OBITUARY: Fred Wiehl Lazenby


Fred Wiehl Lazenby, affectionately known as Ted, peacefully entered into eternal rest on November 15, 2023.

He was born on January 13, 1932 in Chattanooga, Tennessee to Mr. & Mrs. John W. Lazenby.

Ted’s journey through life was marked by substantial achievements and a deep commitment to his community.

He is survived by his loving wife Gigi Lazenby; his daughters Grace Lazenby of Los Angeles and Kathy Boehm (Don) of Nashville; and his grandchildren, Alex, Kayce and Ginny. Ted shared a loving marriage with Gigi for over 30 years and cherished his daughters and grandchildren.

Ted’s educational path led him from McCallie School in Chattanooga to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where he graduated in 1954. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army in Europe from 1954 to 1956.

After his military service, he joined National Life & Accident Insurance Company in Nashville, starting as an agent then working his way up. He often spoke of pounding the streets of Nashville selling life insurance policies to anyone who would entertain his sales pitch.

His dedication and hard work propelled him to various leadership positions within the company, ultimately making him the youngest president in its history in 1980. Later, after National Life was acquired by American General Corporation, Ted along with other investors, founded Southlife Holding Company, where he continued to make significant contributions before retiring in 1994.

After retiring from the insurance industry, Ted began working for the late Senator Fred Thompson’s election campaign, serving as Finance Chairman. The Senator’s victory enhanced Ted’s love of politics, and in later years he was the Tennessee Finance Chairman for George W. Bush’s successful 2000 campaign for President. In 2004, Ted was the Deputy Chairman for Bush/Cheney campaign for re-election and a delegate to the National Convention.

Ted was a member of the LIMRA Board of Directors for several years, and chairman of the Life Insurers Conference in 1990.

He was not only a leader in the corporate world, but also a leader in civic life. He served as the founding Chairman of the Board for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and contributed to numerous charitable organizations in Nashville, as well as serving on the board of the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club.

His passion for education was evident through his role as the Endowment Chairman for Ensworth School in the early 80s, and his continuing support for the Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. Throughout his life, Ted maintained an active interest in the McCallie community and served as Chairman of the Board of the McCallie School from 1996-1998.

Ted’s commitment to the arts was recognized when he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Advisory Committee for The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Beyond his professional and civic responsibilities and interests, Ted enjoyed golfing and tennis at the Windsor Club in Vero Beach, Florida, followed the Titans passionately, and was a devoted Vanderbilt fan.

In his final days, Ted received exceptional care from dedicated caregivers, and his family is forever grateful for their support.

Memorial service will be held Tuesday, November 21st at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 4715 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205. The service will be in the sanctuary at 1:00 pm with visitation commencing at 12 Noon. A private interment will follow the service. A Celebration of Life will be held at 121 Page Road, Nashville, TN 37205 at 4:00 pm.

In lieu of flowers, to honor Ted’s memory, please consider a donation to McCallie School, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens, the Vanderbilt University Graduate School of Management, Alive Hospice, or the charity of your choice.

Honorary Pallbearers are: William Andrews, David Banks IV, William Coble, Robert Coleman, Dwight Hall, Rhodes Hart, Jerry Merryman, Chris Mortenson, Rayford Reid, Joe Russell, Lem Stevens, Paul Stumb, Johnny Warner, Ridley Wills, Matt Wills, and Ron Wood.

Active Pallbearers are: James F. Banks, Alexander Boehm, Donald Boehm, Steve Blackmon, Jim Conners, William Hirshman, Peter Lichty, Charles Nelson, Chase Reid, Reed Robinson, Mike Webb, and Tom Woodard.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Lazenby family.


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