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Obituary: Leslie Freeman Poteete

Mr. Leslie Freeman Poteete, 81, of Franklin, Tenn. died Aug. 9, 2013. The longtime resident of Williamson County renowned for his banjo playing received the 2000 Living Legend Award presented by the Bluegrass Along The Harpeth organization.
Mr. Poteete was born, one of eight children on a farm in Williamson County. He was the youngest of four boys, who worked hard from dawn until dark to survive on a rural farm, just like so many in the area. 

He is preceded in death by parents, Emory & Susie Lee Watkins Poteete, brothers, Charles & Emory, Jr. Poteete; grandson, Joshua Jennings.  Mr. Poteete is survived by:  daughters, Freda (Wallace) Joslin, Denise (Greg) Gladstone & Patsy Sams; grandchildren, Melissa (Brad) Smithson, Jessica & Jeremy Jennings, Leslie (Jeremy) Hogue, Donna (Drew) Williams; seven great grandchildren; brothers, Lighthall (Marie) Poteete; sisters, Willie Blythe Hood, Lucy (Charles) Giles, Shirley Carpenter & Jean Holland; sister in laws, Mary Ann Poteete & Elizabeth Poteete.

 Mr. Poteete’s oldest brother, Lighthall taught him to play the banjo at age 10, which became a defining moment in his life.
Throughout his lifetime, he played many music venues starting with square dances in his teenage years, but eventually he found his true love – bluegrass – which led to playing many festivals.

His outgoing personality and cheerful disposition made him a favorite both in his professional and personal life. With an eighth grade education from Peytonsvile School and an amazing aptitude for math, he worked in the construction business as superintendent of some of the largest jobs in the South.

In his early fifties, Mr.Poteete survived a debilitating stroke and two years later colon cancer. Told that he had two years to survive, he beat those odds by 30 years.

During his last 14 months spent in Grace Healthcare, Poteete met every day with a smile and a story; and fell in love with every nurse there and they with him. Heaven is ringing with his banjo of gold today.

Funeral services were held Sunday, Aug.11, 2013 at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home with Jim Taylor and Mitchell Karnes officiating.  Interment followed in Williamson Memorial Gardens.  Mr. Poteete’s nephews served as pallbearers. 

Honorary pallbearers were Mike and David Tomlin, Amy Nelson, J.T. Langley, Charles Edward and Eddie Hood, Clyde Stephens, Henrietta Whidby, Elaine and Lacy Miller; staff of Williamson Memorial and staff of Grace Healthcare and Williamson County Bluegrass Band.  Memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society.

Posted on: 8/14/2013


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