Extraordinary Dallas Realtor, Broker and Humanitarian Charles Freeman, R.I.P.

It saddens my heart to report that Charles Freeman, co-founder of the Briggs-Freeman Sotheby’s brokerage firm, has died after losing a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Charles died peacefully Sunday.

Not only was Charles one of the most influential real estate leaders in the city, he was an amazing human being. A fourth generation Dallasite, Charles Freeman watched Dallas grow exponentially during his 46-plus year real estate career and placed his caring hands on that growth.

After Freeman graduated from the University of Oklahoma, he worked for and eventually purchased Claire Gillon Realtors, which then became Charles Freeman Realtors, primarily selling real estate in Park Cities and North Dallas.

In 1993, he merged with Ben R. Briggs Real Estate and formed Briggs Freeman Real Estate Brokerage, where he was president.

Loved by virtually everyone in and out of real estate, his peers elected him a director of the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors Board, a position he held for three years.  In addition, he served as chairman of the Multiple Listing Service, and served for many years on the Standards of Practice Committee. Charles was President Emeritus of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty, which has over 125 associates and far reaching global resources.

Charles was also a member of many local charities, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation of Dallas where he served on the Advisory board for over 18 years.  He was also an active communicant of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, where he was a member of the Acolyte Corps. Most vitally, Charles was the proud father of four wonderful children, and two step-children from his married to Sarah Freeman: Troy and Jennifer Freeman, Preston Freeman,  Herbie Deer, and Traci Deer Harrell, and stepchildren Clayton Smith and Erin and Stuart Smith.

Charles loved and lived life as abundantly as he sold real estate. A voracious gourmet, he was a member of several local Dallas gourmet groups including the Dallas Knife and Fork Club, as well as a tremendous adventurer: dove hunting, fly fishing, wind surfing, aviation, flying, aerobic planes. Charles also learned to rollerblade in his 60′s!

In an early morning message from his partner, Robbie Briggs said “our dear, sweet Charles has gone to be with the Lord. He will leave us with a huge hole that cannot be filled. We will miss his humor, his friendship, his love, his loyalty, his dignity, his wisdom, his irreverence, his integrity, and his presence.”

To quote long time Briggs-Freeman agent (and friend) Len Bourland:

“In my house are many mansions, now there is one with a Charles Freeman open house sign, and that’s where the fun people are!”

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