Hugh Taylor Freebairn Obituary

  • Hugh Taylor Freebairn
    In Loving Memory of

    Hugh Taylor Freebairn

    Birth Date: Jul 29th, 1926 Death Date: Dec 2nd, 2015
    Dr. Hugh Taylor Freebairn

    July 29, 1926 - December 2, 2015

    Dr. Hugh Taylor Freebairn, age 89, died Wednesday, December 2, 2015.

    He was born July 29, 1926, in Long Beach, California, the son of dentist, Dr. Archibald Freebairn and wife, Norma Taylor Freebairn.

    Hugh was preceded in death by: his father; his brother, Archibald Jr.; his mother; and his sister, Joy.

    In Hugh's childhood years, growing up near the beach and Hollywood, he and his brother were pals, learning to fish, to sail, and to fix cars. Their mother's ambition was for them to become movie stars. Consequently Hugh studied piano, violin, drama and tap dancing. They tried out for the leading role in the movie, Tom Sawyer.

    His teenage years were overshadowed by World War II and he was drafted at 18, into the Army, where he was trained and worked in the Dental Corp. He also received flight training but the war ended before his flight squadron was called to action. On June 10, 1950, Alice Johnson and Hugh were married. With the help from his parents, the GI Bill, house building, and employment as lab assistant, Hugh completed 2 PhD degrees, one in Chemistry and the other in BioChemistry.

    Alice and Hugh were blessed with 2 children, Dorothy Ann, born in Culver City on June 26, 1951 and Hugh Stuart, born in Corvallis, Oregon on June 6, 1953. After their divorce, Hugh married Roberta Stout in 1961 and Bruce Taylor Freebairn was born on December 12, 1964 in Houston, Texas.

    While at the University of California, he worked on the problem of atmosphere pollution. While at the University of Oregon, he researched mitochondrial density in plants as well as in animals. He worked as a professor at the University of Houston for 21 years, an inspiration to many graduate students and was also employed by the United Fruit Co. to study the diseases of bananas. Students of U of Houston, nicknamed him "Dr. Bananas". He invented a chemical machine for ripening bananas that is used worldwide. Because he sold the patent, he did not become a billionaire.

    He and his family lived in Honduras several years. He operated a laboratory for the study of the diseases of bananas and bought a "yellow submarine" to scuba and explore sunken ships in the Caribbean Sea.

    The marriage with Bobbie and Hugh dissolved after 21 years. She preferred to live in Colorado and he chose to live in Texas. It was time to retire to live and work his beloved ranch near Brenham.

    His stepson, Robert Warren encouraged him to study international folk dancing, given free of charge by Houston Parks. There he met Eleanor, who was also nearing retirement years. They were married May 12, 1989,which was Mayfair Celebration Day in downtown Brenham with a German Band and German Folk Dancing.

    While living on the Brenham ranch for 20 of the 26 years of marriage, Hugh audited courses at A&M to help him manage their ranch. Now 26 happy years have flown by with family get-togethers and travel in the USA and foreign lands.

    He is survived by his wife, Eleanor Freebairn; his stepson Robert Warren; eldest son, Hugh Stuart Freebairn, youngest son, Bruce Taylor; 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. In addition he is also survived by Eleanor's children, Karen Clarke, Steven Oversby, Annabel Rondeau, Joyce Cail and Andrew Cail and 4 more grandchildren. Everyone loved Hugh, this warm and generous soul.

    Instead of flowers, if you wish to contribute to Veterans of Foreign Wars that would be much appreciated by him.

    To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Hugh Taylor Freebairn please visit our Sympathy Store.

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