Geraldine (Gerry) Rader Cantrell, 90, passed away Sunday, September 1, 2019 in Sparta, TN. She was born in Springfield, MO to Reva Miller Rader and Joseph Berlin Rader, who preceded her in death. Growing up in Missouri, the family moved to McMinnville, TN where she met and married Forest Clark Cantrell in 1949. Her husband preceded her in death in 2011, after 62 years of marriage.
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A 1969 graduate of McMinnville Central High School, she was employed as society editor of “The Southern Standard”, the towns newspaper. She later worked at McMinnville Garment Company, as a machine operator and later in the office. When her husband went to the Air Force in 1951, she worked in the office at Mead Bakery, then Sandia Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. When he was transferred to Travis Air Force Base, CA, she worked in the office of Yuba Mfg. in Benecia, CA. They returned to McMinnville in 1955, then moved to Cookeville, TN for 8 years, then to Sparta, TN until her death.
She was active in community and church organizations. In Cookeville, she served as president of Capshaw PTA and Cookeville Jaycettes. She taught Sunday School at First Baptist Church until they moved to Sparta in 1964. In Sparta, she served as president of White county PTA Council and was the first female president appointed to serve as permanent chairman of the grand jury. She was secretary of the United Givers Fund. She retired from Sparta Eclectic and Water System in 1989, after 17 years. She was a member od Sparta First Baptist Church, where she taught Sunday School for over 40 years and in United Woman’s Missionary Union in the church and association. She was responsible for starting the Help Center in Sparta and the Prison Ministry in Pikeville, TN.
Survivors in clude two sons and their family: Dr. F. Clark Cantrell, Jr. and Wife, Amy of Atlanta and Mark Rader Cantrell and wife, Connie of Franklin.
Six grandchildren: Forrest Clark Cantrell ||| and Wife, Sarah of Cookeville; Nikki, Kimmi, and Corey of Atlanta and Cody of Sparta amd Christina of Washington D.C. ; a great-granddaughter, Reghan Mclane of Cookeville; a siter and brother-in-law, Sharon Rader Cummings and husband, Francis Grey Cummings of Brentwood; two nephews and their families, Christopher Grey Cummings and son, Christopher Grey Cummings ||; Jonathen Rader Cummings, wife Bridgett and daughter Brianne of Pegram.
Funeral Service will be held on Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 2 pm at Oak Lawn Funeral Home with Rev. Brad Walker officiating. Burial to follow at Mountain View Cemetery in McMinnville, TN. The family will receive friends on Sunday at Oak Lawn from 12-2 pm.
In Lieu of Flowers, donations may be made to CureFest for Childhood Cancer Research. Oak Lawn Funeral Home will forward the charitable donations.
Online condolences may be made to the family at oaklawnmemorial.com