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Hundreds mourn loss of Capt. Freeman

Hundreds of mourners filled the pews of Richmond Hill United Methodist Church on Saturday to say goodbye to Marine Capt. Matthew Freeman, who was killed in action Aug. 7 while serving in Afghanistan.

They came to honor a man who left his mark on a community he loved dearly.

During the hour-long service, Capt. Freeman was remembered as a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest as he was eulogized by Father Joseph Smith, pastor at St. Anne’s Catholic Church and Father Steve Meguiar, former RHUMC pastor.

Capt. Freeman was also remembered as someone with a sense of humor who understood the meaning of duty and courage.

Among those to speak at the funeral was Richmond Hill High School teacher Lee Ergle.

"Matthew Freeman loved life, his family and country and he dearly loved Richmond Hill," she said.

Capt. Freeman, a former Eagle Scout and student council president at RHHS, was also described as a loving son and husband.

He and high school sweetheart Theresa Hess were married just weeks ago, and the couple planned a larger wedding later.

The two graduated RHHS in 1998 and "where you would find Matthew, you would find Theresa," Ergle said.

After the service, Navy and Marine pallbearers carried Capt. Freeman’s casket to a waiting hearse, followed by family members.

As if on cue, a light sprinkle of rain began to fall as the funeral procession drove west on Hwy. 144. It was soon followed by a heavy downpour.

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