Cover photo for James Kenneth Cherry's Obituary
James Kenneth Cherry Profile Photo
1931 James Kenneth 2022

James Kenneth Cherry

January 22, 1931 — March 3, 2022

View Video Tribute View Funeral Webcast Mr. James Kenneth Cherry, 91, long time resident of Columbia, died Thursday, March 3, 2022 at Williamson Medical Center. Funeral services for Mr. Cherry will be conducted Tuesday, March 8th at Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home at 2:00 p.m. with Lonnie Roberts, Michael Davis, and Mike Kesler officiating. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens. The family will visit with friends Monday from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home. Condolences may be extended online at www.oakesandnichols.com. The family suggests memorials be made to Columbia State Community College 1665 Hampshire Pike Columbia, Tennessee 38401, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital 2200 Children’s Way Nashville, Tennessee 37232, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, Tennessee 38105, or the Boy’s and Girl’s Club 210 West 8th Street Columbia, Tennessee 38401. Born on January 22, 1931 in Clay County, Tennessee, where he was reared on a farm and was the son of the late O.N. Cherry and the late Ethel Reecer Cherry. He married Ramona Haile Cherry on August 29, 1959. After graduating from Celina High School where he was active in 4-H and FFA activities, he went on to attend UT Knoxville where he received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Education. Mr. Cherry taught school for 2 years then in 1953 moved to Columbia to join TN Rural Health (a health insurance company which is a subsidiary of TN Farm Bureau) and later became CEO of TN Rural Health, where he retired in 1996. He bought his first coin operated laundry with his aunt in May 1959 in Livingston, Tennessee and in 1964 opened Big Wash Tub Laundry in Columbia. In 1982, Kenneth built a new 4500 square foot building for the Big Wash Tub Laundry where it is still in business today. In addition, Kenneth owned two stores in Mt. Pleasant and Hohenwald. Kenneth joined the Coin Laundry Association in the early 1960’s and TN CLA. He has served on the CLA Board of Directors since 1969 and was President of the TN CLA for 12 years. Mr. Cherry was a community leader and was involved in numerous committees including, Governor’s Health Care Cost Containment Committee, Rural Health Advisory Committee, Tennessee Health Care Exchange, Community Services and Resources Board of Directors, Mental Health Board and served on the Hospital Advisory Board of Maury Regional Medical Center. He has served on various committees for Columbia State and the Cherry Theatre is named to honor Mr. and Mrs. Cherry because of their generous support. He served as President of Linco Inc. Mr. Cherry was recognized as a leader in health care coverage throughout the state of Tennessee and was also recognized by many of the Farm Bureau organizations throughout the country. He was a member of West 7th Church of Christ and was a supporter of Columbia Academy, King’s Daughter’s, Autism Center, 4-H and other FFA activities, Boy Scouts and Boys and Girls Club as well as many other local charities. He loved to travel all over the world and was a great philanthropic donor to many organizations in Maury County. In addition to his wife of 62 years, he is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Linda Cherry (Bruce) Dixon of Franklin; grandchildren, Brande (Karl) Kollmeyer and Dustin (Roslyn) Dixon; great grandchildren, Adelyn Kollmeyer and Jaxon Dixon; sisters, Adele Birdwell and Ina Masters; several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a daughter, Sara Elizabeth Cherry; sister, Eva Plumlee; and brothers, Ralph Cherry and Newell Cherry. Pallbearers will be John Haile, Gary Plumlee, Danny Moser, Anthony Kimbrough, Tim Pettus, and Michael Davis. Honorary pallbearers will be Randy Stevens, Bill Nuckols, Jonathon Pouliot, Mike Kesler, Lonnie Roberts and Waymon Hickman. The family would like to extend special thanks to his caregivers, Jacques Sirois, Chris Russell Cates, and all Senior Helpers employees.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, March 7, 2022

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home

320 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Oakes & Nichols Funeral Home

320 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401

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