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Longtime Dallas furniture retailer Joe Freed dies at 84

Was among first in industry to offer extended-term financing
 Joe FreedJoe Freed

DALLAS — Joe Freed, who joined his father and brothers' Freed Furniture retail business in 1948 and later his son's store, died Feb. 2 after a long illness. He was 84.

As president of Freed Furniture, he became known as Joe "No Interest" Freed when he launched the retailer's first 18-months, no interest financing campaign in 1983. It is believed to be one of the first extended-term offers in the industry.

"The business took off after that," said Howard Freed, Joe Freed's son and owner of the two-store Freed's Home Furnishings here.

Howard Freed joined the family business in 1978, when Freed operated five stores. In 1991, with three stores left, Freed Furniture liquidated and Howard Freed started over, renting one of the locations. Joe Freed joined his son in the new business, working for about 16 years until his dementia made it too difficult.

More than 450 people attended the funeral service Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, where Howard Freed and his sisters honored their father mostly by relating funny stories of his days in the business and with family and friends. Joe Freed's granddaughter, Lindsay Freed Rothlein, also spoke at the service, noting that she was able to let him know she was expecting a child before he passed away.

"You know my Dad ordered all this bad weather, because he figured I'd close the store in his honor," Howard Freed said during the services. He noted that winter storms had shut down business across Dallas that weekend, and if Freed's was going to close for the funeral, Joe Freed "didn't want the competition getting a sale either."

Survivors in addition to Howard Freed include Joe Freed's wife of 57 years, Eileen Freed; daughters Pam Branscum and Diane Hudson, six grandchildren and one great grandchild.

The family requests that memorials be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, P.O. Box 96391, Washington, D.C. 20090, or any charity of your choice.

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