Joseph Loy Freeland (b. June 1, 1949) passed away on the morning of Tuesday, March 12, 2019, around the time he would have finished up his childhood chores on the dairy farm on Robert’s Ridge where he grew up.
He is survived by Debra Gurney Freeland, his wife of 42 years; his children, J.W. (Aimee) of Wheeling, WV, and Abby (Carl Grey) of Winston-Salem, NC; his grandchildren, Luke, Chelsea, and Josephine; his double cousin, Byron Freeland; and his sisters, Martha (Les) Fish and Gail (James) Mason. He is the son of the late Loy Woodrow Freeland and Beryl Velma Lancaster Freeland.
Joe was a joyful and generous friend, husband, father, and papa. He loved to make others laugh with a joke or a prank, to tell an outlandish story, and to help solve a problem, whether big or small. He kept his family laughing until the end.
At the age of 23, he opened RMS Hair Stylists, his first business, which he owned and operated for over 40 years. His selfless hard work granted his children many opportunities. They are grateful for his sacrifice and support.
Always curious, creative, and savvy, he was an entrepreneur throughout his life, developing real estate and working as a renewable energy and oil and gas consultant for individuals and corporations. He served on the West Virginia Energy Authority Commission and on the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council. He is also the self-proclaimed inventor of pie.
He was a member of the New Martinsville Rotary Club, where he once served as president; St. Vincent de Paul Parish; and Knights of Columbus. In 2010, he was named West Virginian of the Year. He was a faithful breakfast diner at Quinet’s Restaurant.
His family will miss his wit, his gentle and calm demeanor, his practical advice, and his generosity, but they also know his traits run deep within them all because of his powerful influence.
As a charming wordsmith, Joe wrote a poem for every occasion. His family wrote this one for him:
Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
Joe is in heaven now,
No need to boo hoo.
Family will receive friends on Friday, March 15, 2019, from 3-7 p.m. at Grisell Funeral Home & Crematory, 751 Third St., New Martinsville, where Rosary Devotions will be recited at 6:45 p.m. Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated Saturday at 11 a.m. at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 21 Rosary Rd., New Martinsville, WV, with Fr. Symeon Galazka as celebrant. Interment will be held at the convenience of the family.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to American Association for Kidney Patients or The Kidney Project.
If you know a good story about Joe, family members would love to hear it or have you post it on sympathy expressions at grisellfuneral homes.com.