Rotarians pay homage to 50-year member
by MDJ staff
January 17, 2014 12:00 AM | 2227 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Smyrna Rotary Club honors Jimmy Freeman, who joined Smyrna Rotary in 1964. Jimmy and Susan Freeman are 12th and 13th from right. (Special to the MDJ)
The Smyrna Rotary Club honors Jimmy Freeman, who joined Smyrna Rotary in 1964. Jimmy and Susan Freeman are 12th and 13th from right. (Special to the MDJ)
On Jan. 7, Smyrna Rotarians observed “Jimmy Freeman Day” at the Smyrna Rotary Club’s first meeting of the year.

Club President Anthony Iorillo awarded Freeman a very special “50 Year” Rotary membership pin. Freeman joined Smyrna Rotary in 1964, just two weeks after it was chartered by Rotary International. Rotarians and Jimmy’s wife Susan, his son Jim, his brother Larry and numerous other guests honored his 50 years of service to the Rotary Club of Smyrna, the City of Smyrna, and the world.

Iorillo said that Freeman’s influence and leadership has contributed to international projects in Costa Rica, South Africa, Panama, Kenya, Syria, the Philippines and India.

Freeman has also helped make possible local and regional projects such as in Harris County, numerous scholarships in Smyrna and Cobb and character training at the Cobb Adult Education Center.

Freeman was born in Union County and attended Young Harris College. He came to Cobb County with the desire to succeed and not much else. Starting at the Bell Bomber plant in 1955, he worked at many different jobs (some concurrently) to feed his hungry children.

On his road to success Freeman drove a truck, fathered five children, owned and drove a taxi, operated a used car lot and purchased a deep hole on South Cobb Drive which nobody else would touch. There he built a GMC Truck Dealership.

After opening the GMC store, Freeman expanded it to light, medium and heavy duty trucks. He started the Freightliner Heavy Duty Truck dealership in Atlanta. From the early 1960s, he opened several new vehicle dealerships in metro Atlanta including such makes as Jaguar, Jeep and Volkswagen. At the same time, he started Fun Center to sell boats and recreational vehicles. After selling the GMC and Freightliner dealerships, he opened the Atlanta Kenworth Dealership. Over the years, he has been involved in the organization, operation and sale of more than 40 different franchises. All have been successfully launched, operated for many years and profitably sold to larger dealer groups. Freeman is also an investor in other industries.
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