Funeral services for Rev. Lloyd Edward Free, 92, are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb.13, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church with the Rev. Jim Welborn, the Rev. Guy Lee and the Rev. Martha Jane Lomax officiating. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.
Rev. Free passed away Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, he was a loving husband and the father of four children.
Born March 25, 1927, near the rural communities of Pea Ridge and Mud Creek, south of Cornelia, he was the son of the late Martin and Vadie Woodall Free. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by all his brothers and sisters, Earl, Everett, Dewey Lee, Hazel Free Crain, Nezzie Free Strange and Eunice Free Hulsey; his sisters-in-law, Bernice Cantrell, Shirley Cantrell Free, Bonnie Harper Free, and Evelyn Hulsey Free; his brothers-in-law, V.D. Crain, Clay Strange, Owen Cantrell and Telford Hulsey; and his son, David.
He joined the army in WWII at age 16, and began basic training at age 17, eventually serving at a logistics unit located near West Point in New York. All his brothers served in WWII. When his father became gravely ill, Lloyd returned home to run the family farm. He later received his undergraduate degree from Piedmont College in 1950, and numerous graduate degrees from the University of Georgia in Athens. He was an educator in Northeast Georgia for 42 years. In his later career he worked with the State Board of Education for 11 years and taught developmental studies at Lanier Tech. He was a bivocational Baptist minister. He served as pastor of several local churches including: his home church Pleasant Hill, Broad River, Lula Baptist Church, Dewberry One, Belton Baptist, Enon, White Creek Baptist, Crossroads Baptist Church and Double Springs. On July 1, 1950, he married Clarice Cantrell, daughter of Jesse and Mae Cantrell. He and Clarice had three daughters, Mary Helen, JoAnne, and Carolyn, and one son, David who passed away at age four after an extended illness.
Lloyd had a life-long love for learning, for Bible study, vegetable gardening, his friends, neighbors, and family. In addition to being known in schools and churches in the area, he was known for his quiet, compassionate, and generous spirit.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Clarice; his three daughters, and sons-in-law, Dale Marsh, John Carter, and Phillip Bowen; granddaughter, Rebecca Mae Bowen; several nieces and nephews; sister-in-law, Betty Allison Cantrell Skinner; and brother-in-law, Elwood Free.
The family will receive friends from 4 until 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home and he will lie in state beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the church.
Flowers are accepted or donations may be made to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Building Fund or to the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home, 505 Water Works Rd., Palmetto, GA 30268.
An online guest register is available and may be viewed at mcgaheegriffinandstewart.com.
McGahee-Griffin & Stewart Funeral Home of Cornelia, is in charge of arrangements.