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Cordell Winfree

Staff Reports • Dec 18, 2017 at 2:05 PM

Funeral services for Mr. Winfree will be held Friday, Dec. 22, 2017 at noon from Westland United Methodist Church at 110 Dawson Lane in Lebanon. Pastor Tim Palmer will officiate, and interment with military honors will follow in Wilson County Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 from 2-7 p.m. and again Friday after 11 a.m. at Westland UMC.

Mr. Winfree, age 93, of Lebanon, passed away Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 at his home. 

Born April 11, 1924 in Smith County to the late Lemuel Greal and Laura Belle Thomas Winfree, he was the youngest of six children born to this union. In addition to his parents, he is preceded in death by his loving wife of 60 years, Oleta Hall Winfree; brothers, Elmer, Bill and Joe Winfree; sisters, Sadye Wills, Estelle Moore; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. Winfree was a decorated veteran, having served two years in the Army during the Second World War from 1944-46, receiving several accommodations, including the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He completed his undergraduate studies at the Tennessee Polytech Institute and began working in the Cocke County School System.  He later returned to Middle Tennessee, completing his master’s degree in administration and supervision at Middle Tennessee State University. He also served in Smith and DeKalb counties in Lancaster, New Middleton and Liberty schools. In 1957, he accepted a position at Castle Heights Military Academy, where he taught in the Junior School and supervised Morgan Hall, where he lived, along with his family. In 1968, Mr. Winfree became principal of Byars Dowdy School, serving in this capacity until he was appointed director of the Lebanon Special School District in 1974. He retired from this position in 1989. Mr. Winfree was recognized for his educational achievements in 2010 when the new Winfree Bryant Middle School was partially named in his honor.  Mr. Winfree married the love of his life, Oleta Hall, on Christmas Day in 1955. They were charter members of the Westland United Methodist Church in Lebanon, where he taught Sunday school and served faithfully until health prevented. After retirement, he enjoyed helping the WUMC Men’s Club serve meals and other mission projects. He loved spending time with his children, grandchildren and friends. Mr. Winfree especially enjoyed singing his favorite gospel hymns.

Mr. Winfree leaves behind three children, Nan Winfree, of Lebanon, Dan (Cindy) Winfree, of Spring Hill, Lou Ann (Kenneth) Knight, of Fleming Island, Florida; grandchildren, Brandon (Casey) Romer, of Ethridge, Austin Winfree, of Huntington, West Virginia, Britney Knight, of Gainesville, Florida, Taylor and Travis Knight, both of Fleming Island, Florida; great-grandchildren, Addison and Daxton Romer; numerous friends and extended family, as well as several nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westland United Methodist Church or the Winfree Bryant Middle School. 

Stan Wills, James Ray Moore, Kenneth Knight and his grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be the Wilson County Retired Teachers Association.

Special thanks goes to a wonderful caregiver and family friend, Debbie Taylor, as well as numerous neighbors and friends. Thank you also goes to Amedisys Home Health Agency.

Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, ligonbobo.com.

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