James F. Merritt, known as “JoJo”, was born May 26, 1946 in Columbus, Kentucky. He was the eldest of seven children. James entered into rest on Friday, October 7, 2022. He was preceded in death by his mother Azerlee Freeman; father who raised him Wesley B. Freeman; sisters Tina R. Freeman and Alma C. Cunningham; nephews Arthur Cunningham and Tahir Freeman; great nephew Terran Bolden; sister-in-law Nadell Freeman and niece Samantha Wynn.
James accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of the late Rev. E.F. Williams.
James received his education from Curtis Elementary School and Central High School. He later enrolled in a carpentry training program. He was skillful with his hands and was able to build anything.
James was united in marriage to Mary Helen Merritt. There were no children born to this union and the marriage was later dissolved.
James’ favorite hangout was on Cass at Mitchell’s Package Liquor where he worked from time to time. James also ran errands for some of the senior citizens in the area. He was liked by many.
James was a quiet, private person and a direct individual whose zest for life centered around being carefree and non-compliant. One thing he wasn’t quiet about was “disking” two of his nieces, Angela Freeman-Roberts and LaWonda Freeman Banks. James had a unique dancing style and loved performing the iconic “moon walk” dance.
He leaves to cherish his memory: his brothers, Charles (Marguerite) Freeman, Richard Freeman, Ronald Freeman and Rodney (Yvette) Freeman; and a host of nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.