Stephen P. “Butch” Freeman

Grew up in Huntsville

Stephen Philip Freeman was born July 27, 1966. He entered into the presence of his heavenly Father Jan. 25, 2006.

He is survived by the love of his life, wife Sherry and two precious children, Hannah Claire age 3 and Stephen Nicholas age 1; grandfather, J. Philip Davis Sr.; parents, Tom and Patsy Freeman; brothers, Bryan and Ernest and wife, Kim. His immediate family includes an aunt, Janet Stautz and husband David, of Dallas; uncles, Phil Davis and wife, Rene of Temple and John Phelp and wife, Kate of Hilton Head, S.C. His extended family included the thousands of lives he touched throughout his 39 years.

Stephen grew up in Huntsville and was known by the community as Butch. He was probably the most fun loving product of Little Red School House, First Baptist, and HHS. In 1991, he graduated from Baylor University where he became, as the USMC described, “locked on,” with the burning desire to become a jet fighter pilot with the premier defender of our nation’s freedom —The United States Marine Corps.

He graduated with top honors from basic flight instruction in Pensacola, Fla. and later trained at Naval and Marine installations throughout the U.S. and on foreign soils. His Mom had the honor of pinning his Wings of Gold at NAS Meridian, MS in 1995.

In the Corps, Butch was identified as one of the best of the best not only as a pilot, but also as a true “leatherneck.” Yet, with all of the “toughness” often associated with being a Marine, there was a soft side to Butch. He loved and cared about everyone with whom he became connected. In his San Diego neighborhood, he was known as the “go-to guy” when anyone needed a helping hand. His acts and deeds of charity in assisting those in need are countless. His last flying mission in Alaska was exemplary of this love for his fellow man.

After his untimely medical retirement from the Marine Corps, Butch wasn’t satisfied with not being a pilot. In 2004, he graduated president of his class from the Federal Law Enforcement Academy in Georgia and joined the flight division of the U.S. Customs. If ever there was a man who truly loved his vocation, it was Butch Freeman.

“Montana,” the call sign he used as a Customs pilot, has been described by his peers as fun loving, a jokester, one who was the life of a party, made others laugh, could pull a joke on his buddies, or take a joke. His magnetic personality made everyone he met truly love Butch.

He truly loved life and could squeeze more than 60 seconds out of every minute. With all his fun and laughter and his Marine Corps toughness, he truly had his priorities in order: God, Family, Country.

Though he traveled across the face of the earth, as per his wishes, he will be laid to rest with military honors in the area he always called home — Red Top Cemetery in the woods of Grimes county.

Pallbearers include brothers, Ernest and Bryan, brother-in-law, Robert Patrick of Birmingham, Alabama, nephew, Micah Best of Gulf Port, Mississippi, long time friends, J.C. Cooper, Mike Daudet of San Diego, Calif., Marcus Nelson of Louisville, Kentucky and Rob Johnson of Pensacola, Florida.

Services will be held at the First Baptist Church at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, 2006, Pastor David Valentine officiating, under the direction of Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home. The family will receive guests at the Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006.

Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so at

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