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Obituary -Charles Robert Terry

Charles Robert Terry, loving husband and devoted father, age 75 of Russellville, Tennessee passed away on May 4, 2009 after a brief illness.

He was predeceased by his mother, Janie Southern Terry, grandmother and grandfather, Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Southern.

He is survived by his devoted and loving wife of 52 years, Florence Hawkins Terry; their daughter, Denise Terry Stapleton and her husband, Mark; their son, Charles Robert (Chuck) Terry, Jr. and his wife, Kathy; their son, Fred Braxton (Brack) Terry and his wife, Jana. He is survived by grandchildren: Gabriel Charles (Gabe) Stapleton, Jacqulyn Jones, Cassidy Widner, Jake Terry, John Robert Terry and Alexander (Alex) Terry. He is survived by one brother, Fred Terry, and numerous nieces and nephews and great grandchildren.

Charles Robert Terry garnered many accomplishments over his lifetime, both professionally and personally; however, the one thing that he was most proud of was his very close family, with whom he worked, vacationed and spent as much time as possible.

Charles Robert Terry was a devoted member of Trinity United Methodist Church where he served in a number of different leadership roles including Chair of the Administrative Council. He was a faithful servant of Jesus Christ at Trinity where he enjoyed worshiping.

He went to college at East Tennessee State University on a basketball scholarship, but later decided his future was in the law and devoted more time to his studies. He began law school at Duke University until he decided that he preferred East Tennessee, graduating from the University of Tennessee School of Law in 1956.

He was an accomplished trial lawyer who earned his license to practice law in 1957. He served as an officer in the JAG Corp (Judge Advocate General) in the United States Army and was stationed primarily at Fort Rucker Alabama.

He originally started practicing law in Greeneville, Tennessee but would soon start in Morristown as Charles R. Terry & Associates, which is now Terry, Terry & Stapleton. During the course of his 51 years as a lawyer, he served as President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (1968-1969); President of the Tennessee Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates in 1997 and lectured for the Association of Trial Lawyers of America at Harvard University. He has served as a member and Chairman of the Committee on Admissions to the United States District Court in Greeneville, Tennessee.

His accomplishments in the courtroom for the man behind the plow were significant obtaining a number of multimillion dollar awards against companies including: Ford Motor Company, Mazda and CE Minerals and others in an effort to make products safer and prevent large corporations from taking advantage of the weak or downtrodden. He was also successful in securing a number of verdicts against the Southern and Norfolk Southern Railways in an effort to make highway grade crossings safer.

Many lawyers got their start under the guidance of Charles Terry. They would work at the firm under his supervision for a while until they were able to go out on their own. This has affectionately been called the Charles Terry Catch and Release Program.

He was a defender of the Walking Horse Industry in the 1970’s and 1980’s defending cases brought by the Government against Tennessee Walking Horse Trainers.

He was most proud that he could come to work every day with his family where he worked with his daughter, Denise; his son, Brack; his son, Chuck and his assistant of 20 years, Cheri Mullins. He was especially fulfilled that the principles and his love of the law and purpose of the firm he started over 40 years ago are, and will be, carried from here forward.

Over the course of his 50 years in the law, he made so many great friends. He truly enjoyed working with every day.

He was a member of the Andrew Johnson Bank Board of Directors since 1982, and served in various leadership roles. He very much enjoyed his work with the Bank and his friends there.

He and Florence soon became interested in the Tennessee Walking Horse industry. He and his brother, Fred, owned numerous walking horses that were local champions. Charlie and Florence also pursued Tennessee Walking horses in Shelbyville, Tennessee where they ultimately won the Tennessee Walking Horse World Grand Championship with Pride’s Jubilee Encore and Allan Callaway in 2001. They were also successful in winning other World Grand Championships with Motown Motion and Doc’s Nothin’ Nicer with Wink Groover in 1994. During the course of their years in the Walking Horse Industry, they became life long friends with Randall and Peggy Rollins.

He was an active supporter of his community with particular preference to Walters State Community College of which he had served as President of the Foundation. He was a supporter of ALPS and Camp Wesley Woods. He hosted over 20 events for community and charitable organizations at his and Florence’s home – Windrift.

He was an avid fan of both Walters State Community College basketball and baseball where he enjoyed interacting with the coaches and players. He also enjoyed the University of Tennessee basketball where he attended games regularly. He was also a previous owner of Volunteer Speedway in Bulls Gap, Tennessee.

The family would like to thank the very special people who provided his medical care over the last several months, including Hector Vega, Tom Thompson, Sunil Ramaprasad, Stephen Clements, the nurses and staff at Emory University Hospital and Lakeway Regional Hospital and Morristown Hamblen Hospital.

Charles Robert Terry is happy to have left this world better than he found it as he goes to be with his Savior.

Visitation will be Wednesday, May 6 from 2-4 and 5-7 with the funeral to follow at Trinity United Methodist Church at 425 Wilder Street, Morristown, TN.

Burial will take place at Bethesda Cemetery off of 11E Hwy in Russellville, TN on Thursday, May 7 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family would request that donations be made to Camp Wesley Woods at 329 Wesley Woods Road, Townsend, TN 37882; Trinity United Methodist Church, 425 Wilder Street, Morristown, TN 37813 or ALPS, 600 N. Daisy Street, Morristown, TN 37814.

Arrangements by Allen Funeral Home in Morristown.
(423) 586-4597

Mildred's Florist
(423) 587-0500


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