James H. "Jimmy" Bedford

Obituary
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BEDFORD, Mr. James H. "Jimmy"Age 69 of Lynchburg. Passed away August 7, 2009. He was born January 30, 1940 at home on Galloway Lane in Franklin County, Tennessee. Jimmy grew up on the family farm just below Lynchburg, Tennessee. He graduated from Moore County High School and then Tennessee Tech University. While at Tennessee Tech, Jimmy met Emily Gregory, his future wife. Following graduation, he and Emily returned to Lynchburg to begin a lengthy, successful career at the Jack Daniel Distillery in 1968. He learned his trade from the ground floor, working in the yeasting, fermenting, milling and distillation areas. In 1988, he earned a promotion to master distiller for the oldest registered distillery in the United States. In addition to his duties as master distiller, he served as ambassador for the distillery, traveling around the world and talking with consumers, distributors, retailers, trade and media about the distillery and the process of making the product for which he was responsible. Under his watch, Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey became the best selling single label in the world with distribution increasing to more than 130 countries. He was revered around the globe as the representative for an American icon. In 2007, he was honored with the Icons of Whiskey Lifetime Achievement Award in London by Whiskey Magazine. He played an integral role in taking his product category to greater heights globally and earned tremendous respect from the industry for his pioneering of his trade. Since his retirement in 2008, he'd been enjoying work on his farm, just a mile down the road from the distillery. He was involved in philanthropic efforts such as Duck's Unlimited, Wild Turkey Federation, Muscular Dystrophy, American Red Cross, and many more. He was a member of First United Methodist Church in Lynchburg, TN. In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by his daughter, Alice (Edsel) Pleming of Norfolk, VA; brother, Bill (Sandra) Bedford of Lynchburg, TN; sister, Sue (Carlton) Galbreath of Cookeville, TN; grandson, Wyatt Bedford Pleming of Norfolk, VA; nieces and nephews including Melissa (Scott) Wright, Phillip (Beth) Bennett, Myron Bennett, Susan (Clark) Simpson, Michelle (Monte) Gaw, James William (Holly) Bedford and LeEllen (Chad) Carter; and a world of family and friends. Active Pallbearers: James William Bedford, Myron Bennett, Phillip Bennett, Chad Carter, Monte Gaw, Clark Simpson and Scott Wright. Honorary Pallbearers: Logan Carter, Matthew Gaw, Max Bennett, Eli Bennett, Adam Simpson and Molly Jo Simpson. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. on Monday at Jennings Moore-Cortner Chapel with Rev. Bill Mulroy and Rev. Allen Black officiating. Interment will be in Lynchburg Cemetery, Lynchburg, TN. Visitation 3-5 p.m. on Sunday, August 9, 2009 at Jennings Moore-Cortner Chapel. The family will receive friends from 5:30 til 9:00 p.m. in the Tennessee Room at the Jack Daniel Distillery Visitor Center. Memorial donations may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Lynchburg or the Jimmy Bedford Scholarship Fund at Farmers Bank or Moore County Bank both in Lynchburg. JENNINGS MOORE-CORTNER FUNERAL HOME, (931) 759-4552 www.moorecortner.com



Published in The Tennessean on Aug. 9, 2009
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