James Worthington “Jimmy” Jewell (“Pappy” to his grandchildren and most of the family) passed away at home on Saturday morning, Sept. 7, 2019.
He was born in Franklin, Tennessee on Nov. 20, 1946, the third of four children, to John Berry Jewell Jr. and Elizabeth Tomlin Jewell. His family were native Kentuckians until his father and his father’s twin, Charles Worthington Jewell, moved to Franklin in the mid 1930’s to become some of the first farmers to grow Burley tobacco in the area. The two found success, and Jimmy and his siblings soon followed in their footsteps.
A graduate of Franklin High School, Jimmy went straight into the family businesses. He worked the land, the cattle and the row crops; and throughout October and November every year for more than 40 + years he traveled all of Middle Tennessee soliciting tobacco for the Jewell and Columbia Tobacco Warehouses and connecting with generations of farm families. While they left the tobacco business in the early 2000s, Jimmy and his son continued to grow the family’s row cropping and beef cattle operations.
In addition to farming, Jimmy, his brother John Berry “Johnny” Jewell III, and their cousin Don Crichton bought Parman Oil Company in 1979, which operated as a private family company until it merged with Kimbro Oil and Motiva Enterprises LLC. in 2000 to form Tri Star Energy. The two brothers also founded the Consumer Tractor John Deere dealership, which continues to do business as part of the TriGreen Equipment consortium of dealers with more than 20 locations throughout Tennessee and the Southeast.
While Jimmy was witness to remarkable change and growth in his own businesses and his native Williamson County, his values remained remarkably unchanged — family was first, friends were lifelong and work was never finished. He lived his life with utter humility, a quiet strength and loving respect for everyone he came in contact with. These were values he worked to instill in his children and grandchildren — not by lecture or reprimands, but by example.
Although ever-growing, Jimmy and his siblings have taken great pride in keeping their family tight knit — most of their children and grandchildren call Franklin home, work in the family businesses and have attended BGA together for three generations. A favorite Jewell event is Christmas Eve brunch where the family photo has grown from about 15 to almost 50 family members and counting. This year’s celebration will be decidedly subdued for the family with the loss of this most beloved patriarch.
Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Allen Jewell; sons, James W. (Madeline) Jewell and Charles A. “Chad” (Chris) Jewell; daughter, Helen Elizabeth “Lisa” Jewell; step son, Christopher Allen Raquet; grandchildren, Madeline Elizabeth, Grace Charles, James Worthington III, Elizabeth James, Charles Anderson Jr. and Margaret Christine Jewell all of Franklin, Tennessee; brothers, Fielding “Dick” (Ellen) Jewell of Nashville, Tennessee and John Berry “Johnny” (Susan) Jewell and Elizabeth “Betsy” (Tim) Adgent all of Franklin, Tennessee and many other loving family members.
Graveside services will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019 at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Tuesday evening at Jimmy and Elizabeth’s home. Memorials may be made to the Williamson Center for Living and Learning, Williamson County CASA or Battle Ground Academy — capital campaign. For more information, contact WILLIAMSON MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME, 615 749-2289, williamsonmemorial.com