Charles R. Webb, 84, a devoted Christian, U.S. Navy veteran, college professor, and cherished family man, passed away in the early hours Monday at his residence in Jacks Creek. A private family graveside services will be followed by a Celebration of Life service at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at the Jacks Creek Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Born on Jan. 12, 1939, in Prattville, Ala., he was the eldest of five children born to Judson Leonard Webb and Helen Ellette (Hunt) Webb. Known by his middle name, Royce, during his early days in rural Alabama, he later moved with his family to East Tennessee. His years at Oak Ridge High School and the University of Tennessee were among his most formative.Upon graduation, he enrolled in Officer Candidate School, marking the inception of his enduring commitment to the U.S. Navy, in which he traveled the globe and rose to the rank of Lt. Commander.
On July 27, 1963, he wed Ruth (Copeland) Webb, and the couple settled in Henderson where he attended Freed-Hardeman College (FHC). The family, which grew to include two sons and a daughter, later moved to Auburn, Ala., where he obtained his Doctorate of Education (EdD) from Auburn University in 1975.
Returning to FHC as a faculty member in Psychology and Counseling, he was respectfully referred to as Dr. Webb by students and colleagues alike throughout his 25 year tenure. He retired from Freed-Hardeman in 2000.
In 1991, he took on the role of elder at Jacks Creek Church of Christ, a position he held for nearly three decades, following years as a part-time minister at various rural churches.
Throughout his professional journey and into retirement, he was a man of diverse interests, including Bible study, travel, music, fly fishing, horticulture, and scientific inquiry. He authored a book, “Putting Out the Fleece,” and facilitated marriage workshops across the South.
He was a warm but serious man, quick to smile but even more prone to deep discussion on any number of topics, from theology to politics. For years, he convened conversation groups, carefully curated to challenge and refine his own thoughtful perspectives.
His final weekend encapsulated the essence of his life — tending to his beloved gardens, enjoying college football and Atlanta Braves baseball, attending church services, cherishing moments with his family and their cat, and engrossing himself in literature within his personal study.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth; their three children, Royce (Patsy) Webb, Tim Webb and Maria Webb; their two grandchildren, Natalie Webb and Elena (Noah Young) Webb; his sisters, Barbara (John) Tew and Pat (Dempsey) Pollard; and his brother, Mike (Janie) Webb.