Joe Lynn Spann was born in 1942 in Columbia, TN to Nora Lou Wiltshire Spann and Freeman Jack Spann and raised in Nashville, TN. He was a 1960 graduate of East High School where he was a member of the TN State Champion Five J Track Team and attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on a track scholarship. He returned to Nashville, where he met his beloved wife Martha Jean Gooch Spann and began his career as an engineer for South Central Bell (ATT) until his retirement in 1994.
Completely devoted to his wife and children, Joe was a family man who was the personification of a perfect father and husband. Upon his return from UT, he met Jean, the love of his life. They married in April of 1963 and in July of 1964 had the first two of their five daughters. He and Jean moved their family to the country in Smyrna, TN in 1971 where they worked tirelessly to transform a thicket of briars and weeds into a small farm of vegetable gardens and cows. His work not only fed the family but also set an example of resilience, strength, bravery and strong work ethic.
Joe had a passion for nature and the outdoors, always dreaming of his next opportunity to walk in the woods or slalom down the slopes in Colorado, Wyoming and California. With his daughters and sons-in-law, Joe made it to the top of Half Dome on three separate occasions. In every aspect of his life, it could be said that Joe never stopped until he reached the top of the mountain.
During the 1980’s, Joe was a beloved part of the Smyrna community softball league. As a coach, he taught the players on his team skills that transcended the ballfield. At a reunion game, it was said that he showed them the importance of humility, spirituality, compassion and the qualities of a true leader.
Joe went peacefully to be with his Heavenly Father on July 8th at his home surrounded by his wife and family. He was preceded in death by his father Freeman Jack Spann, mother Nora Lou Withshire Spann Alvis and twin brother James L. Spann. He leaves behind his devoted wife of 56 years, Martha Jean Gooch Spann; five daughters Tracy (Dan Warner) Spann, Stacy (Rudi) Rutiaga, Lisa (Ron) Moore, Jennifer (Mark) Warner, Amanda (Joey) Corlew. He had thirteen grandchildren, who were also a great source of pride, Ryan (Amanda) Moore, Will (Natalie) Coleman, Caitlin (Bryan) Sladen, Margaret (David) Germano, Sam Coleman, Mark Warner, Matthew Warner, Chandler Corlew, Samantha Vance, Emily Warner, Jesse Moore, Jacob Moore and Anna Vance; great-granddaughter Ryan Charlotte Germano; sisters Martha (Don) Goad and Harriet (Doug) Hagar; a host of nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews and cousins.
A Celebration of Life will be held on August 17th at Giles Creek Baptist Church at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers and gifts, his daughters ask that donations be made to Rock Steady Boxing Middle Tennessee, 805 Commercial Court, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.