On Sunday, Feb. 7, we lost a community treasure. Gilbert “Ted” Theodore Cowdrey, 73, passed away at home from natural causes.
Ted was born Aug. 24, 1947 to Theodore and Patricia Cowdrey in Pontiac, Michigan. He graduated from Pontiac Central High School. He served in the United States Army from 1966-1968. Upon honorable discharge from the service, he began his career with General Motors. There he completed an apprenticeship program to become a journeyman electrician, as well as working as an EAP counselor. In 1989, his career brought him to Spring Hill, Tennessee with Saturn. There he met Sharon, his devoted wife of 30 years.
Retiring in 1997 opened many doors for Ted. He became a teacher of all levels of high school math. As a member of Mensa, he loved to challenge young minds. When his teaching years were over, he turned his attention to the arts. Centered in Franklin, and by extension Leiper’s Fork, Ted made many, many creations including rock and iron sculptures, paintings, process components for a local distillery, poetry, jewelry, and countless other projects. He was a student of the arts at Arrowmont School of Arts in Gatlinburg (an affiliate of UT.)
In 2018, Ted was thrilled to finally meet his son, Jerry, who was adopted at birth. The bond was evident from the beginning and only grew stronger in the few short years they had each another. It made Ted whole to have and know all three of his children.
Ted was proceeded in death by his father, Theodore Cowdrey; mother, Patricia Cowdrey; his dearest grandson, Travis Nichols; and his special pet, Katie Kitty.
Ted is survived by his wife, Sharon Cowdrey; children, Jerry Huff, Lynne (Matt) Zelinsky and Paul (Amanda) Cowdrey; brother, Greg Cowdrey; grandchildren, Catherine, Alyssa and Kaysi; and great-grandchildren, Ruth and Lucy.
A memorial service will be planned at a later date and time due to COVID-19 risks.