Gertrude Jessamine McClanahan Stamper

Born on September 18, 1916

Departed on July 30, 2011 and resided in Goodlettsville, TN

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STAMPER, Gertrude "Trudy" Jessamine (McClanahan)Was born September 18, 1916 in Cookeville, TN. She returned to the Lord July 30, 2011. Gertrude graduated from David Lipscomb College in Nashville, and began her theatrical career on Broadway in New York, where she worked on and off Broadway, and in Winterstock theater workshops. She returned home to Nashville for a visit and while visiting friends at WSM, she was overheard talking about New York Theater by WSM Manager Jack Stamp who offered her a job on the spot. She decided to stay in Nashville rather than returning to New York. She appeared in several theater productions and hosted a radio show on WSM, "Shopping around with Judy Brown". Trudy became one of the first female radio personalities in the United States. Her "Judy Brown" program and other early radio soap operas she starred in at WSM pioneered the way for women in the industry. She transferred from the radio show to work at WSM in Artist Relations for the Grand 'Ole Opry. Trudy used her New York Theater contacts to arrange for the first booking of the Grande 'Ole Opry at Carnegie Hall in New York on September 18, 1947. Trudy's future husband John Powell Stamper was instrumental in arranging for Nashville Life to become the initial and long term sponsor for the Opry Program where they met. Trudy personally handled artist contacts for Opry bookings. She was promoted to Public Relations Director WSM and the Opry, eventually announcing her retirement at the 39th Birthday Celebration of the Grande 'Ole Opry on November 7, 1964, in Nashville, where her many years of contributions to the Opry and Country Music were recognized in a ceremony by the Career Women of Radio and Television and joined by CMA Director Tex Ritter, and the directors of BMI, ASCAP and SESAC as well as her many friends and stars of the Opry. She also designed the Goodlettsville town flag. Her love of gardening and all things green was known by the many friends upon whom she showered both her kindness and garden flowers, especially the daffodils from the "miracle field." For many years she decorated the altar of her beloved First Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville with fresh flowers. On September 8, 1946 she married John Powell Stamper, who preceded her in death in 1980. Also preceding her in death were her parents, Margarethe (Naegler) and Charles Porter McClanahan; sisters, Charlotte (McClanahan) Berger, Dorothy (McClanahan) Pease and nephew, Captain Gerald David Berger. She is survived by Sue (Stamper) Whitson, Cindy (Whitson) and Kenneth Charles Russell, Ellen-Craig Russell, Caroline Russell of Nashville; Joseph M. Whitson III; niece, Priscilla (Berger) and David Glendening, Julia (Glendening) and Eric Hagenburger of San Antonio, TX; nephew, Robert and wife Meg Berger, Laura and Andy King, Katie and Jenna King of Columbia, MO; Jessica (Glendening) and Layne Kasper, London, Logan, and Landry Kasper of Aledo, TX; and Captain Joshua and Kenna Glendening, Jacob and Eva Glendening of Vienna, Austria, along with many cherished friends. The family wishes to thank her loving caregivers, Joyce Ann Cavender, Peggy Lloyde, Wendy Johnson, Monica Blackwell, Debby Parker, Johni Meeks, and Lisa Rizor for their devotion. Honorary Pallbearers include Doctor James Root, James Martin, David White, John Hancock, Doctor Donald Leslie, David Sellers, Horace Drake, Steve Pate, Kenneth Russell, Robert Berger, Captain Joshua Glendening, and Doctor David Glendening. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 172 West Main Street, Hendersonville, TN 37075. Visitation will be Friday, August 5th from 6-8 o'clock in the evening, at Cole-Garrett Funeral Home, 127 North Main Street, Goodlettsville, TN 37072. The service will be held at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, Saturday, August 6th at First Presbyterian Church, Hendersonville, TN, followed by private Interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Nashville, TN. COLE & GARRETT FUNERAL HOME, Goodlettsville, TN, (615) 859-5231.

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