Cover photo for Jerry Britt Wrinkle Sr.'s Obituary
Jerry Britt Wrinkle Sr. Profile Photo
1934 Jerry 2023

Jerry Britt Wrinkle Sr.

August 6, 1934 — September 1, 2023

Jerry Britt Wrinkle, Sr., born August 6, 1934, passed peacefully into heaven on Friday, September 1, 2023, at The University of Tennessee Medical Center after a 5-month illness. Dad grew up in North Hills and attended Central and Knoxville High Schools. He was a member of the first graduating class of Fulton High School in 1952. Dad was a proud 1956 graduate of Carson-Newman College, where he made lifelong friends and created many special memories that he loved to share with his family. He completed his Master’s degree in Elementary/Secondary Administration from the George Peabody College for Teachers (now part of Vanderbilt University) in 1959 while working 3 years as a teacher and coach at Lakeview High School in Ringgold, Georgia. Dad was assistant football coach under coach Jack Wade and started the school’s first track and field team. He had never coached track and field, but as dad always did, he dug in, studied hard, and gave it everything he had. In their first year 7 athletes qualified for the Georgia Class A State Championships. Those were very special years for dad—he loved football, coaching, and mentoring young men to help them be the best they could be in all things, not just football. Even 54 years later, he was still in touch with Coach Wade and several of “Wade’s Warriors” and had many wonderful memories and stories to share of those special years. In the fall of 1959, dad returned to Knoxville as assistant football coach and head track coach at Fulton High School, where in his first year as track coach Fulton won the News-Sentinel Relays and district championship and were runners up in both the regional and TSSAA state championships. He later moved to Christenberry Junior High as head football coach.  Dad was one of the original 8 founders of the Knoxville Track Club (KTC) in 1962, and he and close friend Charlie “Bull” Durham organized the first group of athletes that competed as the KTC. They spent many late nights working with UT track and field coach Chuck Rohe planning meets and events for UT and the KTC. Dad served as head finish judge for UT track meets and for the 1969 NCAA Track and Field Championship hosted at Tom Black Track. He started the Southern Interscholastic Championships in 1963, later known as the Volunteer Track Classic (now in its 60th year) and was the director for the first 5 years.  Dad went back to school at UT to get his elementary education certification and taught at Sequoyah Elementary School for 3 years, then moved to school administration as a teaching principal at both Lockett and Cedar Grove Elementary Schools, and principal at Anderson and Sterchi Elementary Schools. Education was his calling and his passion, he cared about every student he encountered and wanted them to have the best teachers and education he could possibly provide. He was a school principal for 18 years, then joined the Tennessee Department of Education Career Ladder Program traveling across the state evaluating school administrators and supervisors for 3 years—a job he found very rewarding—then worked in Nashville as Director of Administrators and Supervisors for a year before semi-retiring in 1989. For 9 years dad interviewed and trained future evaluators until he fully retired in 1997. His LinkedIn account currently states “I’m now a professional grandfather”, his favorite and most rewarding job of all. In retirement Dad and Bull started the “Old Friends Club”, a group of mostly Fulton High graduates from the 50s and 60s. The group grew to over 100 members and gave dad a lot of joy staying in touch with many special friends from the past. They continued to meet for 25 years, ending in 2022. In 2011 dad was inducted into the Knoxville Track Club Hall of Fame, in 2014 he was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was inducted into the Fulton High School Wall of Fame. What a full life he lived! Dad is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Lillian Wrinkle, brother Stanley Wrinkle, sister Cynthia Wrinkle, and half-brothers Charles Wrinkle, Jr., and Howard Wrinkle. His loving family, who have many special memories that will keep dad with us always, includes his wife and our amazing mother Patricia Vandergriff Wrinkle, 3 children of which he was very proud--Karen Wrinkle Clapp (Steve), J. Britt Wrinkle, Jr. (Beth), and Matthew Wrinkle (Laurismar); 6 grandchildren who brought him so much joy—Patrick Clapp (Alison), Tyler Clapp, Brennan Wrinkle (Amanda), Brittany Quas (Greg), Matthew Wrinkle, and Laurissa Wrinkle; and his first great-grandchild that he was so thrilled to meet--Miss Ruby Alexandra Quas. Our family will receive friends Thursday, September 7 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mynatt Funeral Home Fountain City with a funeral service to follow at 7 p.m., Rev. Dean Wright officiating. A graveside service will be held on Friday, September 8 at 11 a.m. at Lynnhurst Cemetery. Pallbearers are Britt Wrinkle, Matt Wrinkle, Steve Clapp, Patrick Clapp, Tyler Clapp, Brennan Wrinkle, Matthew Wrinkle, and Greg Quas. Memorial gifts may be made to The Boys and Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley, 967 Irwin Street, Knoxville, TN 37917, or Sacred Ground Hospice, 1120 Dry Gap Pike, Knoxville, TN 37918. Our family is grateful for the compassion and guidance received from the doctors and nurses at UT Medical Center, especially the 12th floor palliative care staff who were so kind to dad and our family during such a difficult time.  

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, September 7, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Friday, September 8, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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