Cover photo for Hal Gordon Littleford, Jr.'s Obituary
Hal Gordon Littleford, Jr. Profile Photo
1924 Hal 2016

Hal Gordon Littleford, Jr.

May 1, 1924 — March 27, 2016

Hal Gordon Littleford, Jr. graduated to his heavenly home from the Johnson City Medical Center in the early morning hours of resurrection Sunday, March 27, 2016. Like the apostle Paul described in II Timothy 4:7, he ?fought the good fight, he finished his race, and he kept the faith' in his Lord Jesus Christ. Though he has now fulfilled his destiny on earth and has exchanged his mortal, perishable body for one that is immortal and imperishable (I Corinthians 15:53-54), the godly seeds of character and a positive mental attitude that he got from his Lord and that he sowed into his family and friends will continue on producing ?good fruit' for ?generations to come.' Hal was born in 1924 in Bristol, TN, the son of his namesake- the late Hal Gordon Littleford, Sr. and Hazel Pauline McCorkle Littleford. He was raised and lived his childhood and teen years in Bristol. He excelled in both football and baseball during his high school years for Tennessee High, earning all-state honors as a running back in his senior year. Known as the Bristol Flash, and later as ?Hurrying Hal', he also made his mark in both sports at home and abroad when he later joined and served in the U.S. Army. He began his lifelong service to his country by enlisting in the Army for WWII duties upon graduating high school. After the war concluded, he began a legendary college football career in 1946 at the University of Tennessee, under the leadership of General Robert Neyland, who molded a lot of his toughness, competitiveness, and character that he displayed throughout his life. During those years he was voted an all-SEC tailback and was chosen as a captain for the 1949 team. He also played centerfield for the UT baseball team during his tenure at UT, and as he reflected recently over those years, batted over .300 and covered a lot of field as a defensive specialist. While at UT, he met the love of his life, Mary Moss Morgan. They got married shortly after graduating, and began their adventure of raising four children with amazing parenting skills that would have won them both ?MVP' parental awards, if there were such a category. After graduating UT, he served his country again in the Korean Conflict. After active duty, he remained in the U.S. Army Reserve program for over 25 years and retired as a lieutenant colonel. In 1951, he was hired to coach football as an assistant coach at ETSU for a few years, as well as teach in the classroom. He became head coach in 1954, where he led his team to the Volunteer Athletic Conference Championship and was voted Coach of the Year. In 1955, Hal became a life insurance salesman and was recognized as a leader of the Life Underwriters? Association throughout the state. He was elected to the city commission in 1965 and served as mayor from ?67-?69 and had a great impact on city and county growth and development. He was proud to be an active part of the Johnson City Kiwanis Club for many years (held several offices) and was dedicated to their raising funds for various community projects. He especially loved the annual pancake breakfast they sponsored so he could buy and donate tickets to almost everyone that asked him. He loved his church ? First Presbyterian in downtown Johnson City, and served as both deacon and an elder throughout much of his 60-year membership. He was proud to serve as Chairman of the Johnson City Preaching mission one year while helping Dr. Furgeson Woods establish it as an outreach of unity to the churches of the area. He was also instrumental in helping the local chapter of FCA get some will known athletes as speakers for their rallies. A past president of the University of Tennessee Alumni Association, elected to Tennessee?s Sports Hall of Fame in 1991, and an honorary lifetime member of the UT Athletic Board can also be added to his long list of accomplishments. In addition to his parents, Hal was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years, Mary Moss; daughter, Virginia Neill; daughter-in-law, Carma; and three brothers, James, Bill, and Kenneth. Survivors include two sons, Gordon and Morgan and his wife Anne; daughter, Maidee Parker and her husband Chip; sister, Patty Littleford; nine grandchildren, David and Bethany Littleford; Mary Claire Simmons and her husband Jared; Fitz Morgan (Mo) and wife Amanda, Hal Lee, and Michael Neil Littleford; and Hannah Leigh, Chelsea Moss, and Mimi Virginia Parker; a special niece, Connie King and her husband Freddie; and many other nephews, nieces, the wonderful in-laws from Mississippi, and various extended family members that meant the world to him. Hal loved to compete and try to be the best he could be in all aspects of his life, whether it was on the football field and the baseball diamond in his younger years, or in a commission meeting, a business setting, or on the golf course during his later years. He really enjoyed the challenge of the game of golf, but loved even more the camaraderie of those who were his golf partners. He even had a special month that made all of them marvel where he had 3 holes-in-one, with two of them being in the same round. He certainly lived a life of distinction and served his city, his state, his country, and most importantly, his Lord with pride, humility, success, and an attitude of gratitude. His favorite motto: Every day?s a Holiday. The family of Mr. Hal G. Littleford, Jr. will receive friends from 11 am to 1 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016 in the chapel of First Presbyterian Church, 105 South Boone Street, Johnson City, TN. The celebration of life service will follow in the main sanctuary at 1 pm or shortly thereafter, with Rev. Louis Imsande and Rev. Angus Shaw officiating. A graveside committal service will be conducted at approximately 2:30 pm at the Monte Vista Memorial Park. The Boone Dam VFW Post 4933 will be present to honor the departure of one of their brothers. Active pallbearers will be Mo, Lee, Neill, and David Littleford, Kevin and Jamie King, Rick Beeson, Bill and Steve Darden, and Mickey Leonard. Honorary pallbearers will be Ralph (Butch) Sparks, Gerald Malcolm, and Jim Starr. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the First Presbyterian Church, the Gideons International, or a charity of your choice.

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