William Earl Cherry obit

William Earl Cherry (“Bill”) passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 at Williamson Medical Center.  Bill was born April 14, 1937 in Franklin, Tennessee.  He is preceded in death by mother Novella Vernon (Peggy) Cherry and father Thomas Earl Cherry; and grandparents, Anslem and Maggie Vernon, and Minus Vice and Josie Cherry.  He is survived by his wife of 61 wonderful years, Anne Fletcher Wilson Cherry; children, Cammie Cherry White (Brad), William Earl Cherry, Jr. (LeeAnn), and Amy Cherry Daniel (Brown); 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. 

Bill attended Franklin city schools, Battle Ground Academy, Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville.  While in school he began working for Magic Chef at the Factory and at the silos of Lillie Mills in Franklin.  He was a partner in a shoe store in Columbia, Tennessee after serving a full term in the Tennessee Air National Guard before receiving an honorable discharge.  He began his automotive career at age 20 selling for the Permatex Company.  The Herman A. Shields Company then introduced him to most of the companies in the South in distribution of automotive parts.  At age 31, he and Anne became partners in one of the South’s largest and oldest auto parts retailer and wholesale distribution companies.  Over the next 52 years, Bill owned and operated numerous businesses in the fields of retail, remanufacturing, redistribution, tech start-ups, finance and banking.  He served as Board Member, Chairman, CEO, and President of more than 60 local, national, and international companies.  He served as advisor to many of the automotive aftermarket manufacturers such as Maremont, Gabriel, Champion Sparkplugs, AC Delco, Federal-Mogul, Dana Corp, among others.  He served on the the Board of Trust for Battle Ground Academy and was named Williamson County Man of the Year by the Rotary Club.  Many of his oldest and most loyal friends are employees, customers, and business associates of the past 60 years.  He was generous, fiercely loyal and loved his family deeply.    

At Bill’s request, a private service will be held at his beloved Cherry Hill Farm on a warm, sunny day in the Spring.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Battle Ground Academy (336 Ernest Rice Ln, Franklin, TN 37069) in Bill’s name.   

WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 615 794-2289 williamsonmemorial.com 

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