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Gerald Wayne Tidwell, 54
OBIT - Tidwell.jpg

McMinnville resident and Davidson County native Gerald Wayne Tidwell, 54, was born Feb. 19, 1967 and died suddenly May 8 at Vanderbilt Bedford Hospital in Shelbyville.            

Principal at Warren County Middle School and a member of Covenant Fellowship Church, he was the son of the late Wayne Douglas Tidwell and Patricia Ann Woodard Ballard of Cookeville. He was married to Valerie Anne Seiber on Feb. 27, 1987. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by mother-in-law Mary Anne Seiber. 

In addition to his wife, Gerald is survived by two sons, Jordan Tidwell and Daniel Tidwell, both of McMinnville, mother and stepfather, Patsy and Richard Ballard of Cookeville, brother and sister-in-law Gary and Stephanie Tidwell of Danville, IL; father-in-law Dale Seiber of McMinnville, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Andrew and Jackie Seiber of Homer Glen, IL; nieces and nephews, Elijah, Isaiah and Micah Tidwell, Gina Dubin, and Joe Seiber, all of Illinois also survive.

In 1984, Gerald moved to Illinois in the middle of his junior year of high school where he met the love of his life, Valerie Seiber. Although a wedding was eventually planned for July 18, 1987, the couple moved the wedding date up to Feb. 27 to ensure Gerald would receive sufficient financial aid in order to fulfill his dream of becoming a high school football coach. Gerald liked to joke that he thought he had several months to get out of marriage but that Val’s mom left him no choice. Val liked to say that they had married for money! It was a good investment by the government as Gerald and Valerie both went on to teach in the Pana, IL school system in August 1990. One of Gerald’s proudest coaching achievements was being named Pana’s winningest football coach in school history. Gerald and Valerie had their sons in Pana with Jordan being born in 1997 and Daniel in 2000.  

In 2002, the family made the move to McMinnville where Gerald taught and coached for two years. He then spent two years at Grundy County High School as an assist high school principal before returning to the area to teach one year under Ronnie Brown at Morrison School with Valerie. After that, he spent three years as principal of Woodbury Grammar School — but football was calling him and he left to assist the Coffee County Football Team. In 2011, Gerald was elated to be named principal at Warren County Middle School by outgoing Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale and rising Director of Schools Bobby Cox. The third time was the charm for Gerald in Warren County Schools where he was about to complete his 10th year at the helm of WCMS and his 30th year in education. When asked by anyone how his day at school was, he always replied that it was a GREAT day at Warren County Middle School. He thoroughly enjoyed working with his middle school family. After school hours, Gerald served as a TSSAA official for both football and baseball where he made many friends but none as special as Perry Reed. A practical jokester, Gerald loved to tease and make people laugh. He lived life fully driving Valerie crazy at times with his motorcycle purchases and kayaking and boating misadventures. His fishing trips with high school friends Joe Coventry and Billy Fonner in recent years and with his fishing buddy Ty Childers didn’t improve his fishing, but sure made for good memories. Although his sons, Jordan and Daniel don’t seem to have inherited their dad’s “Evil Knievel” gene, anyone who is around them knows they are Gerald’s boys ... and that their daddy loved them mightily.

Funeral service will be Thursday, May 13, at 2 p.m. at Covenant Fellowship Church with Dr. Dean Northcutt officiating. Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, and from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Covenant. The service will be live-streamed for those unable to attend with a link to be sent out on social media.

Gerald’s legacy lives on through his choice to be an organ donor, and per his wishes, he will be cremated. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Covenant Fellowship Church, Kids of the Community, Children’s Advocacy Center or the Warren County Family Resource Center. Online condolences may be made at

High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Southern Standard

(McMinnville, Tenn.) May 12, 2021