DENTON, PETER TEDFORD, SR. - died suddenly on Monday, December 30, 2013, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. He lived a long and full life devoted to his family, his friends, and his business ventures. Pete and his beloved wife were married for nearly 58 years. His circle of influence was wide, and he leaves behind many who grieve the loss of his strong leadership and his generous heart. Born January 15, 1931 to Lester V. and Helen T. Denton in Knoxville, TN, Pete was a lifelong member of Second Presbyterian Church and throughout the years served several times as Deacon and Elder. Among his many accomplishments, he was especially gratified to have established the church's Endowment Foundation. His education included high school at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN, and four years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, where he majored in Business Administration. He was the first president of the Presbyterian Student Center and a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Through the R.O.T.C. program, he received an army
commission and was deployed to Korea. He later served in the Army Reserves and retired as Captain. Prior to his time in Korea, he was engaged to be married to Bobbie Arnhart, whom he had met at UT. Upon his return from military service, the two were married in 1956. Two sons were born to them, Chip in 1958 and Mark in 1960. After a short stint with the J.C. Penny Company, he joined Power Equipment Company, where he spent the remainder of his working career. During those thirty-three years, he held several positions, including Treasurer and President, until his retirement in 1989. He was very active in the Association of Heavy Equipment Dealers, holding several positions within that organization, including President. Along with the late Don and Tom Tucker, he was a partner in several successful business ventures. Pete always styled himself as a "bulldozer salesman," and he was justly proud of his contributions to the company. In addition to his church, his community involvement included United Way, Mobil Meals, Webb School Board (where he served as Chair), 1982 Worlds Fair promotion, Fort Sanders Health Systems Board, and Covenant Health Board. He was a long-time member of Green Meadows Country Club. Pete loved sports of many types, and for years he was an avid jogger and tennis player. Along with his wife and friends, he often enjoyed skiing during the winter months. After his retirement, he became an enthusiastic golfer. He and Bobbie owned property in Gatlinburg and in Florida, where they spent many memorable times with family and friends. They also enjoyed annual vacations with family and friends at Pawley's Island, SC. They had just driven home from Christmas with family in North Carolina when Pete suffered a serious and sudden stroke. In addition to his dear wife Bobbie, he leaves a sister, Martha Jane McDowell of Blacksburg, VA; two sons, Peter T. Denton, Jr., and his wife, Desiree Park Denton of Durham, NC, and Mark K. Denton and his wife Melinda Johnson Denton of Knoxville; several grandchildren, Peter T. Denton, III of Durham; Megan E. Denton of Chattanooga, Emily A. Denton of Johnson City, Mandy Turner of Knoxville, Jenny Denton Bodnar and her husband Nick of Durham, and Chad A. Denton of Charlotte; and a sister-in-law, Patsy Tarvin of The Woodlands, TX. A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2014 at Highland Memorial Cemetery with full military honors presented by the Volunteer State Veterans
Honor Guard. A service to celebrate Peter's life will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, January 13, 2014 at Second Presbyterian Church officiated by Dr. Brian Wilson. Following the service, the family will greet friends in the church fellowship hall. The family requests that memorial gifts be sent to Living Waters for the World, 5016 Spedale Court #399, Spring Hill, TN 37174 http://www.livingwatersfortheworld.org/
); or to Second Presbyterian Church, 2829Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919 (http://www.2ndpres.org/
). Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. Psalm 116:15. Online condolences may be extended at www.rosemortuary.com
. Arrangements by Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.