.
In her early teens, she moved to Nashville, Tenn. where her father was hired to help survey I-40 which runs from Tennessee to North Carolina. Jean often said that she thought I-40 should be called the Freeman Freeway because of the long hours her father had put in.
While attending Vanderbilt University, and serving as president of her sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, she met the love of her life, John Mayfield. In 1942 duty called, and John answered becoming a radio operator and gunner on a B-17 while serving in North Africa and Italy. Jean promised to write.
After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1943 with a history major and an English minor, Jean took a train to New York City, rented a room in a boarding house and landed a job as a workman’s compensation investigator for Liberty Mutual. Here, she attended a matinee of the musical, Oklahoma. While in New York, she met John’s brother, Mabry who was attending Fordham University in the Army Special Training Program before he was deployed.
Upon John’s return from World War II, they were married in Nashville on June 23, 1945. They moved to Baton Rouge where John pursued a commerce degree and Jean was again surrounded by books as she worked in the LSU library. They moved to Shreveport, raised a family and were married almost 60 years.
She loved her family, her friends, Shreveport, playing bridge, books and travel. She disliked cooking, complaining, hypocrites and oatmeal.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Bert and Grace Freeman; her sisters, Betty Johnson and Margy Hildebrand and her beloved husband, John.
She leaves her legacy of grace to John Mayfield of Portland, Ore., Peggy Gouras and husband, Jimmy of Vicksburg and Bill Mayfield and wife, Libby of Lexington, Ky.; granddaughters, Kimberly Dennehy and husband, Don of Pearland, Texas and Julia George Mayfield and fiancé, Spenser of Portland, Ore. and her great-grandchildren, Anelyse and Collin Dennehy of Pearland, Texas.
The family suggests memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, N.C. 28607 or the charity of your choice.
The family extends heartfelt gratitude to her loving caregiver and companion, Stephanie Squire, of Squire’s Companion and Compassion Service and loving caregivers, Valerie Taylor, Ruthie Hall, Lillian Batchelor, Carolyn Butler, Melissa Hayes and the wonderful staff of angels at Heritage House: Joyce Hubbard, Kim Crawford, Sandra Dickerson, Stephanie Reeves, LaToya Williams, Carley Trim, Madison Wade, the dining and housekeeping staff and others.
Jean often repeated, “I’ve had a wonderful life. I have had a wonderful life.” And she did.
There will be a graveside service at Forest Park Cemetery, 3700 St. Vincent Ave., Shreveport, LA at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. Masks and social distancing will be observed.