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Charles Harlan Reynolds


1938 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Charles Harlan Reynolds Obituary
Charles Harlan Reynolds

Knoxville, TN

On Wednesday, January 25, Charles Harlan Reynolds passed away peacefully, having spent his last few weeks in the company of family and friends. He was born to Cecil and Edna Forester Reynolds on November 4, 1938, brother to Ruth, Kay, and Larry. Raised in the Southern Methodist Church, he was a distinguished student and athlete. A driving force in his life was the desire to both gain and share knowledge. This quest led him to an education and career that began at Birmingham Southern College, and took him to Southern Methodist University and Harvard, where he completed his PhD in Religious Studies in 1968. After a year of teaching at Heidelberg and Oxford, he accepted a position with the Dept. of Religious Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which he would hold until his passing. During the course of his studies he met and married Glenda Teal, with whom he had three children, Glenn, Jonathan, and Katharine. Later in his career he would meet and marry Karen Swander, with whom he would have a fourth child, Bradford. He is survived by all of these loves, his siblings; his son-in-law Dean; daughters-in-law Helen, Ngozi, and Kelly; and his grandchildren, Joseph, Julia, Christopher, Jackson, William, Ojie, and Harrison.

During his long career at the University of Tennessee, Reynolds established himself as an activist for justice, an acclaimed teacher, a dedicated university citizen, and a highly respected scholar who helped define his field as the founding editor of The Journal of Religious Ethics He was promoted to Professor in 1978, a position he held until he retired as Professor Emeritus in 2009, Along the way, he served as head of the Department of Religious Studies for 21 years. He was recognized as the University's Macebearer in 1993-1994. In his later years, he revisited his love of athletics and served as a volunteer baseball and basketball coach. He also continued to enjoy his long-term hobbies of fishing, boating, and investing. He is remembered, and missed, for his good humor, love of family, and dedication to a better and kinder world.

A memorial and celebration of his life will take place at the University of Tennessee Visitors Center, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m., on Saturday, February 11th. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Reynolds' family asks that donations be made to the Pat Summitt Foundation, East Tennessee Sexual Assault Center, or the Religious Studies Endowment Fund.
Published in Knoxville News Sentinel on Feb. 6, 2017
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