Nancy Cantrell Dender
Jun 20, 2013
Nancy Cantrell Dender
June 20, 2013
Nancy Cantrell Dender, 84, of Etowah, passed away Thursday night, June 20, 2013.
A lifelong resident of McMinn County, she was a daughter of the late Franklin M. and May Matilda Hale Cantrell.
She was a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She met her husband, Bill Dender, in kindergarten and they had been inseparable since that time. In addition to being a devoted wife and mother of five sons and a grandmother to nine grandchildren, she was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church and numerous civic organizations.
She was a founding member of the Etowah Arts Commission, was appointed by the governor to serve for six years on the Tennessee Arts Council and served for several years on the East Tennessee Foundation.
She advocated tirelessly for arts programs in rural communities. In discussing rural arts programs, she said, \"Philanthropy to me means big dollars. My philanthropy is working toward making things happen. In fact, we don\'t do things that cost a lot of money and our programming has had to be different. Realizing what we could and couldn\'t do has made us strong and was very rewarding.\"
She was a founding member of Save Our Depot, which restored the Etowah landmark, and was instrumental with the Tennessee Overhill effort. She was also instrumental in starting the Young Author\'s Conference, which focused on childhood literacy.
She said, \"I like to be involved in anything where something is accomplished that is worth the effort.\" In addition to her civic work she was an avid China painter, starting in her 20s and painting Dresden-style China through her 70s.
Survivors include her husband of 61 years, Judge William M. Dender Sr. of Etowah; five sons and three daughters-in-law, William Dender Jr. of Ten Mile, Washington C. Dender of Atlanta, Ga., Mark and Judy Dender of Palm City, Fla., Daniel C. and Sasa Dender of Baltimore, Md., and Tom and Gina Dender of Birmingham, Ala.; nine grandchildren, Liza, Chase, Maxwell, Lauren, Zachery, Anthony, Hunter, Michael and James Dender; one brother and sister-in-law, Franklin M. Jr. and Doris Cantrell of Houston, Texas; and one sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert W. Cantrell of Knoxville.
She was a true homemaker, always setting people at ease and filling her home with love and laughter.
A celebration of Nancy\'s life was 2 p.m. Monday in the chapel of Smith Funeral & Cremation Services with the Rev. Don Morris and Dr. Steve Brown officiating. Burial followed in Green Hill Cemetery in Etowah.
Pallbearers were William M. Dender Sr., William M. Dender Jr., Washington C. Dender, Mark M. Dender, Daniel C. Dender and Thomas C. Dender.
The family received friends from noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the East Tennessee Foundation, 625 Market St., Knoxville, TN 37902 or to the charity of your choice.
If you were unable to attend this service or visitation, sign the guest register at www.jerrysmithfuneralhome.com
Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens served the family of Nancy Cantrell Dender.