WCBA community mourns the loss of two attorneys


Ann Arbor attorney  Jim Cmejrek died suddenly  Jan. 30 in Hilton Head, S.C., at the age of 71.

The native of Fenton and graduate of Fenton High School was recruited to the University of Iowa where he was a football letterman, playing starting center. He earned an undergrad degree in Political Science, and his law degree, also from the University of Iowa.

He was admitted to the Iowa State Bar Association in 1969 and the State Bar of Michigan in 1970.

A long time member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association, Cmejrek practiced law in Washtenaw County since 1970, and over his 47-year career, assisted thousands of clients with Workers Compensation and Disability claims.

In April of 1978 he was elected to the Ann Arbor City Council representing Ward 5 from April 1978 to April 1980.

Predeceased in 1990 by Susan, his wife of 23 years, Cmejrek is survived by two daughters and his son-in-law, Julie and Jason Forton of Northville, and Katie Cmejrek of Ann Arbor; grandchildren, Grace and Samuel Forton; brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Phyllis Cmejrek, and father-in-law and wife Dr. Paul and Patricia Williams.

Burial will be scheduled at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to The University of Iowa Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa, 52244. Att: Athletic Scholarship Fund; or to the United Way of Genesee County, Flint Water Fund,111 East Court Street, Suite 3A, Flint, MI 48502. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m., on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Nie Funeral Home, 3767 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 13, at the First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor, 1432 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, with a luncheon to follow.

In another loss, Ellis Bernard Freatman, Jr., a Life Member of the Washtenaw County Bar Association and father of longtime member, Ellis B. Freatman, III, from Roberts & Freatman in Ypsilanti, died Jan. 30 at the age of 91.

A native of South Lyon, Freatman moved to Ypsilanti at the age of 12 and graduated from Ypsilanti High School in 1942. He joined the Army in 1943, served as a First Lieutenant, and was stationed on Okinawa. He served until 1947.

After leaving the Army, he attended Eastern Michigan University and later transferred to The University of Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1953.

In 1954 he began his law practice, which later became the office of Freatman, Barr and Anhut.  He retired from law in 1977. Freatman was very much involved with supporting Ypsilanti High School Athletics, Eastern Michigan Hurons Athletics and The University of Michigan Athletic Departments.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn, son Ellis III (Sara), grandchildren Emma Kate, Ellis IV, Benjamin, Johnnie and Calvin, sister-in-law Katie Begole, nephew Bruce Begole (Tracy) and great niece Amelia.

Donations can be made to The Gilbert Residence, 203 S. Huron Ypsilanti MI 48197.


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