Doris ‘Cousin Tuny’ Freeman Garden of Peace dedicated in Jackson


JACKSON, Tenn. — “Yes siree bobolinko” was a saying often heard by mother, media personality and community activist Doris Freeman, more widely known as “Cousin Tuny.”

“She was instrumental in championing and advocating and drumming up support for many, many years to help fund services for children with special needs,” said Tammy Buchanan, chairperson for the Doris Freeman Garden of Peace.

Doris passed away in August of last year at the age of 91, but her love for children continues to live on in a Garden of Peace. The garden, located outside the Therapy and Learning Center in north Jackson, was dedicated Friday to her and her message.

“A hundred years from now, it doesn’t matter what kind of car you drove, what kind of house you lived in, what kind of clothes you wore, or anything like that,” said Conrad Delaney, board member for the Therapy and Learning Center. “What was important is that the world would be a much better place because you were important in the life of a child.”

Lining a wall in the center of the garden are the names of over 50 people from the Therapy and Learning Center who have passed on.

The Garden of Peace was inspired by a Garden of Peace that Mrs. Freeman once had in her own backyard in Jackson.

Doris’ son James says putting the names of people who passed away on a fence in their backyard helped his mom in the grieving process, and he hopes this garden will help others in the same way.

“She used it for finding shalom. You know what shalom is? It’s Hebrew for total peace, and that gave her peace,” James said.

The last time James spoke with his mother, she told him how excited she was about the honor.

“She wanted to be here, and as I mentioned, she committed to me that she would be, and I firmly believe she is,” her son said.

Freeman is also one of the first women inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame for hosting her own children’s show on local radio and television.

To learn more about the Therapy and Learning Center or to make a contribution to the Doris Freeman Fund, visit

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