Jasper “Jay” Freese, 83, longtime resident and businessman of Greeley, died Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at Brookdale Senior Living Center.
Jasper was born August 22, 1936 in Norwalk, CT to Irving C. and Elizabeth Edla (Hutchinson) Freese where his father was mayor for numerous terms. Through his mother, Mr. Freese was a direct lineal descendant of the William Hopkins family who came on the Mayflower and helped found the Plymouth Colony.
Mr. Freese attended schools in Norwalk, then attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA graduating in 1958 with a degree in Civil Engineering. While there he was a member of the ROTC. He held civil engineering jobs for a large firm in Boston and traveled to both Colorado and Greenland with his work. When he returned to the US, he moved to Los Angeles, CA to work for the State of California Water Dept. and obtained an Engineering Master’s Degree in Hydrology. He was the youngest licensed Civil Engineer to achieve the rank of Senior Civil engineer ever hired by the Water Department.
In 1966 Jasper moved to Greeley to be part of an engineering firm started by his friend, George Bargelt. He obtained his Colorado Surveyors license at that time. He later struck out on his own, starting his business, Freese Engineering, which he operated until retirement in his late 70’s. After completing his required military duty upon graduation from college, Mr. Freese continued as a reservist in the United States Army Corps of Engineers for 28 years. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Concurrently with his engineering business, Mr. Freese also taught at Aims Community College in the Technical Division. He was very proud that a number of his students went on to complete professional Engineering degrees. Mr. Freese was a 32nd Degree Mason. He served on numerous local boards and was a member of several professional organizations.
He enjoyed playing tennis and watching both collegiate and professional football, baseball, and basketball games. He held Denver Nuggets season tickets for many years. Jasper enjoyed card games (played a mean cribbage), especially bridge which he enjoyed until the last months of his life. Jasper was an avid reader, especially of WW II histories and biographies. He had an extensive collection of military insignias which he enjoyed researching and displaying.
Mr. Freese is survived by his beloved daughter, Sera J. Shaw. Also surviving is his former wife and friend, Kathryn Freese. In addition, he is survived by his loving step-daughters, Ann Johnson and Laura (Ryan) Feland; dear granddaughters Amanda Johnson, Michelle Olivas and Nicole Norman; and great grandkids Michael Johnson, Jayden Olivas-Castrejon, Aaliyah, Adrian and Elliott Norman. He also leaves behind many good friends. A memorial service will be held at noon Sunday, March 22, 2020 at Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Avenue, Greeley. To leave condolences for Jasper Freese’s family, www.adamsoncares.com.