John “Warren” Gepford, September 8, 1928 – January 7, 2021, age 92 passed away peacefully in the care of hospice in Hendersonville, TN. He was born an only child in Ardmore, OK but made his home in Nashville 72 for years.
Warren spent his childhood in Chattanooga TN until his parents moved to Lincoln NB where he graduated college with a BS in Business. He married Frances (Frankie) Hester in 1949 and moved to Nashville where they owned a furniture business making solid cherry reproduction living room, dining room and bedroom furniture, along with upholstered furniture.
In 1960, the company was moved to Cedartown, GA and the family bought a 100 acre former plantation where Warren and Frankie renovated a two story plantation home. They raised Black Angus cattle, some horses and planted alfalfa and sugarcane.
In 1963, the furniture business was sold and the family returned to Nashville where Warren became a realtor, obtained his broker’s license and then specialized in Right of Way acquisitions. He worked for Croft and Associates doing right of way appraisals and acquisitions for major utilities, during which time he was president of Tennessee Chapter 32 for the International Right of Way Association. He worked until the age of 89. He was active in his church and in the community becoming a Mason and working with the Shriners.
He was a master woodworking craftsman. He built two wooden run-about boats, culminating this craft with his pride and joy, a 43 foot cutter rig sailboat. Warren and Frankie started from only plans, building it in their back yard over the course of 16 years. He became gifted in working with fiberglass for the hull and outfitting the interior and topside with beautiful teak and mahogany.
Once completed, the boat, Sweet Dreams, was moved to Old Hickory Lake where the 60 ft mast was stepped and outfitted for the month long transit on the Cumberland River to the Tennessee River down the Tom Bigbee waterway to Mobile and over to it’s final berth in Orange Beach AL. Warren, Frankie and their daughter Donna and her husband Ken spent a lot of time on the boat sailing the intracoastal sailing across the Florida Bight to Clearwater then down to the Keys and Dry Tortugas -gunkholing along the way over three months.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Frankie. He is survived by two daughters, Donna Hines (Ken); Patricia Parks (Michael); three granddaughters; one grandson and three great grandchildren.
A private family memorial is planned.Print Obituary & Condolences