GANNAWAY, Dr. Richard Moore. Nashville, TN. Age 89. Died Monday, November 21, 2016, from complications of Parkinson’s disease. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Nunn Gannaway and Marie Gott Gannaway of Murfreesboro, TN, and by his sister, Mary Jean G. Page of Davidson, NC. He is survived by his much loved family: his wife of 64 years, Joann; children Dianne Green and Lisa Pierce of Nashville, Richard, Jr. of Atlanta, GA, and Deborah Hamilton of Houston, TX; sons-in-law Wesley Green and Dr. Marc Hamilton; and 10 grandchildren.
A native of Murfreesboro, Dr. Gannaway attended public schools there and graduated from the Baylor School in Chattanooga, where he played on Mid-South Championship teams in three sports and was the only first-year man ever to captain a team. He volunteered for the United States Navy at age 17 during the final stages of World War II. After his graduation from Baylor, he reported to the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where he was named the Honor Man in his recruit company upon completion of his training. He was then assigned to the submarine net tender USS PASSACONAWAY (AN 86) in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. While serving on the deck force, he taught himself the requirements for the bridge rating of signalman, and after surviving a typhoon found himself acting as the ship’s quartermaster, radioman, and radarman, with the help of the on-board yeoman, during a 34-day tow from Guam to Pearl Harbor for repairs. Following honorable discharge and college graduation, he was selected for a direct commission in the U.S. Naval Reserve, later serving in various commands in the Sixth Naval District and in the Chief of Naval Operations’ Naval History Division in Washington, D.C. He retired as a lieutenant commander.
Dr. Gannaway attended Vanderbilt University, receiving a B.A. in business in 1950. While at Vanderbilt, he was a member of the freshman basketball team and was active in several student groups, including the Commodore yearbook staff and the Student Christian Association. He also served as president of both the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and the Intramural Athletic Board. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he worked for JP Morgan and Co. in New York before joining First American National Bank in Nashville.
He married his beloved wife, Joann Pickering Gannaway, on June 15, 1952, two weeks after her graduation from Vanderbilt.
In 1956, Dr. Gannaway returned to Vanderbilt as a Ford Foundation fellow for a master’s degree. The following year, he joined the faculty of Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where he served in various teaching and administrative positions. He took a leave of absence from Converse in 1962 to return to graduate school at the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Ph.D. in history. After returning to Converse, he spent a summer as a Danforth Foundation fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was elected president of the South Carolina Historical Association, and was chosen for membership in Phi Gamma Mu honorary social science fraternity.
Dr. Gannaway was named Director (Dean) of the Lancaster Regional Campus of the University of South Carolina in 1972, and under his leadership the campus saw considerable growth in both facilities and programs. In 1977, he was recruited to be president of the financially troubled Tri-County Publishing Company, publisher of the Lancaster News, the largest non-daily newspaper in South Carolina at the time, and the Chester [S.C.] News and Reporter. He returned the company to profitability, and following the sale of Tri-County Publishing to Landmark Communications in 1990, he rejoined the University of South Carolina as Director of Special Projects.
A graduate of Leadership South Carolina, Dr. Gannaway served as an elder of First Presbyterian Church in Lancaster and was a board member of the First Federal Savings and Loan Association, Elliott White Springs Memorial Hospital, Red Cross, Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Lancaster County Educational Foundation, Lancaster County Commission for Higher Education, and Rotary Club.
After his retirement and return to Nashville in 1993, Dr. Gannaway was active in the Seekers and Oxford Sunday School classes at Belle Meade United Methodist Church. He enjoyed the outstanding classes offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Vanderbilt and the public programs at Vanderbilt’s First Amendment Center, and was a dedicated volunteer at Ten Thousand Villages.
The family would like to thank Gary Simpson and Orlando Elliott for the wonderful care they gave Dr. Gannaway over the last several years. Their cheerful greetings, companionship, and attentiveness as his health declined were a blessing to Dr. Gannaway and the family as well.A graveside service will be held on Saturday, December 3, at 2 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery, 519 Greenland Drive, Murfreesboro. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to either the Harry Nunn and Marie Gott Gannaway Nursing Scholarship at Middle Tennessee State University or the AD Nursing Program at USC-Lancaster. For donations to the Gannaway Nursing Scholarship at MTSU, designated checks may be mailed to MTSU P.O. Box 109, Murfreesboro, TN 37132. To donate to the AD Nursing Program at USC-Lancaster, designated checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 889, Lancaster, SC 29721.