Chip Freundt was the son of Rev. Albert H. Freundt, Jr. (1932-2001). Rev. Freundt was a professor at Reformed Theological Seminary when I was a student there. During my time at RTS, I got to know one of his sons, Chip. Chip was physically frail, but this did not stop him from going on with life in a determined way. Over the years I would get emails from him that would update me on some shared interests. He was collecting signatures of “famous people.” I was honored that he thought of me as one of them. I just got word today that Chip has passed away. His brother Cal sent the following to me. I thought you would like to read it.
By James Calvin Freundt
I have fond memories of a Christmas in the early 1960’s when all any boy wanted was an army uniform, rifle, pup tent, and canteen. There’s still a photograph in my Mother’s home of Chip and I standing in front of the Christmas tree, decked out in olive drab. At that time in my life, he was my Older Brother. As we grew, we developed different interests but still could not escape being tied by our ‘blood bond’.
I remember going to Houston, Texas for one of my brother’s many catherizations he would receive as a child with a ‘heart condition’. I thought is was cool to run around the hospital, swim at the hotel, and even catch an Astro’s game. All the while, Chip was stuck in a hospital bed with needles, IVs, and other things a 9 year-old needn’t have to deal with, so early in life. As I look back on that time now, I think what an extraordinarily brave kid he was.
I remember a Saturday morning, one of many, when my father would take us to RTS, my guess now, to get us out of our mother’s hair, and we’d play. On one particular day, during the time that the library was being built, we were running around the second floor’s vast openness of concrete and steel with no windows having been installed yet. Chip went over to look out of one of the windows and fell, falling out the window and hitting a piece of plywood, which was perched over a recess to the basement. After hitting the plywood, he bounced and continued down to the basement level. 20 ft down buffered by a sheet of plywood, landing on a sawhorse. I was scared out of my life. I ran down the stairs, out the front door and around to the side of the library, down to the basement entrance. I reached to pick my brother up, thinking he had broken his neck, and he hopped right up. Not a scratch on him. We joked about him being Superman. Little did I realize, he was Superman.
After developing juvenile diabetes, I remember a time when Chip began to feel sorry for himself. He would ask why he had to have so many medical issues. He would say, ‘I wish I were dead’. My parents would tell him that the reason he wasn’t dead is because God had a plan for him. After hearing this enough, Chip began to understand but wasn’t sure what this plan was. He thought it may have been seminary and after college, he entered RTS. Quickly, he found that this was probably not his calling and ventured into other occupations, all the while leaving an impression wherever and with whomever he met.
After I had left home and started a family of my own, we made our way back to Mississippi. It was always a surprise when I told someone my name, they would ask if I was related to Chip. Everywhere I went, people knew Chip, people loved Chip, and people admired Chip. During the past several years, as Chip’s health has slowly declined, he never was without one of his buddies. I always knew when I came to his hospital room, someone would be there, talking about eating Chinese food, or some practical joke they should pull on someone else. God’s purpose was clear to me. Chip was a vessel for God’s immense Love. Chip brought out the best in human nature. People would gather around him and pray for his healing and he would rebound back to health, like a cat with 9 lives, as we all would jokingly say. These healings and times of rejuvenation were simply God’s way of showing all of us, True Faith.
As I think back on all God has blessed me with, He blessed my brother with friends that cherished him, loved him and will miss him. To me he’s still Superman.