Willie Thurl Caruth
Age 78, August 25, 2014.
Survived by wife, Valerie Caruth; children, June Donnell Adams, William T. Donnell, Sr. (Yollette Jones), Janine Caruth-Lanier, Jessica Reynolds Pasley (Irvin), Jeffrey A. Caruth (Cindy), Kenny Hibbler, and Wayne King, Jr.; brothers, Johnny (Rita), Eugene (Marilyn), and James, Jr. (Shirley) Caruth; numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Preceded in death by brother, James (Frances Jean) Caruth.
He graduated from Tennessee State University and Vanderbilt University School of Management. He was an instructor of the Armor School of Officers for the United States Army.
His work advocating and helping populations that were often under-served was a common theme throughout his career from his first job at the South Street Community Center to his time at the YMCA, the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission and the Metropolitan Action Commission. He retired from the State of Tennessee Department of Human Services.
He was the first black professional hired by the YMCA in Nashville, where he was the associate director of Urban Affairs during the civil rights period and was tasked with setting up meetings in homes throughout the Middle Tennessee area to bring blacks and whites together to talk about local problems.
He was an alumnus of Leadership Nashville, class of 1978, the second class of community leaders to graduate from the program.
Viewing Friday, August 29, 1-6 p.m. at New Generation. Lie-in-state Saturday, August 30, 11-12 p.m., visitation 12-1 p.m. with funeral to follow in Olive Branch Church, 5988 Cane Ridge Road, Antioch, TN. Interment, Greenwood West Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Olive Branch Church Youth Scholarship Fund.
New Generation Funeral Home, 615-365-7105. newgenerationfh.com
New Generation Funeral Home - Antioch
2930 Murfreesboro Pike
Antioch, TN 37013
Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 28, 2014