birthday

It isn’t everyday that someone in Rome turns 106 years old, but that’s happening for Crema Freeman on Sunday.

Since her age puts her in the vulnerable populations for COVID-19, her friends are working to make it a special day while doing everything they can to make sure she stays healthy.

Freeman’s friends will be hosting a drive-by birthday parade for her Sunday night. Friends are encouraged to join the line-up at the Christ Temple Rapture Preparation Cathedral, 1321 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Sunday at 4 p.m. before rolling out to Freeman’s home in North Rome.

Known at the Greater Bethlehem Temple Church as Mother Freeman, she moved to Rome from Atlanta after retiring following a career in the cleaning industry.

“She’s just like a mother to me,” said Sherry Atkins, who attends church with Freeman and is helping to organize the parade and celebration on Sunday.

Freeman was married to the late Elder Curtis Freeman for close to 15 years after she retired and moved to Rome.

“She gets up in the morning and has two cups of coffee, reads her Bible and then reads the Rome News-Tribune,” Atkins said.

Rena McCluskey with Family Connection is also helping organize the event. She said people are encouraged to hold up signs, put balloons on the cars — anything to bring a smile to Freeman’s face as they drive by her home rather than drop in.

“We’re trying to get at least 106 cars in the parade, one for every year of her life,” McCluskey said.

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