John Thomas Leeman

Born in Goodlettsville, TN on December 10, 1937

Departed on February 7, 2016 and resided in Old Hickory, TN

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John Thomas Leeman, age 78 of Old Hickory passed away February 7, 2016 at Alive Hospice in Nashville. Mr. Leeman was born on December 10, 1937 in Goodlettsville, TN to the late Hebron H. Leeman, Sr. and the late Alice Nora Burklin Leeman. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his siblings, Hebron H. Leeman, Jr., Annie Mae Tarpley, Ella Belle Arrowood, Vernon Leeman and Lillian Novella Gregory.

John spent most of his early life in Goodlettsville, graduating from Goodlettsville High School where he was very active in FFA. His involvement in FFA continued after high school into college and even after retirement later in life serving as the first President of the FFA Alumni Association. In addition to this, John was awarded the National FFA VIP Award and the National FFA American Degree, the highest award bestowed upon an individual in the FFA.

John attended the University of Tennessee at Martin, received his Bachelors, Masters and Education Specialist degrees from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. His first job teaching was at his alma mater, Goodlettsville High School. He was very active and believed in soil conservation; he served as Chairman of the Davidson/Nashville Soil Conservation District, Vice President of the Tennessee Association of Conservation Districts, Past Vice President and present Ex-Officio of the Tennessee Resource Conservation District.

An educator for many years, John was the Executive Director of the Tennessee Career and Technical Education Council, Assistant Commissioner of Tennessee Vocational Education (75-79) and was retired from the Tennessee Department of Education. John was a very spiritual man who was proud of his faith. He was a member of Tusculum Hills Baptist Church where he was very active in church activities; served on several committees and loved teaching his Sunday School Class, the “Good Fellowship Class.” Mission work was also very close to John’s heart; he went on several mission trips to the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. John had the demeanor of a western rancher and was a cowboy at heart, rarely seen without his cowboy hat and boots.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy Leeman; nephews, Robert Gregory, Christopher Gregory, David Gregory, Joseph Tarpley, John Tarpley, Freddy Tarpley and John Preston Arrowood; he also has numerous great nieces and nephews who survive. A Life Celebration service honoring John will be conducted on Wednesday, February 10th at 11:00 A.M. from Tusculum Hills Baptist Church with Pastor Paul Gunn officiating. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens. Visitation with the family will be on Tuesday, February 9th from 4-7 P.M. at Cole & Garrett in Goodlettsville and on Wednesday one hour prior to the service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Tennessee FFA Foundation ( or The Nashville Rescue Mission. Arrangements Entrusted To: Cole & Garrett Funeral Home, Goodlettsville (615)859-5231

14 Comments to Mr. John Thomas Leeman

  1. Bill Moss
    February 8, 2016 8:59 pm

    John was my life mentor from High School. He was the best example a person could ask for and always believed in me. He pushed me to a better person, leader and most of all showed me how to be a friend. I will miss him.

  2. Lynice Broyles
    February 9, 2016 7:33 am

    Not only a great educator but a true conservationist who believed in saving the resources of our earth. His Christian life showed through his daily life and his love for the church and his fellow man. John will be certainly missed by all. We have many good memories to share and know that he has entered his heavenly home to carry on his legacy from this earth. A dear friend to all and always had a sweet smile to share.

  3. David & Bernice Hennessee
    February 9, 2016 8:04 am

    So sorry for your loss. John was a great friend. Morgan County FFA

  4. Donna K. Kitts
    February 9, 2016 9:20 am

    It is so sad to hear of John’s passing. John was always trying to do more and more for our state association. Tennessee Association of Conservation District currently has a Soil Conservation Foundation that John established. Please accept my deepest sympathy. Not only will it be a loss to his family but a Great loss to the local Soil Conservation District in Davidson County, to Districts across the entire state and Tennessee Association of Conservation District. Rest in Peace John!
    Donna K. Kitts, TACD Treasurer
    Grainger Soil Conservation District Board

  5. James E Wells
    February 9, 2016 10:05 am

    I was sorry to hear of the passing of John. He was a exceptional person who lived his convictions. The work he did for the FFA will always be remembered. May he rest in peace.

  6. Sherry Vaughn
    February 9, 2016 2:17 pm

    Rest in Peace, Brother John. Prayers for comfort to wife and his family.

  7. Karen Pitts
    February 9, 2016 4:21 pm

    Dear Kathy,

    I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Karen Pitts

  8. Brenda Scarborough
    February 9, 2016 4:22 pm

    Kathy I am so sorry for you loss. Prayers for you and his family.

  9. Linda Partin
    February 9, 2016 10:07 pm

    As a former Supervisor of TACD, I was fortunate to work with John and witnessed his compassion for conservation. TACD has lost an advocate and he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Kathy, and family.
    With deepest sympathy,
    Linda Partin

  10. Joyce Dykes
    February 10, 2016 9:47 am

    Kathy, My prayers go out to you and the Leeman family. All of the members of the CTE family are truly saddened by the loss of such a great CTE supporter, leader, and friend. Be Blessed my friend.
    Sending you Much Love,

  11. Ray Weaver
    February 10, 2016 9:59 am

    John will be greatly missed ar our TACD events! He always held our association and conservation as a priority in his life! Kathy is in our thoughts & prayers at this time! We will not be able to attend due to road conditions but our hearts are with you! Ray & Elaine Weaver

  12. Thom and Boydie Smith
    February 11, 2016 11:00 am

    Kathy, I am so sorry to hear of John’s passing. Boydie and have been unable to attend services for John because we have had a death at the same time in our extended family here in E. Tn. We do wish you the best and have been praying for you during this most difficult time. John was a wonderful, kind, patient and understanding friend. He will be missed by many of us. We grieve along with you. Please accept our sincere condolences.

  13. Kara B. Burkett
    February 14, 2016 12:33 am

    Kathy I could not be with you for the memorial for John. Please know my heart and prayers are with.

  14. Kara B. Burkett
    February 14, 2016 12:56 am

    Kathy please know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

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