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Legendary TWH Historian Passes Away




Beloved author, professor and TWH historian, Dr. Bob Womack passed away on April 17, 2010 at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. He was a native of Bedford County and had lived in Rutherford County for the past 53 years.  He served in the U.S. Navy during WW II. Throughout his life he was a noted leader in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, serving on the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Board of Directors, instrumental in the development of the Walking Horse Owners Association, and one of the original investors in the Walking Horse Report. He authored many works, but his The Echo of Hoofbeats is noted to be the authority on the history of the Tennessee Walking Horse and it was reissued through three editions.

To know Dr. Womack was to love him. He was forthright, honest to a fault, and clear on his own opinions regardless of popular thought. His hundreds of students loved him for challenging them to think, to really think about topics rather than to accept conventional thinking. His gift was certainly to educate, formally and informally, all those who knew him, most especially outside his classroom. He always challenged everyone to be the best person they could be.

Dr. Womack was preceded in death by his parents, David Andrew Womack and Georgia Price Womack, his wife, Elizabeth Clements Womack, brothers, Price, Paul and Ben Womack, and sisters Helen Womack and Sara Womack.  He is  survived by his sons, Andy (Cherry) Womack and Ricky Womack, daughters Lara (Steve) Daniel and Lynn Womack, grandsons David (Cheryl) Womack, Jackson Short and Samuel Short, granddaughters Dana Womack, Marguerite (Rob) Sims, Sara Womack and Meaghan Daniel, and great-grandchildren Molly Womack, Mason Womack, Riley Sims and Emery Sims.

Dr. Womack accumulated many accomplishments, honors and awards, and titles throughout his life. He considered his greatest accomplishment to be the family that he and Elizabeth built. He took great pride in their accomplishments and in their diversity, and he loved them fiercely.

Dr. Womack was a Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Middle Tennessee State University, recently renamed the Womack Family Department of Educational Leadership.  He had been inducted into both the Tennessee Teachers’ Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration Hall of Fame.  Besides the Echo of Hoofbeats, he was the author of Call Forth the Mighty Men, A History of Tennessee and many other books.

Visitation with the family will be Monday, April 19, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Jennings & Ayers Funeral Home.  A graveside service will be held at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at Rosebank Cemetery in Flat Creek, Tennessee.  A procession to the cemetery will leave at 10:30 a.m. from Jennings and Ayers.  Pallbearers will be Dwight Bullard, Joe Sawyer, Bob Bullen, Marty McCullough, Jimmy Allen, John Stanford, Ross Spielman and Aubrey Mosely.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the MTSU Foundation for the Womack Family Endowment.

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