James Anthony Freeman, 64, of Philadelphia, PA passed away on March 31, 2021 after losing his battle with cancer.
James was born on April 16, 1956 to the late Ruby Lee Freeman and James Albert Clark in Philadelphia, PA. He was baptized at The Mitchell Memorial Baptist Church on February 16, 1964. James was formally educated in the Philadelphia Public School System. James graduated from Murrell Dobbins Vocational Technical High School in 1974 where he received his high school diploma and an Auto Mechanic Trade Certificate.
Affectionately known as "Tony" by everyone who knew him. At the age of 14 Tony worked his first job at the dog show where he spent his weekends on the road setting up in different cities. He also parked cars at the Connie Mack Stadium during baseball events . In his early twenties he was employed at the Navy shipyard dismantling ships. Tony was always independent and self sufficient. He started his career at S.E.P.T.A. at the age of 25 and he was employed there for 22 years. Tony then went on to work for Garfield Refinery in 2005 where he had to retire in 2018 due to his illness.
In 1974, Tony met the love of his life Rochelle Dodson and instantly fell in love with her daughter Shantel. They then went on to have his daughter Hasheena on November 2, 1978. He was a great Father and Dad to his daughters. Tony was a great man with his own way of doing things. He was a provider and a determined man who never failed to obtain everything his family needed to maintain our comfortable lifestyle.
Growing up Tony was ALWAYS a strong willed person which started at a young age. When he started Elementary School he told his mother in order for him to raise his hand the teacher must call him "Tony James Anthony Freeman Scoop-B-Doop Name". It was a combination of his name and his baby brother Scoop name.
Tony displayed a genuine love for all. He kept people laughing and people considered him to be a joke-ster which came naturally for him. Tony was helpful to everyone who was in need no matter how big or small the task or favor was.
Tony liked to watch all sports but his favorite Football team was The Pittsburgh Steelers. He also loved The Los Angeles Lakers basketball team during the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar era. He spent plenty Friday nights with his "Ro" drinking, singing, dancing , and listening to music while playing pinochle, backgammon and twenty-five hundred card games. He enjoyed going fishing and was a master on the grill. He was popular for his grilled chicken wings and perfectly cooked ribs and steaks. On his own time, he loved hanging and socializing with his lifelong friends where he played pool and was known for his famous trick shots. As years went on Tony became an imperative part of the 2400 Block of Bancroft Street to his neighbors and friends.
He had a distinguished whistle that was heard throughout the whole neighborhood and everyone knew that was Mr. Tony. People knew when he referred to himself as his alter-ego T.J.A.F. which stands for “Tony James A Free-Man” it was about to get lit so people get ready
for the fire! Once he got started it was easy for him to talk Sugar Honey Iced Tea then throw you out of his home.
Tony was definitely loved and will be missed by all but he will never be forgotten. Treasured memories will be left to share with his beloved Rochelle, two daughters Shantel T. Dodson and Hasheena A. Dodson. Four grandsons: Harold M. Womack III, Hamid M. Womack, Anthony L. McLean III and Haseen Austin McLean. One brother Larry Freeman, Two sisters Jane Freeman and Juanita Stewart (Jay). One brother that preceded him in death Leroy Freeman and a host of family and friends.
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