- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 16, 2006

A local real estate developer and part-owner of the Washington Capitals died Thursday night after the helicopter he was traveling in crashed in a field in southeastern Delaware.

Joshua M. Freeman was president and CEO of Carl M. Freeman Associates, a real estate company founded by his father. He was also a partner in the Lincoln Holdings LLC, the sports and entertainment firm that owns the Capitals, Washington Mystics, and a portion of the Wizards and Verizon Center.

Freeman was flying back to Maryland in a helicopter after attending a party with colleagues and employees at one of the company’s golf clubs in Ocean View, Del. The helicopter crashed in a field in Dagsboro, Del., about a quarter mile from the club. The helicopter’s pilot, 30-year-old Danielle Howell of Richmond, also died.

Freeman was 42, and is survived by his wife Michelle and three children, his mother, Virginia Freeman, and three sisters.

“We are truly shocked and saddened by the sudden, tragic loss of Josh Freeman, a good friend and partner in Lincoln Holdings,” said Ted Leonsis, the Capitals majority owner. “All of us associated with the Capitals organization will lend our thoughts and prayers to the Freeman family.”

Freeman was a prominent real estate developer in the Mid-Atlantic region, managing residential communities and golf courses. He was also the founder of Bethany Partners, a small private equity firm, and served on the board of directors of Venture Philanthropy Partners, a firm that invested in non-profit organizations in the D.C. area. Moreover, he was head of the Freeman Foundation, a charity that offered mini-grants to local non-profit groups in the Mid-Atlantic region.

A native of Olney, Md., Freeman graduated from Landon School in Bethesda before spending three years as a Green Beret in the United States Army Special Forces, where he earned several honors including the Army Service Ribbon and Army Commendation Badge. He joined his father’s company in 1986 as a leasing agent, and became company president in 1992. He took over at CEO after Carl Freeman died in a car accident in 1998.

Freeman was well connected to the Washington development community, and was a colleague of Theodore Lerner and his son, Mark, the principal owners of the Washington Nationals. Mark Lerner is also a partner in Lincoln Holdings.

“The Lerner Family is deeply saddened at the loss of a good friend, tremendous family man, business partner, civic leader and community icon,” the Lerners said in a statement. “Josh Freeman was an inspiration to all that knew him and partook of his never ending high energy. With Josh, nothing was impossible and life was not worth living if it was not full of adventure. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife, children, and extended family. He will be sorely and deeply missed by all of us at the Washington Capitals/Lincoln Holdings and in the greater community in which he served. We take solace in the thought that his dad welcomed him with open arms and they are already working on their next venture together.”

Before his death, Freeman lived in Tusculum Farms in Olney, the same family property where he grew up. He was an avid runner and martial arts enthusiast, and also enjoyed reading, art and classical music, according to a biography on his company’s Web site.

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