Sherwin Hallis Northcutt, 96, died Feb. 10 in McMinnville.
He was born Oct. 17, 1915 in McMinnville. He is survived by his two sons Galyon (Phyllis) Northcutt of Antioch, and Dean (Sharon) Northcutt of Manchester; four grandchildren, Scott (Sara) Northcutt of Huntsville, Ala.; Wendy (Lane) Owen of Johnson City; Penny Northcutt of Murfreesboro; and Ashlee (Jason) Piercey of Smyrna; stepsons Jeff (Karen) Milstead of Murfreesboro; Douglas (Barbie) Milstead of Conyers, Ga.; and stepdaughter Phyllis Newcome of Irving College. He is also survived by his sister, Era Pennell of Chicago, Ill., and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 32 years and mother of his sons, Marion McCarty Northcutt; his wife of seven years, Dorthelia Kirk Northcutt; and his wife of 19 years, Edith Milstead Northcutt. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Vernon and Jay Northcutt and his two brothers, D.V. Northcutt and Lyte Northcutt.
His early education was attained in the Irving College community as a boarding school student. He graduated from Grundy County High School where he was a renowned basketball player. Following high school, he attended the University of Tennessee and played basketball for UT for two years. He graduated from UT with a degree in agricultural economics in 1941 and with a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Upon graduation he entered active service.
During his military time he served at Fort Knox, Ky., and then trained some under Gen. George S. Patton at Fort Benning, Ga. He was assigned to Camp Campbell, Ky., when the 20th Armored Division was formed. During the years of training at Camp Campbell he coached the 20th Tank Battalion basketball team that beat the Harlem Globetrotters in a basketball game in Nashville.
He was the commander of B Company, 20th Tank Battalion, 20th Armored Division that swept across central and southern Germany during the last year of World War II. He led his tank company in breaking through the gates and liberating the infamous Dachau death camp a few miles outside of Munich, Germany.
Upon returning to the United States, Mr. Northcutt helped manage and operate Northcutt Brothers Lumber Company in Altamont until a fire destroyed the company in the early 1960s. He was a pioneer in bringing the poultry business to Grundy County when, in 1952, he constructed one of the first two poultry houses built in the county. He opened and operated M&H Broiler Service for several years in Grundy County.
He was the lead organizer in establishing Big Creek Utility District in Grundy County and served as the chairman of the board of directors for over 50 years. Big Creek Utility District brought clean drinking water through hundreds of miles of pipeline to nearly all the people of Grundy County and parts of Sequatchie and Marion counties. Additionally he and his father organized the effort to bring telephone service into Grundy County in the early 1950s
Mr. Northcutt served as president of the Cumberland Heights Community League for nearly 20 years. In this position he helped the community grow through many community resource development projects including the construction of a community center that is currently being used for Head Start children in the community. He was a member of the Altamont Church of Christ for over 70 years where he served as an elder for nearly 20 years. In lieu of flowers, donations to Gospel Broadcasting Network would be appreciated.
Funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Monday in High’s Chapel with Ray Winton officiating. Burial will follow at Armstrong Cemetery, with full military honors administered by VFW Post 5064 and American Legion Post 173. Visitation will be held from 3 to 9 p.m. today, and Monday from 9 a.m. until the time of service at High’s.
High Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
(McMinnville, Tenn.) Feb. 12, 2012