FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Prominent Fort Wayne businessman Dick Freeland, 76, passed away on Sunday.
Freeland operated the leading Pizza Hut franchise in the world, according to the KFCFW website. Dick and Deanna Freeland opened their first Pizza Hut on East State Boulevard, near Coliseum, in 1972. In 1999, they opened a KFC franchise that received some of the highest sales in KFC history.
The Freelands business grew to include 48 Pizza Huts throughout Indiana and Ohio and four KFCs.
Dick Freeland received the Sagamore of the Wabash award from Governor Mike Pence earlier in the year.
From IN.gov: The award is highest honor, which the Governor of Indiana bestows. It is a personal tribute usually given to those who have rendered a distinguished service to the state or to the governor. Among these who have received Sagamores have been astronauts, presidents, ambassadors, artists, musicians, politicians, and ordinary citizens who have contributed greatly to our Hoosier heritage.
Freeland was preceded in death by his daughter, Terri Derheimer, in 2009; his brother John, who died at age 10; and his half-brother, Fred Freeland Jr. In addition to his wife and children, survivors include his half-sister, Eleanor Mathis, of Broken Arrow, Okla; grandchildren Tyler Freeland, Dillon Freeland, Deanna Derheimer, Lindsay (Darin) Falk, Tiffany (Mike) Rego and Austin Freeland; and one great-grandchild, Connor Falk.
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