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Obituary - Marshall Ledbetter, Jr.

Marshall Powell Ledbetter, Jr., 72, well-known Middle Tennessee businessman and horseman, died Sunday, February 22, 2009 at Williamson Medical Center.

Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with The Reverend Thomas Wilson officiating. The family will visit with friends Tuesday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols and Wednesday from 12:00 p.m. to service time in St. Peter's Parish Hall.

Memorials may be made to Columbia Military Academy Alumni Assocation, c/o Becky Algood Moon, 804 Athenaeum Street, Columbia 38401 or St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 311 West 7th Street, Columbia 38401. Notes of sympathy may be sent to

Born March 21, 1936 in Maury County, he was son of the late Marshall Powell Ledbetter, Sr. and Mary Teal Ledbetter. His early education came from the Columbia public school system. He later attended and was a graduate of Columbia Military Academy where he lettered in football and in the ROTC program was selected to be a member of the Gold Star Drill Team. He continued his interest in CMA throughout the years as an avid supporter and member of the CMA Alumni Association.

After graduating from Columbia Military Academy, he received an appointment to the Air Force Academy for the first class accepted there, but optioned to attend Vanderbilt University where he graduated in 1958 with a B.A. Degree. He was offered Rotary International’s grant to study in Oxford, England, however his desire to enter business and marriage overrode this honor.

He married the former Catherine Browder of Nashville in 1958 and they moved to a farm in Maury County where in the early 1960s the family began to raise Tennessee Walking Horses.

With his father, he owned and operated Victory Van Lines, a household goods moving and storage company based in Columbia for 47 years. The company began with an affiliation with North American Van Lines and later with Allied Van Lines, widely acknowledged as a top-quality nation-wide and international operation, Recognized as a leader in the industry for many years, he served as secretary-treasurer of the Tennessee Movers Association for 20 years.

Mr. Ledbetter was active in civic and community affairs throughout his life. He was a member and past president of the Columbia Rotary Club and was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of Columbia Masonic Lodge #31, was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason and member of Al Menah Shrine Temple.

He was instrumental in forming the Tennessee Palomino Association and served on the National AQHA Youth Activities Board of Directors. Active in the Tennessee Walking Horse community, he was a member and served as president of the Maury County Horsemen’s Association from 1968-1972. On several occasions he was chosen to parade the University of Tennessee Flag around Neyland Stadium, mounted aboard his champion Tennessee Walking Horse, “Lightning,” prior to UT football games.

Survivors include his wife, Catharine Browder Ledbetter of Columbia; children, William Browder Ledbetter, Mary Kate (James) Barr, and Marshall Powell Ledbetter, III of Columbia; grandchildren, Catharine Ann Ledbetter, Joseph Browder (Joey) Ledbetter, and B. J. Ledbetter; sister, Bettye Ledbetter (Dan) Buckner of Dickson; brother, Gary Clement (Lucy) Ledbetter of Columbia; brother-in-law, William (Elnel) Browder of Freeport, Maine; nieces and nephews, Emily Browder (Tom) Forti, Hannah Browder, Mary Marshall Ledbetter, Rachael Dirr, Clement Ledbetter, Reed Buckner, and Robert Dirr; aunts, Mae Ledbetter Duncan, Faye Shaw Ledbetter, and Clara Durand Ledbetter.

Honorary pallbearers are special friends, Nancy and James Hoil Walker, Marshall Cranford, Wade Morgan, Billie and Ray Cherry, Ashley Brown, Jerry Brown, Brenda and Mike McClure, Mike Sopak, Lola Trimble, Paula and Al Kirwan, Jennifer and Mervin Logue, Louis Holloway, Debbie Silverthorne, past and present employees of Victory Van Lines and VIP Moving and Storage, Columbia Military Academy Alumni Association, coaches and staff of the Tennessee Titans.

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