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Businessman, city pension leader dies

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Springfield businessman and city pension fund leader Jerry Fenstermaker died July 11 “after a long illness.” He was 76, according to his obituary posted at GormanScharpf.com.

The former CEO of Freedom Financial Group Inc., Fenstermaker worked to fund the city’s Police-Fire pension program and co-chaired the Police-Fire Pension Task Force, according to a news release.

“I will always appreciate what a great job he did in co-chairing the citizen task force to formulate our action in solving the Police-Fire pension crisis,” former Mayor Jim O’Neal said in the release. “He worked diligently on the effort to pass the tax, and his service and knowledge on the pension board was invaluable.”

At Springfield-based consumer finance company Freedom Financial, Fenstermaker helped to launch the group in the wake of a bankruptcy reorganization plan involving its troubled predecessor, Stevens Financial Group. Freedom Financial provided auto loans, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.

Freedom Financial’s stockholders in 2009 approved a sale to South Carolina-based American Credit Acceptance LLC for more than $14.6 million.

According to his obituary, Fenstermaker also unsuccessfully ran for Greene County presiding commissioner in 2014. Current Presiding Commissioner Bob Cirtin ultimately won the race, according to Greene County election records.

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