LUBBOCK, Texas — At a certain age people are making plans to retire, but 95-year-old Lamesa National Bank President Elwood Freeman said he enjoys his job too much to stop.
If there is one thing you can depend on, it’s Mr. Freeman at work behind his desk ready to serve his customers. Freeman said after graduating high school at 16, his dad was not able to send him and his brother to college.
So, a local Aspermont Banker presented Freeman’s dad with a proposition that would spark his son’s career.
“He said if one of those boys doesn’t go to school and want to work for the bank. If they promise to work for a year, I would like to have him come to work, Freeman said. “When daddy came home and told me that, I made my mind up right quick!”
A decision to work in banking that has continued over seven decades later.
Working at four banks throughout his career, with a few breaks in-between to attend college earning his finance degree at Texas Tech University and serving in the Korean War.
“I went to Lubbock, and worked in the First National Bank in Lubbock part-time for the time it took for me to finish my degree,” Freeman said. “They had a little sense to hire me, and I had enough sense to go work for them, so I stayed there ten years.”
Freeman spent most of his career at Lamesa National Bank where he has been for more than 50 years.
Most recently he was recognized by the Texas Banker Association for 75 years in the industry.
One office over at the bank is his grandson Bryan Nowlin who has spent the last 15 years following the example of his grandpa.
“He is truly remarkable the inspiration he provides not only to our family but to all the employees here. He is truly an inspiration to us and amazing to watch,” Nowlin said. “There are days that I don’t feel like going to work I just watch him day in and day out and it’s just really impressive.”
“I just couldn’t think about going home and doing nothing,” Freeman said. “So, I have just stayed on, and they haven’t fired me. In fact, they can’t fire me!”
That statement is true because Freeman’s family has owned the bank since 1978 and plans to do so for as long as they can.