• Jonathan G. DeFrees


    April 18, 2021

    Artist extraordinaire and expert gardener, adoring Father and Grandfather, Jonathan Gary DeFrees passed peacefully in Oneida, NY, April 18, 2021. He was surrounded by his loving children, Stephanie DeFrees (Eric) Froehlich of Barksdale AFB, LA, Emily DeFrees (Robert) Wilson of Lynchburg, TN, and Nathan DeFrees of Portland, OR. He was married to Ina Ruth Neville of Park City, KY.  He is survived by his four grandchildren, Hayden, Meredith, Ethan, and Amelia Froehlich. Jonathan is the son of Donald and Norma DeFrees of Chittenango, NY. He was preceded in death by his sister, Donna DeFrees Anderson, and is survived by his sisters Caroline Beglen, Annie Fults, and brother Jackson DeFrees. Jon grew up in Chittenango, NY. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with a MA in Education and moved with his family in 1975 to Nashville, TN. Once there, he joined the Metro Davidson School System. For 27 years he taught and inspired countless art students. In 2002 Jon retired and returned to his hometown of Chittenango. For the next 19 years Jon designed various beautification projects which include the Chittenango Creek Walk logo and the creation of the six Bicentennial Celebration murals found in the Village on the old fire building for all to enjoy. In his life there was no art medium Jon was afraid to work with. He was a painter, sculptor, builder, and craftsman. An avid and expert gardener, Jon created a living masterpiece of textures, colors, and heights every summer. Humble with the recognition and generous with his time, Jon inspired generations of future artists, and taught his children and grandchildren to both create and appreciate art. A Celebration of His Life will be scheduled here in Chittenango in early August. 

                                                           G.F. ZIMMER F.H.

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