WARREN — George Freeman Jr., 81, passed away Friday, June 30, 2023.
George was born on Dec. 9, 1941, in Warren, the eldest child of the union between George and Clementine Thomas Freeman, an entrepreneur before the term was part of popular culture. He began a car wash, at the age of 18.
In 1971, Mr. Freeman obtained the very first Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Loan in the Mahoning Valley, sponsored by the General Motors Corp. He utilized the loan to begin Freeman’s Civic Center in at the former A&P on Main Street in Warren. The skating rink and event center featured acts from BB King and his famous, “The Thrill is Gone,” Kool and the Gang’s “Celebration,” New Birth’s “Wildflower” and many others.
An active supporter of labor, Freeman realized that this vehicle lifted the majority of African Americans into the middle class. He was a delegate of the Greater Youngstown and Trumbull county’s AFL-CIO, a Teamster, a member of the nationwide caucus of SEIU organizers – the Afram-African American Caucus and the Carpenters Union.
He was a licensed insurance agent as well as realtor and secured an ABR, Accredited Buyers Representative credential, working for companies such as New York Life and ReMax.
A believer in community service, he served a short time as a volunteer firefighter with Warren Township. He was a member of the board of directors for the Warren Trumbull Urban League, the Warren Area JayCees, and A. Phillip Randolph Institute. He was a member of King Solomon Lodge No. 87. His NAACP affiliation includes membership in the Warren Trumbull NAACP, and his position as education chair, and president of the Youngstown NAACP. He also was a member of the Roberts Deliberating Club.
He leaves to carry on his legacy his wife, Janice Logan; and three daughters, Lisa Freeman-Williamson, Linda FreemanWalker, and Georgia Freeman; three grandchildren, Damon Williamson Jr., Adrieann Rowland, and Hayden FreemanWalker; and three great-grandchildren, Isabella Rowland, Damon Williamson III, and Emmington Williamson.
His end-of-life partner, Cossell Burton and her family will also continue to love and miss him.