James Rush Freeman
Prominent residential and multi-family homebuilder, civic leader and philanthropist James “Jim” Rush Freeman died in Phoenix, Ariz., on Aug. 4, 2010.
Born in Savannah, Tenn., April 2, 1943, Jim graduated from Columbia Military Academy, Georgia Tech and Harvard Business School, and served in Vietnam as a second lieutenant in the Army from 1968-70.
Following his Army commitment, Jim worked as a developer in Los Angeles and Portland before being recruited to Phoenix by Lincoln Property Co. Over the next 30 years, he became regional partner of Lincoln Property Co., CEO of Gemini Development and president of Keepsake Homes.
In addition to his professional achievements Jim reached out to respond to community needs by serving on many community boards, including Junior Achievement, Brophy College Preparatory, Foster Care Review, Arizona Multi-Housing Association, the Phoenix Symphony, Delta Dental Foundation and the Harvard Business School alumni board. He chaired Junior Achievement, the Arizona Multi-Housing Association and the City of Phoenix Block Grant Program. In addition, Jim was active in Habitat for Humanity and on many government nonprofit task forces and oversaw capital construction projects at the Arizona Science Center, Junior Achievement and Brophy College Preparatory.
Although Jim was an avid hiker, tennis player and golfer, it was flying that captured his heart. He earned his single engine, IFR and multi-engine ratings and was a seasoned and experienced pilot of 38 years. Jim’s favorite trips were cross-country flights from Phoenix to his North Carolina summer home and his southeastern roots as well as to Oshkosh’s annual air show. A passionate traveler, he loved seeing the world at ground level as well as looking down through the clouds.
Above all, Jim cherished family and friends. He was a devoted husband and found great pleasure in coaching his daughters’ softball teams and supporting the projects of friends. Those who were fortunate enough to know him and be blessed by his unfailingly kind, generous and gentle spirit will treasure his memory.