Floral 11
Official Obituary of

Lestina Freeman

June 29, 1940 ~ March 9, 2024 (age 83) 83 Years Old

Lestina Freeman Obituary

“I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it

is day: The night cometh when no man can work.”

(John 9:4)

Lestina Lewis-Freeman was born June 29, 1940, to the late Rev. Henry Lewis and Mattie Lewis in Sparta, GA, affectionally known as “Tootsie” or “Memaw”. She relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio when she was six years old and was the eldest of 11 children. The Lord called her home from labor to reward, at her home on March 9, 2024, surrounded by family.

At an early age, she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior under the guidance of her father, Rev. H.J. Lewis. She loved the Lord with all her heart. She was a longtime member of Mt. Olive Baptist Church, under the late Rev. J.R. Barron. When she married Mr. Odell Freeman they joined El Bethel Baptist Church, under the leadership of the late Pastor John McMullen. After the passing of her husband, she started attending church with her son, Carl at Rockdale Baptist Church/Rocklife Church, where she immediately fell in love with the members and became active in Sunday School and attended many outings with the Seniors, until her health started to fail. She would always say “I need to go to Church!” She so missed the fellowship at Rockdale and missed her Rocklife family.

At both, Mt. Olive and El Bethel she served in many auxiliaries including the Nurse’s Guild, the Usher Board and the Choir. She was also a member of the Eastern Stars.

She attended Taft High School and obtained her GED several years later and even took college courses at the University of Cincinnati. She retired from University Hospital, formerly General Hospital after thirty years of faithful service. She was so proud of working her way up from cleaning hospital rooms to working in an office as an Assistant at University Hospital.

Many people don’t know but she was extremely active in pushing for better treatment of African-Americans at General Hospital in the 1970’s with the People’s Health Movement. She was recently interviewed for an upcoming documentary on the changes made at General Hospital, as a result of her vocal opposition to the mistreatment of African-Americans at the hospital. She volunteered at the Voter Polls and she was great friends with the late Jerry Springer, so much so, that he invited her to be an eternal guest on his television show. She was also on the front lines of many picket lines for the improvement of working conditions at many companies in Cincinnati, Ohio.

She was a people person and loved PRAISING THE LORD!!! If you ever attended Church with her you knew she was going to stand, clap, shout and walk around the Church even to the point of walking right up to the pulpit to Praise the Lord! She was a strong woman of faith who believed that you must give God your all and without God you can do nothing. She believed that this world was just a temporary place and that you needed to be ready to go to Heaven to spend eternity with the Lord, one of her favorite songs was “This May Be The Last Time”.

If you ever met Memaw you know the first thing she was going to give you was a big, warm hug! She was so sad during the pandemic because she couldn’t hug people but as soon as the pandemic ended she was back to hugging everyone! In addition to giving out hugs she loved cooking. People would beg her to make her world famous Apple Cobbler and Schneckens. She loved her family more than anything and you would find her on the phone, from sun up to sun down calling everyone.

She was preceded in death by: her parents; her husband, Odell Freeman; her son, Douglas Kirkland; her brothers, Henry “Hank” Lewis, Jr., Lethaniel “Pee-Wee” Lewis, Rev. Brenston “Brenny” Lewis and Charles Patrick Lewis; her sisters, Myra Copeland and Darnell Lewis-Jackson; and her loving nephews, Keith Copeland, Dante Lewis and Brenston Lewis, Jr.

She leaves to cherish her loving memories: her son, Carl Lewis (Yolanda); her sisters, Minnie Jones, Cynthia Gravett (Tom) and Shiva Israel; her brother, Rekeil Lewis; her granddaughter, Myia Guyton (Deon); her grandsons, Marlando Baxter and Mahdi Naji Sharif; her great-grandchildren, Aryhanna Fowler, Reign Guyton, Razier Guyton, Makayla Stokes and Madisyn Stokes; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lestina Freeman, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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March 23, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Rockdale Baptist Church
539 Forest Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229

Funeral Service
March 23, 2024

11:00 AM
Rockdale Baptist Church
539 Forest Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45229


Spring Grove Cemetery
4521 Spring Grove Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45232


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