OBITUARY: Charles Wesley Witherspoon, Jr., member of a Brentwood founding family

OBITUARY: Charles Wesley Witherspoon, Jr., member of a Brentwood founding family

Brentwood has lost a beloved member of our community.

Charles Wesley Witherspoon, Jr., age 90, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017.

Mr. Witherspoon has roots that go back to the area’s very beginnings as a member of one of Brentwood’s founding families, the Holts. When he was two years old he moved from Nashville to the ancestral home of his mother, Kate Holt Witherspoon, where he grew up and remained for the rest of his life. This home, built in the 1830s, is known as “Holtland” or “Wildwood” and is on the National Register of Historic Homes.

Mr. Witherspoon attended Robertson Academy and Hillsboro High School. He received the BA degree from Vanderbilt University. He went on to earn an MA from Peabody College. At Vanderbilt he was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi education honor society. He was also a music composer, notably composing the music for the Alma Mater songs for Hillsboro High School and the Harpeth Hall School.
As a teacher he began his educating career at Franklin High School where he taught for two years, then transferred to the Davidson County school system, (later Metro), in 1954. He remained there until retirement in 1982.
A huge part of Mr. Witherspoon’s life was music. He began studying piano in his elementary and high school years and was taught the organ by Cyrus Daniel during his years at Vanderbilt and Peabody. He went on to serve for 43 years as organist at Brentwood United Methodist Church and retired as Organist Emeritus in 1987. Mr. Witherspoon also taught piano privately and worked with music programs during his service with Metro Schools. Following retirement he was involved in volunteer positions with Brentwood United Methodist Church
and was engaged in many church activities.
Mr. Witherspoon was a member of the Nashville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and held membership in the National Education Association, Tennessee Education Association and Metro-Nashville Education Association. He was also an active contributor to the Nashville Symphony Association, WDCN, WPLN, Peabody College and Vanderbilt University.
A Celebration of Life service will be conducted at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 14 at the Brentwood United Methodist Church. A private family burial will take place at Woodlawn Memorial Park.


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