Obituary of Elijah Dowling Free III
Elijah Dowling Free, III
Elijah (Ed) Free, a resident of the Presbyterian Community of Columbia, passed away Wednesday, March 2nd, 2022. Ed was born October 15, 1923, to parents Elijah D. Free II and Ruth Pellum Free in Bishopville, SC.
After graduating from Dreher High School, Columbia, SC, he went on to study architecture at his beloved University of South Carolina. In addition, he also was a proud member of the University's NROTC unit. His education was interrupted by the outbreak of WWII and Ed suddenly found himself, and his fellow cadets, assigned to anti-submarine duty in Charleston harbor. Shortly after, he was inducted into the United States Navy and served aboard the USS Bullock, (AK 165), as the Communications Officer, ending his service in 1946 at the rank of Lieutenant (jg).
After completion of his service to our country, he resumed his studies at the University of South Carolina, graduating in 1948 with a degree in accounting. He remained an ardent supporter of the University and "Fighting Gamecock" Athletic programs throughout his life. He went on to have a career spanning over 30 years working for Mutual of Wassau, as an auditor, starting in New York City. Upon transfer to the Atlanta branch office he met the love of his life, Jane Poole Free in 1952.
Ed and Jane wed in 1953, going on to have two daughters, Carolyn and Elisa. They deeply loved each other for 55 years. Ed was a force of nature, determined to provide for his family and serve his community. His family meant more to him than anything else in the world. He was unendingly proud of Jane, Carolyn, Elisa and granddaughter Christina always trying his best to support them.
Ed and Jane were passionate about the natural world around them and were truly stewards of the wildlife that visited their backyard. They seemed to have individual relationships with the various animals, especially their raccoon herd, that would visit.
He was also devoted to his church. After settling in Columbia, SC, Ed, Jane and family joined Trinity Presbyterian Church in 1965, not long after its founding. Ed served as an elder, deacon and finally as treasurer. The latter responsibility he relinquished upon his move to the Presbyterian Community of Columbia in 2016.
Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting or knowing Ed knew that he was first and foremost a gentleman of complete integrity, friend and the most loving father, grandfather and husband a family could ask for.
Ed was predeceased by his parents and sister, his wife Jane and daughter Carolyn D. Free. He is survived by daughter, Elisa "Lisa" F. Yeager (Mark) and granddaughter, Christina F. Spach (Mitchell).
There will be a memorial service at the Presbyterian Home of Columbia Chapel, Wednesday, March 9th at 11:00AM. The internment will follow in a private ceremony by the family at Greenlawn Cemetery, Columbia, SC
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, that memorials be made to:Trinity Presbyterian Church 1000 Greenlawn Drive Columbia, SC 29209 https://trinitypresonline.com Carolina Wildlife Center 5551 Bush River Road Columbia, SC 29212 https://carolinawildlife.org To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Elijah Free III, please visit our Tree Store