Christopher Gray Freeman drowned Jan. 28, 2019, while digging for clams in the town of Osterville, Massachusetts. Chris was born in Wareham, Massachusetts, on Dec. 14, 1959. He was the son of the Rev. Warren Gray Freeman and Charlotte Van Auken Silbaugh. He was the grandson of the late Agnes and Leland Van Auken and great-grandson of Joanna Corpe, all of Buffalo.
He spent most of his life on Cape Cod. He graduated from Fayetteville-Manlius High School in 1978, lettering in gymnastics. Chris was an award-winning artist and craftsman, building two wooden canoes while still in high school. He attended Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, majoring in fine arts.
He worked as a commercial shell fisherman for over 30 years. He proudly served on the Town of Barnstable Shellfish Committee. Chris loved the outdoors. He owned land in Vermont and on Sandy Neck in Massachusetts. He always talked about fishing and was very happy when he was awarded an aquaculture grant from the Town of Barnstable.
He had a keen interest in family history and pursued genealogy in numerous ways. He visited many cemeteries. Websites on the internet were a great boon to his research. He exchanged information with numerous family members.
He is greatly missed by his sisters Joanna and Jack Bragen and Rändi Freeman and Bob Woods; niece Sara Freeman and nephew Ben Freeman. He is also mourned by his extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and three stepbrothers and their families as well as his shell fishing family and friends.
The Rev. Morgan Silbaugh conducted a memorial service June 19 in the Oak Grove Cemetery Chapel, Falmouth, Massachusetts, followed immediately by interment of his ashes in the Gray-Freeman family plot. He will be remembered at another memorial service on Aug. 2 during the Van Auken family reunion in Buffalo.