By Ralphine Major
When I opened his letter, my eye was drawn to the sketch of a beautiful home on the letterhead in the top left corner. Below the stately home it read: Luttrell House 1905. The letter was from a man named Luttrell—Woodrow Luttrell. The 1934 graduate of Gibbs High School told of his past from the small, rural school. He played basketball with Ernest Whited (for whom Gibbs Football Stadium is named) and two Harless boys. The girls played on a three division court and then changed to a two division court. Paul Nicely was the coach. They had twenty plus students to graduate. H. G. Loy was principal, and Charles Robbins was the agriculture teacher. Woodrow was President of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) at Gibbs. It would prove to be the beginning of a life-long career in farming and agriculture for the 1934 graduate.
Oftentimes, we are reminded that we have no promise of tomorrow, and God called Woodrow Luttrell home before I ever drafted his story. This writer sincerely regrets that I did not get this column printed in time for him to see, but it is my desire that these columns will serve as a reminder to his family, friends, and others who read it of a special man who left us a gift—a rare insight into a life few readers know about. I hope this and future columns about his life and family will help keep the memory of this 96-year-old grandfather alive and are written in such a way that would make this man of accomplishment proud, for he deserves no less.
I have learned from Woodrow’s daughter that this beautiful detailed drawing of the Luttrell House was done by a relative of Woodrow’s wife, Gladys Luttrell (also deceased). Her first cousin’s grandson, Ben Johnson, is a professional artist in Franklin, Tennessee. He drew the Luttrell House from a photograph. It was a special place to Woodrow, and I am happy to share with Focus readers about Woodrow’s life and memories of the special family who once lived there. (To be continued)