Charter SJGD member Jerry Forrest Gaither, age 89, passed from this life on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 after a brief illness. Jerry is the son of Jesse Edward Gaither, grandson of Isaac Raines Gaither, in the Gaither line of Amos F, Edward, Benjamin, John IV, John III, John II and John Gaither I.
He was born on a farm in Auburntown, Tennessee as the youngest of ten children to Jesse Edward and Jodie Nugent Hawkins Gaither. He graduated from public school in Auburntown, graduating from Auburn High School in 1945. Immediately upon graduation he joined the U.S Navy and served until the end of WWII. He graduated from MTSU with his undergraduate and later Masters Degree in Education.
He served as teacher, coach and principal of schools in Murfreesboro, Cannon, Wilson and Rutherford Counties. He was also City Superintendent of Watertown City Schools and Rutherford County Schools. He was a personnel analyst at General Electric. He worked for the Tennessee Department of Education as Supervisor/Technical Education, Guidance andCounseling Services, Pupil Personnel Services, and as Director of Career Education. He also worked in real estate, auctioneering and farming.
Mr. Gaither served on the Rutherford County Board of Commissioner for 12 years. He was Chairman of the Welfare, Health, Education and Personnel Committee and on the Steering and Legislative Committee He also served as President of the Cannon County Education Association, President of Rutherford County Education Association, founding President of Tennessee County Commissioners Association, and President of Tennessee County Services Association. He served as a member of the Tennessee Personnel and Guidance Association. On a National level he was chairman and secretary of the American Vocational Association Membership and a member of the National Association of Counties.
He was member of First Baptist Church, Blue Raider Club, Rutherford County Historical Society, Rutherford County Farm Bureau, and MTSU Archives and Museum Oversight Committee.
He is survived by his daughters, Maxine Gaither, Jana Wisniewski (Ron), Jill Levkoff (Ray); Granddaughters Kimberly Redmon, Christy Benson, Lindsay Levkoff Lynn and Jessica Levkoff; eight great grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren.
Jerry was known best for his dedication to public service, his love of people, history and the stories of people. He was also passionate about his farm, land management and conservation.
Burial was in Donnell Cemetery in Auburntown, Tennessee. Memorials may be made to Alive Hospice Inc,. 1718 Patterson St., Nashville, TN, 37203-9658, or The Salvation Army, PO Box 791, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0791.