Martha Moss Armstrong, 82, of Memphis, died Oct. 7, 2007. She attended UT Junior College and later earned a bachelor’s degree from UT Knoxville. She served as a county home demonstration agent in Dyer County and later worked as director of the MINI College for adult education at the University of Memphis. She retired from the university in 1991. (Courtesy The Commercial Appeal.)
George R. (Bob) Brengle, 84, associate professor emeritus of English, died March 27, 2008, at Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin. He held degrees from Duke University and Middlebury College and joined the UT Martin faculty in 1966. He taught English and speech and participated in the university’s Vanguard Theatre. He was a member of Bible Union Baptist Church. (Courtesy Murphy Funeral Home & Florist.)
Dr. Thomas V. Greer, of Martin, former associate professor of agribusiness, died April 2, at Volunteer Community Hospital in Martin. He was 63. Greer joined the UTMartin faculty in 1993 after serving as a Department of Agricultural Economics research assistant at Purdue University. Prior to that, he was director of sugar and corn analysis for Connell Commodities, a subsidiary of Connell Rice and Sugar Corporation, Westfield, N.J. He also was a commodity/industry analyst with the Agriculture Division of the U.S. International Trade Commission, Washington, D.C. He received bachelor of arts and master of science degrees at the University of Nebraska and a doctorate in agricultural economics at Purdue University. He also served in the U.S. Army.
Dr. Harry M. Hutson, UT Martin professor emeritus of history, died April 14, 2008, at his home in Durham, N.C. He was born Dec. 14, 1920, in Cumberland, Md., was a U.S. Army veteran, and held degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Iowa. He taught at UT Martin from 1969 until his retirement in 1989, during which time he also served as chair of the history and political science department. He was a member of the Epworth United Methodist Church. Survivors include his wife, Betty Rose, and four children. (Courtesy Weakley County Press.)
Dolph Owen Larimer (’64), of Benton, Ky., died Dec. 11, 2007, at Calvert City Convalescent Center in Calvert City, Ky. Mr. Larimer was a member of the 1959 North Marshall Jets State Championship Basketball Team. He was inducted in 1987 into the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame.
Bob Parkins, 78, editor, publisher, owner and journalist with the Milan Mirror-Exchange newspaper, died April 17 in Milan. Mr. Parkins was born in Bolivar, lived in several West Tennessee communities during his childhood, graduated from Milan High School in 1947, served four years in the U.S. Air Force, and entered UT Martin Branch in 1952 on a football scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and went on to earn a master’s degree in dairy science from UT Knoxville. He started his journalism career as a West Tennessee area reporter for the Commercial Appeal and Nashville Tennessean. In June 1965, he and his wife, Dorris, a UT Knoxville graduate, started the Milan Mirror newspaper, which was a competitor to the long-established Milan Exchange. In 1977, the Mirror purchased the Exchange, merging to form the award-winning Mirror-Exchange. He was active in many civic affairs and earned numerous recognitions for his community service work. Five of the Parkins’ eight children earned degrees at either UT Martin or UT Knoxville. (Courtesy Milan Mirror-Exchange and the Parkins family.)
Mary Lake Pritchett, 80, died March 25, 2008, at her home in Martin. She was a graduate of UT Junior College and a member of Martin First United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Holt Pritchett, and is survived by sons, Lee and Jon, both of Martin, two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. (Courtesy Murphy Funeral Home & Florist.)
Mary J. (Floersch) Scileppi, 56, of Tallahassee, Fla., died Oct. 9, 2007. Born in Chicago, Ill., she lived in Milan before making Tallahassee her home in the early 1980s. She earned her nursing diploma from UT Martin in 1980. A registered nurse, she was in charge of staff development at Capital Health Care Center.
Bill Snyder, New York actor, playwright, producer, director and UT Martin professor emeritus of theatre, died March 12, at his home in Oregon of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease. He was 78. Snyder, longtime director of UTMartin Vanguard Theatre who also spent 32 years teaching, took his final curtain call at the staging of “The Boys Next Door” in 1996. It was estimated at the time that he directed from 150-200 shows while at UTMartin. He also was named a University of Tennessee National Alumni Association Distinguished Professor in 1990, the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member in the UTsystem. He retired in 1996.
One of his plays, “The Days and Nights of BeeBee Fenstermaker,” ran for 304 performances Off-Broadway at the Sheridan Square Playhouse. Patricia Neal played the role of BeeBee in a British ATV drama in 1962 in an episode titled “The Days and Nights of BeeBee.” Snyder was granted a leave of absence from UTMartin in late 1969 through September 1970 to serve as an adviser for the production of a film based on the same play.
Snyder received a master of fine arts degree in playwrighting at the Yale School of Drama, one of the most highly respected graduate schools of theatre in the country. His extensive list of writing credits includes stage, film and television.
The William Snyder Theatre Scholarship Endowment was established in 1996. The scholarship is an annual award given to an advanced student for demonstrated excellence in theatre.
J. Frank Taylor, a charter member of the UT Martin Athletics Hall of Fame, died Nov. 19, 2007, at the Baptist Memorial Hospital in Huntingdon. He was 96. He was named UTJC’s “most prominent football player” following the 1929 season and served as an assistant coach in 1931 at UTJC under H.K. Grantham.
Taylor was a three-sport standout. He returned kicks and played running back in football from 1928-30, guard in basketball in 1929, and shortstop in baseball in 1929 and 1930.
Known as “Little Duffy,” Taylor graduated from the University of Tennessee and later served as principal at Dresden High School and at Martin High School. He served on the State Board of Education and was a member of the State Board of Regents.
He was a veteran World War II lieutenant commander of the U.S. Navy. He taught and coached in Carroll County, where he also was the school superintendent. Taylor was the first state director of physical education. He was owner of a Pure Oil Distributorship and a member of the Huntingdon First Baptist Church. He also was a charter member of the Rotary Club.