William “Gary” Mantooth, 80, of Old Fort, Tennessee passed away peacefully on Wednesday evening, Aug. 24, 2022. Gary was born on August 27, 1941, to the late Knoble William Mantooth and Lela Mae (McKamey) Mantooth. On September 9, 1961, he married Mary “Janice” (Wood) Mantooth at Wellford Baptist Church in Wellford, South Carolina.
In addition to his parents, Knoble William and Lela Mae Mantooth, he was preceded by his grandson, Ricky J. McClure, and niece Denise Sutton.
Gary graduated from Polk County High School, then continued his education at Berry College in Rome, GA. It was there that he met the love of his life, Janice. They went on to wed shortly after and were blessed with Scott in 1962. Shortly following, in 1964, Gary graduated from Tennessee Tech University studying Agricultural Sciences. Gary continued to receive his teaching certification from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Following this, he was a devout educator and local sponsor of the Polk County High School Future Farmers of America chapter. His passion for agriculture spanned his entire life from childhood until the end. After his teaching career, Gary continued in his agricultural pursuits in several different disciplines.
While being a farmer and educator were his greatest passions, he was an incredibly loving husband, father, and papaw.
Gary had an adept passion for antique vehicles and livestock showing, both of which he traveled frequently for. He dearly loved horses, especially training and riding them and contributed to this culture by judging numerous horse shows in the region. In his forties, Gary picked up the side hobby of being a whitewater raft guide on the Ocoee River. He was a man who truly never let his age confine his abilities. He was a cherished member of the community and was never afraid to lend a helping hand to those who needed it. Whether it was a shirt, a tractor, or livestock Gary was always there to aid those in need. He will be greatly missed by many and all who knew him.
Gary displayed pride for the community in which he lived by serving on the county commission for numerous years.
Left to cherish the many memories include his loving wife, Janice Mantooth; son, Gary “Scott” (Mary) Mantooth; cherished granddaughters, Madisson “Maddie” Mantooth, Macy Mantooth, Meghan McClure, and Abigayle McClure; great grandson, James Ryder Collins; brother, Quentin “Vell” Mantooth; loving nieces, Lisa (Curtis) Biggs, Shannon (Jeremy) Dill, Sonya (Mike) Cross, and Amy Mantooth.
Gary also leaves behind beloved members of his wife’s family: Sarah (Van) Hill, Holly Miller & her sons, Mickey & Candace Sutton, and countless others he valued dearly.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, August 29, 2022, in the chapel of Higgins Funeral Home with Pastor Andy Sibley officiating. Interment will follow at Dill Cemetery in Old Fort with his family serving as pallbearers.
Family and friends will gather from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, prior to the service at the funeral home.
Expressions of sympathy may be shared with the family at www.HiggisnFuneral.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Higgins Funeral Home of Benton.