In Memoriam: John Geier Freehafer, 82 October 7, 1939 – August 27, 2022

In Memoriam

John G. Freehafer, 82

October 7, 1939 – August 27, 2022

John G. Freehafer

No he’s not lost fishing Oaks Creek or overdue from “antiquing” or walking the dog, Dr. John Geier Freehafer, 82, died suddenly but peacefully August 27, 2022 at home in Cooperstown, NY with his loving wife of 37 years, Gail (Reid) Freehafer, and treasured dog LuLu with him. John was a devoted husband, caregiver, father, and a dear friend to many. He was best known for his quick intellect, gamesmanship, robust appetite for good food and good times, wry sense of humor, uncanny ability to catch the larger fish, and his Polo aftershave.

John was born in New Rochelle, NY on October 7, 1939 to loving parents Edward G. and Isabel (Houck) Freehafer, originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He and his parents spent (and he continued to spend) many wonderful summer days in West Dennis, Massachusetts foraging its shorelines with crab net, fishing pole or scallop rake, and its flea markets and antique shops. At least in his later years he was not kept roped to the bridge for safety, as his parents were prone to do.

John attended New Rochelle High School where he played standup bass in the dance band. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Brown University and medical degree from McGill University. John served his country proudly as a Captain in the United States Air Force, at Wildwood Air Force Station in Kenai Alaska. He completed his medical training with a fellowship in neonatal medicine in Augusta, Georgia.

He and his college sweetheart Nancy Frazier (Herman) married in 1963. After moving around the country for his medical training and military service, the Freehafer family settled with 3 young children in Cooperstown, NY in 1971. John did his best to help many other young families over a 30 year career as a pediatrician at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital. As an avid fisherman, sportsman and treasure hunter / scavenger he was never one to back down from any rod and reel or racquet sports challenge (and not shy about the foretelling of his opponents’ pending losses) and not abashed about collecting almost anything.

John enjoyed his retirement in Cooperstown and Cape Cod with his wife Gail and his adopted dog Lulu, who was his steadfast companion. He and Gail enjoyed many traveling adventures together and with friends and family. John will be remembered and missed by many in the Cooperstown community, as a doctor, neighbor, and friend.

He is survived by his wife Gail (Reid) Freehafer; his son, Peter Freehafer (and Michelle) of Cherry Valley, NY and their children Alexander and Morgan of Cooperstown, NY; his daughter Susie Frazier (and Matthew Fingerhut) of Seattle Washington and their children Jacob, Ella, and Josie; his daughter Lisa Freehafer of Boston, MA; his step-daughter Kimberley Elting (and Stewart Cohen) of Dallas, TX and their children Teal and Reid Cohen; and his step-daughter Laird Elting (and Jean Robert) of Cooperstown, NY.

Calling hours are being held from 11-1 on Saturday September 10, 2022 at the Tillapaugh funeral home in Cooperstown NY. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the nonprofit organization Rescue Dogs Rescue Soldiers Sanctuary where, graciously, Lulu has found a new home. A gathering for friends and family will also be held at a later date. Set the hook!

3 thoughts on “In Memoriam: John Geier Freehafer, 82 October 7, 1939 – August 27, 2022

  1. Sarah VanOverwalle

    I have so many happy memories with Dr.Freehafer and family! Love to all of his beautiful family! ❤️

  2. Sheila

    As a nurse at Bassett I worked with Dr Freehafer for many years and found him to be both professional and caring. He was very calming for many mums and dads at a time when they needed reassuring. Dr Freehafer was the best! RIP

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