The Obit For Dee Loveless

Ferrell Deason “Dee” Loveless

The Columbia Daily-Herald, November 08, 2009

Ferrell Deason “Dee” Loveless, 91, passed away peacefully at his home on Danbury Drive in Columbia November 7, 2009 following a brief illness. During the last weeks of his life, he was surrounded by numerous family members and friends who loved and cherished him. Deason was a retired electrician from Monsanto Company and a well known and highly respected sports official. He was known for singing to the ladies and making dollar bill rings for servers at restaurants.

Funeral services will be conducted Monday at 11:00 a.m. at Graymere Church of Christ in Columbia where he and his wife of 63 years, Oneita, were charter members. Officiating will be John Vaughan, Wendell Robinson, and Kirk Brothers. Burial will follow in Polk Memorial Gardens with military honors provided by Herbert Griffin American Legion Post 19.

The family will visit with friends Sunday from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Oakes & Nichols.

The family requests to honor “Dee's” memory, that you give to help someone else. Give your time to help a young person, give blood to the Red Cross, give money to your favorite charity, give your family your love. Memorials can also be made to Columbia Academy, 1101 W. 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401 or the Timothy Hill Children's Ranch, 298 Middle Road, Riverhead, NY 11901-9805. Notes of sympathy may be sent to

Born March 24, 1918 in Lewis County, Tennessee, he was the son of the late Mavis Poore Loveless and W. H. Loveless. He was a 1936 graduate of Lewis County High School where he excelled in basketball, football, and American Legion baseball. He was the football captain and quarterback the year he was a senior (1935-36). During the three years he played, this football team lost one game, tied two, and won all the others. No opponent scored on them in the '35 season.

Sports always has been a part of Deason's life. He played semi-pro baseball for the Chattanooga Lookouts and pro-ball two years with Thomasville, Georgia in 1940 and Selma, Alabama in 1941.

He went into the United States Army on January 14, 1942 and served in the cavalry in the Southwest Pacific. He was wounded at New Britain on January 4, 1944 and received the Purple Heart. His aspirations of playing professional baseball ended when he was wounded in the arm and neck during the war. While working with Monsanto, he had a 12 year baseball career with the nationally known semi-pro Monsanto Maulers. He served as manager of this team in 1953 and 1954.

For 42 years Deason was a member of the TSSAA, having been a charter member of this organization. Before the TSSAA was created he was a member of the Tennessee Approved Official's Conference, the forerunner of TSSAA. He officiated football for 42 years and basketball for 20 years and 9 years officiated baseball and softball as well as working Pop Warner games. He was once described as one of the most experienced officials in the state, and noted as the “dean of TSSAA Football officials in the midstate.” Numerous officials have been trained by him through the years.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Old Timer's Baseball Association in Nashville, as Prep Official of the Year by the Quarterback Club of Lawrenceburg, and was inducted into the TSSAA Hall of Fame. In later years he was a member of the Senior Tennessee Golf Association and participated in the Senior Olympics. He played golf with the “Seniors” as well as worked out at the YMCA until October of this year.

Deason served as a deacon at Graymere Church of Christ for 29 years and a Sunday school teacher. He also enjoyed delivering Meals on Wheels to shut-ins from the church and giving away produce from his garden. For many years he was a volunteer at Columbia Academy and believed in donating blood to the Red Cross. He is a member of Herbert Griffin American Legion Post #19, VFW, and Disabled Veterans of America.

He is survived by the love of his life for 63 years, Oneita Graves Loveless, whom he married May 4, 1946. He is the father of Terri (Jim) Baker and Larry (Gail) Loveless, all of Columbia. Grandchildren are Beth (Matt) Bogosian of Nashville, Jeff (Kelley) Loveless, Jake Loveless, Lajuana Baker, and Mark (Michelle) Baker all of Columbia. Great-grandchildren are: Olivia Anne Loveless, Lillie Kathryn Baker, and Kaelyn Wilson. He is also survived by a brother, Johnny (Judy) Loveless and a sister, Ann (Guy) Rochelle, all of Nashville, and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Eddie and Dottie Baker of Columbia, Dick and Faye Willis of Anderson, SC, Margorie Graves, Joyce Hinson, Harville Griner, all of Hohenwald, Shirley Graves of Livingston, Elton Graves of Brentwood, Wanda Loveless of Arlington, TX, and Audrey Loveless of Nashville.

All his nieces and nephews were very precious to him, with Lynn (Richard) Walton, Mark (Debbie) Loveless, Ken (Deanna) Loveless and their children being his other set of children and grandchildren.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers Claigett Loveless, Bauman Loveless, Springer Loveless, Billy Loveless, Jack Loveless, and sisters, Eloise Carroll, Sannie Odil, and Betty Simpson.

Active pallbearers are Jeff Loveless, Jake Loveless, Mark Baker, Mark Loveless, Ken Loveless, Chad Loveless, Broc Loveless, Greg Baker, and David Walton.

Honorary pallbearers include his special nieces and nephews, Eddie Baker, Buddy Martin, Jim Carrigan, Gerald Martin, Ben White, Jerry Colley, Ramona Smith, Mattie Lee Shannon, elders, deacons, and ministers of Graymere Church of Christ, Monsanto retirees, sports officials he has worked with and/or trained, golfers from the Senior Tennessee Golf Association, and residents of his senior community Wyndam Park.

The family would like to thank his long time doctors, Dr. Steve Simmons, Dr. Craig Ferrell, and Dr. Jon Freels as well as the compassionate caregivers of Caris Hospice and Debra Cathey.