Even as the cover crop was busy growing several inches overnight and every bud in the neighborhood gathered itself in preparation to bloom, my step-father Jerry suddenly departed from this life. This week, I am sharing the obituary that my sister wrote for him.
Jerry Smith Greenway passed from this world early in the day on April 4th 2014. He spent nearly forty years of his life in Macon County and played many roles within the community. Jerry wrote for the Macon County Times, raised his family, and built many structures, large and small, including his personal residence. He was an avid reader and active conversationalist, politically aware and objective in his reporting, if nothing else.
Jerry was born in Kansas City, MO on May 13, 1948 to Homer Wilson Greenway and Imogene Smith. In his youth, he lived in Florida, where he attended Florida State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History and English. Jerry moved to Macon County in 1975. He honed his skills as a carpenter working with Benton Maxey and Lloyd & Richard Driver. In 1981 he continued in the construction trade while pursuing his passion for reporting and journalism at the Macon County Times, where he worked alongside Charlie Gregory and Jim Durham for the entirety of the 80’s. If there was a fire, election, parade, prize deer or scale tipping dry land fish, it was likely that Jerry was there taking pictures and jotting down notes on his ever ready clipboard.
He stepped away from the paper in 1993 and became a full-time self-employed finish carpenter and general builder. He constructed both material and literary works; these were the labors of his body and mind. Jerry returned to the journalism role for a period of time in recent years, and enjoyed traveling to northern states in the humid months of summer.
As a perpetual student of life, it was Jerry’s wish that his body be donated to science. The students of Meharry Medical College, in Nashville, will learn much from him. There will be a gathering to celebrate his life on Saturday, April 12th at 10:30am, at his home on Boyd Rd. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Heifer International. Jerry was a lifelong supporter of this organization, whose mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
Jerry was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by step-mother Dorothy Greenway of Lufkin, TX, wife Sally Greenway of Lafayette, TN, daughter Ellie Greenway (Kelvin Swiger) of Clarksville, TN, daughter Coree (Paul) Entwistle of Red Boiling Springs, TN and and grand-children Lulah and Levon. We all wish he was available for editorial advice.
Rest in peace, Jerry.