Tracey Waddell Freeman enjoyed working with children.
Freeman died May 19 of respiratory complications at Chestnut Hill Hospital. She was 44.
She was born May 10, 1968, in Philadelphia. She was the daughter of Jacqueline V. Freeman and Paul Perkins.
“Tracey was northern born and southern bred. The influence of her mother and my parents, Amelia and the late Lawrence Walker Freeman, exemplified the village concept of raising children. My parents’ home was predicated on a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ,” said her aunt, Denise Freeman Mullins.
At the age of 11, Freeman followed southern church tradition by walking to the Mourner’s Bench during the annual summer revival at her great-grandmother’s church, First Baptist Church in Jarratt, Va.
While in high school, Freeman gave birth to her son, James Elijah in 1984. She got a job at the Social Security Administration in order to handle her responsibilities.
“My sister was a trooper. Her whole desire was not to be a burden and to make a good life for herself and her son,” said her brother, Lawrence Darrell Freeman.
After graduating from Murrell Dobbins High School in 1986, Freeman attended Berean Institute, where she earned an associate’s degree.
Freeman was introduced to her career path after becoming a child care provider at St. Stephens Methodist Church. Her delight in working with children led Freeman to apply for a position at Children’s Choice, a foster care agency.
“She made several professional career moves upward, all the while being the consummate worker full of energy, passion and fortitude. She gained the trust of her clients in their often delicate circumstances,” said Freeman’s aunt.
Freeman was later employed by the Internal Revenue Service.
“My mom was always high on education but did not see herself as college material, but in 2006, at the prompting of Dr. Carolyn Eberwein, she applied to and was accepted at Peirce College. She graduated in June 2011, with honors, with a bachelor’s degree in business management. I was so proud of her,” said James Elijah.
Freeman served as the youth administrator for her church, Foster Memorial Baptist Church.
“Tracey created an environment of caring and accountability for the church’s youth. It was not unusual for Tracey to show up at a youngster’s school for a chat with the teacher,” her family said.
She also took seriously the church’s assignment to adopt a senior by keeping close contact with Sister Ella Matthews.
In addition to her brother, aunt and son, Freeman is survived by her grandmother, Amelia Moore Freeman; sister-in-law, Danielle Freeman; nephew, Lawrence Darrell; niece Alexis Outlaw; godchildren, Zion and Zaire Griffins, Christian Way and Semaj Thorney; and other relatives and friends.
Services were held May 26 at Foster Memorial Baptist Church, 18th and York streets. Sabbath Funeral Service handled the arrangements.