Butterfly expert, retired teacher

By LaKISHA LADSON Staff Writer
Published February 25, 2002

Hugh Avery Freeman, a noted expert on butterflies and a retired Dallas science teacher, died Tuesday at his Garland home.

Services for Mr. Freeman, 89, were Friday in Garland.

People from various countries would consult Mr. Freeman about butterflies, said his daughter, Linda Stafford of Houston.

"He loved nature; it was not only butterflies, he knew a great deal about botany," she said.

Mr. Freeman, whose excursions took him through the Southwest and Mexico, identified more than 100 species of butterflies, his family said. His collections are on display in museums.

Mr. Freeman, who was born in 1912 in Conway, Ark., earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Hendrix College in 1935. He earned a master's degree in zoology from Southern Methodist University in 1938.

Mr. Freeman taught at area high schools. From 1954 until his retirement in 1981, he taught at Hillcrest High School. He was the school's Teacher of the Year in 1963.

"He really did take something that was dry for a lot of people and made it interesting because he had a passion for it himself," Ms. Stafford said.

He taught biology at SMU from 1948 to 1951, his family said.

Mr. Freeman is also survived by his wife, Louise Freeman of Garland; another daughter, Julia Matthews of Austin; a son, Gilbert Freeman of Garland; 11 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Hillcrest High School Scholarship Fund, 9924 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, TX 75230.