Dale Freeman


Dale Gene Freeman, 78, passed away on January 17th at Rochester East Health Services, in Rochester, MN. He was surrounded by his family during his final days. He was a loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, as well as a pastor, friend, teacher, and mentor to many.

Dale was born in Yakima, WA, the only child of Gale and Oweta (Gilley) Freeman, on August 15, 1945. He grew up in Cowiche, WA, graduating from Highland High School in 1963. He met the love of his life, Marilyn McDermott, when they were children. Although they grew up attending school together, they began dating at the end of their senior year.  They were married a year later, on September 5, 1964, in Yakima, WA.

At the age of 16 years, Dale knew that he was being called by God to preach the gospel. Following their wedding, Dale and Marilyn moved to Nampa, ID, where Dale attended Northwest Nazarene College. Over his 50+ year ministry, Dale pastored Baptist churches in Idaho, North Dakota, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, and Oregon. He spent the last 21 years of his ministry pastoring Calvary Baptist Church in Albany, Oregon. Over those years, Dale traveled to the Caribbean, Canada, England and Wales, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, and Ukraine, taking mission teams from his and other U.S. churches, to share their love for Jesus and to minister to the needs of the people in those countries.

Dale was a creative talent with a love for entertaining, theater, writing, and movies. At the age of 10, Dale developed an interest in ventriloquism and magic. Over the next 10 years, he became an accomplished ventriloquist and magician, using both talents to creatively share his faith across the U.S. and the world. Everywhere he traveled, he took his “friend,” Corny the Crow, to entertain children of all ages, backgrounds, cultures, and languages. He performed his original magic acts in schools, churches, and at community events, and performed his “Close Encounters of the Third Mind” illusions on dozens of college campuses.  He also wrote, directed, and played leading roles in a number of theater productions in his church and the community. He wrote and published more than twenty original fiction and biographical books. He was also an avid movie enthusiast, collecting titles from various eras, genres and on a variety of mediums through the years. One of his books (My Soul To Take) was even adapted into a screenplay and made into a feature length film by his sons, Jason and Todd. The film, Wake Before I Die, was distributed worldwide in 2017.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents and one aunt, Gerry (Gilley) Goody. He is survived by his wife, Marilyn and their three children, Tara (Clint) Calvert of Rochester, MN, Jason Freeman of Bend, OR and Todd (Sarah) Freeman of Gilbert, AZ. Dale was also the proud grandfather of Ashleigh (Corey) Kramer of Rochester, MN, Erin Freeman of Battleground, WA, Michael (Molly) Calvert of Plymouth, MN, Katie Freeman of Vancouver, WA, Josh Calvert of Littleton, CO, and Fuller and Faye Freeman of Gilbert, AZ. He was most recently blessed with two great-grandchildren, Lucy and Theo Calvert of Plymouth, MN.

A virtual celebration of life is being planned for a future date, where the many people across the country and the world that he has touched, can gather to remember Dale and his impact in all our lives.

Memories and condolences of  Dale may be shared at rochestercremationservicesmn.com

5 thoughts on “Dale Freeman

  1. A life-long journey with a passion for blessing others with God’s word and a flare for presenting the Good News artistically in various mediums. Well done faithful servant! Rest in peace!

  2. I went to school with Dale from grade school until graduation and church at the Tieton Baptist Church. I have some good memories of him and Marilyn (from high-school). They were examples of what it means to serve the Lord even then. I lost touch with them and I can tell I missed out. I became friends with Dale on facebook and so enjoyed his posts. I pray comfort for your family for the huge loss

  3. This was a beautiful eulogy and highlighted many of Dales lifelong goodworks. I am proud to be one of his 3 cousins on his moms side, my mother Geraldine (Wills) Goody was so proud of her nephew, she never missed a chance to brag on his writing and accomplishments as a minister. I didnt have the opportunity as an adult to interact very much with Dale, but his character was imprinted in his soul from his childhood and I have so many wonderful memories of this time. I feel that he strove his whole life to reach where he is now and at peace. Please keep in touch.

  4. ♥️ we can read what Jesus did with two fish and five loves of bread, but what did He do with a church bulletin from Pastor Dale’s little church back in Colorado? That’s part of my story, but as Bro Dale always said, “eternity will tell”. See you there dear brother!

  5. Dale was a great man. We are so fortunate that our paths crossed with him and his family in this life. We loved him dearly. Sympathy to the family. We love you guys. (Barry and Svitlana Self)

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