Hundreds bid farewell to Civil Rights icon Frankie Muse Freeman

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ST. LOUIS - Hundreds turned out Saturday for a final farewell to St. Louis civil rights legend Frankie Muse Freeman.

Her funeral service was held this morning at the Washington Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Midtown.

Freeman was a long-time member there.

The place where she always sat had a quilt and flowers on it.

The church choir and several others performed before the many people who came out.

There were political dignitaries there including St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, former Mayor Francis Slay and Congressman William Lacy Clay.

St. Louis` new Police Chief John Hayden was there as was the city`s Public Safety Director Judge Jimmie Edwards.

Most everyone knew Freeman in some way.

Freeman`s daughter Shelbe Patricia Bullock spoke about her mom.

“She was warm, caring, generous, tenacious and funny and often irreverent” said Bullock.

Freeman`s granddaughter, Nicole Fordson, added, 'Frankie Freeman`s help was not segregated to one color, age, profession, religious, economic, and political status. It was her daily living.'

Freeman passed away a little more than a week ago at 101 years old.

People at the service called her a fighter and a champion for social justice.

Freeman was a civil rights attorney who won a landmark 1954 case that ended segregation in St. Louis public housing.

“She`s very important to St. Louis but you know what she`s important to our country. She`s had a national impact on our country,” said Mayor Lyda Krewson.

Judge Edwards added, 'Without Frankie we would have no hope. And that`s the most important thing that I think Frankie did for people like me.'

The service, which lasted nearly three hours, celebrated Freeman`s remarkable life.

As freeman was taken to her final resting place, freeman`s daughter had a message.

“Frankie Muse Freeman`s soul is in heaven with Christ. Her body will go into the ground today but she lives in me and in you,” said Bullock.