Louis Barton Close, 92, of Franklin, passed away on Sept. 13, 2019.
Mr. Close was the son of Clarence B. Close and Louise Bell Close and grew up in Nashville, initially attending Cohn High School. As a young man, he studied violin and was first violinist in the Ward Belmont orchestra. His senior year, he moved to Chattanooga and graduated from Baylor School. He attended Vanderbilt University for one year and then, during WWII, the Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York. He cruised the world as a midshipman on an oil tanker.
Following the war, he married and lived in several locations in the Southeast while working first in manufacturing and later as a contractor and real estate broker. He served as president of the Home Builders Association of Tennessee in 1968.
Not afraid to move or change jobs, he also owned a mobile home park in Knoxville and later moved to Harlingen, Texas where he bought a grapefruit orchard and gift fruit business.
Very social, he and Martha lived in golfing communities and had many friends. He was an early adopter of personal computers and a lifelong Apple enthusiast, often helping friends with computer issues.
Able to retire relatively young, he and Martha covered the United States, and especially the West, many times in a series of motorhomes.
He was a lifelong Rotarian and was known for his intelligence and dry wit. He moved back to Tennessee in 2000 in order to be closer to family while caring for Martha, who developed Alzheimer’s late in life. He always had a dog, and the daily walks were a source of many new friends.
He was a regular member of the Horace Edgmon Sunday school class at Franklin First United Methodist Church. His final year of life was spent in the loving care of the wonderful staff at Lakeshore Meadows, where he passed away peacefully.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Martha M. Close, and his brother, William B. Close.
He’s survived by son, Louis Ward Close, MD; daughter-in-law, Bonnie Close; and three grandchildren, Adam, Jennifer and David. Their fondest memories are of going individually out west in their grandparents’ motorhome.
There will be a visitation at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 with interment following in the Memorial Gardens in a private family service.
WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, (615) 794-2289