Clarence Edward Freitas, 90, of Santa Maria, California passed away on February17. Clarence was born in Santa Maria, California on July 13, 1928 to Joe and Cecelia Freitas. Clarence attended local schools and began working in agriculture with his father and younger brother Joie at the age of 11. In the 1970's, after working for years for other farmers and leasing land to grow their own vegetables, they decided to purchase 530 acres near Oso Flaco. Over the past 49 years the Freitas family has grown and expanded their business, Joe A. Freitas & Sons, into one of the most successful agricultural businesses in the Santa Maria Valley. Clarence loved working in the fields growing mainly lettuce and broccoli and took great pride in producing vegetables sold worldwide.
In 1947 Clarence met Bea, the love of his life. For Clarence and Bea it was love at first sight. They were married on March 28, 1948 and lived on the Guadalupe ranch where the family would start their business. Five years later, Clarence and Bea moved into town and made Santa Maria their home. Clarence was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was the rock that held his expanding family together. Family gatherings were important and held often. As the generations grew, the family celebrated every holiday, anniversary, and birthday together, taking annual summer vacations at Lake Nacimiento and later, spending several Christmases in Hawaii.
Everyone loved Clarence. He could brighten up a room and bring a smile to everyones face. His hearty laugh, the twinkle in his eye, his mischievous smile would warm your heart. He loved life. His passions included farming, flying and family. At work Clarence was a serious farmer who was involved in every aspect of the business. Dedication, hard work and commitment were important to him. At home he was a warm, loving, caring father and grandfather. There was nothing he wouldn't do for his family.
Last July, he was blessed to be able to commemorate his 90th birthday. The family honored Clarence in a special tribute to celebrate his life. The event was filled with love and memories.
We will miss our father every single day. We are heartbroken and the only thing that brings us comfort is knowing that he is now with his soulmate, our mother. Dad, you will continue to be our guiding light because of your family values and your tremendous work ethic. Our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were lucky to be able to spend so much time with you. They will forever cherish the memory of their beloved BIG PAPA.
Clarence is survived by his brother Joie Freitas, his two daughters: Linda (Bill) McKenzie of Santa Maria and Debbie (Bob) Bush of Santa Maria. He is also survived by his five grandchildren: Ryan (Eirlys), Chad (Megan), Aaron (Staci), Eric (Sara), Brittney (Adam) and his eleven great-grandchildren: Carys, Fayre, Brayden, Tyler, Kipton, Dylan, Reagan, Reese, Landon, Grace, and Blayke. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe and Cecelia Freitas, his wife Bea, and his sister Doris.
The family will comply with Clarence's wishes for a private, family-only service and gravesite interment. For anyone who would like to pay their respects, there will be a visitation on Wednesday, February 27 from 5 to 7 pm at Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary. Arrangements are in the care of Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens. Sympathy notes and words of support may be expressed at www.dudleyhoffmanmortuary.com.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.
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