2015: District 2's Doug Freeman passes away
Editor's Note: Of the 10 ITD workers who have died on the job since 2000, only one of them did not have a story written about them in the Transporter – Douglas Freeman. I'm correcting that oversight now:
Douglas Freeman, a Transportation Tech Sr. in District 2, died when he suffered a heart attack as he returned following sign inventory work on Nov. 5, 2015.
Freeman had driven to Eastern Idaho with Scott Fry of the Federal Highway Administration to conduct a federally mandated inventory of outdoor signs. On the way home, after dropping Fry off in Boise, Freeman suffered a heart attack around New Meadows.The heart attack caused him to lose control of his department-issued truck on US-95.
The 64-year-old Freeman worked for ITD from Oct. 1978 until the time of his passing. In that time, he spent many years in the tutelage of District Project Manager Ken Helm.
"Doug was extremely detail-oriented and helped me a ton over the years," said Helm. He oversaw the outdoor advertising program, signage, project design, right of way, and helped tremendously when I had 76 projects to manage in 1996 as we rebuilt after the area flooded."
"It was a shock when he passed. He was a great guy, a great friend, and we all miss him still."
District 2 Engineering Manager Doral Hoff has a vivid recollection of Freeman's last day:
"As fate would have it, on the day Doug left, he stopped by my office. He was simply reminding me he was leaving for District 3 and 6 to help provide some training on Outdoor Advertising. I thanked him for letting me know and I took the opportunity to tell him, face to face, how much I appreciated his willingness to do the things I and others had asked of him and the good-natured way he accepted the challenge, and I thanked him for his work. I will always be grateful I took that opportunity. He meant a lot to us and we were fortunate to have known him."
"I found Doug to be very knowledgeable in the work we do here at the department. He was always willing to accept work and challenges and usually had a better way of accomplishing work tasks. If you asked him to work on a project, he always would start out by saying in his mild tone: "Yes, I can do that - but would you mind if I did it this way?"
"I can't ever think of a single time when I didn't like his idea better."