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A past president of Freeman and ESCA passes away at 73


Dale Van Ort, a leader who was instrumental in the growth of Freeman, passed away at 73 on June 26, 2013.

ecn_072013_pom_obit_van_ort_older_wearing_hatFrom 1977 to 2003, Van Ort served as president of the Freeman Decorating Company, a division of the Freeman Companies. While working for this general contractor, he oversaw branch growth into new markets and stabilized branch management. Many of the branch managers appointed by Van Ort during this growth are still with Freeman, and some are serving as regional vice presidents.

“Freeman has been blessed to have many great leaders. Dale was certainly one of those and a pillar of our stability as he helped guide our company through the success we enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s,” said Dale Morris, regional vice president of Dallas, Texas, and general manager, Freeman. Morris worked with Van Ort for 25 years. 

Recognized for his dedication and performance to his craft, Van Ort received the Buck Freeman Award.

“Dale was a man of class, a man of few words and always able to get his point across quickly and confidently,” added Morris.

As a member of the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association (ESCA), which is dedicated to the advancement of the exhibition, meeting and special events industries, Van Ort held numerous positions, including president. ecn_072013_pom_obit_van_ort_sweater_full_profile_copy_copy

Remembered as a loving father, brother, husband, son and friend to all that knew him, Van Ort was born in Bridgeport, Conn. on July 3, 1939, to E. John and Dorothy Haber Van Ort. He attended Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass., and Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Van Ort is survived by his wife, Molly Nelson Van Ort; his son, Brett Van Ort; daughter-in-law, Eleanor Infante; his mother, Dorothy Van Ort; his brothers, Richard and Douglas Van Ort. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Joann Van Ort, and Peggy and Shannon Nelson; his brothers-in-law Harry, John and Andrew Nelson along with many nieces and nephews.

Memorials could be made to Baylor University Hospital Cancer Center, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas or a charity of choice. Online condolences can be made at www.sparkman-hillcrest.com.

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