Carol Martin “Bill” Gatton 89, of Kingsport, Tennessee passed away Monday, April 18, 2022, at Ballad Hospital in Bristol, Tennessee. Bill was born May 25, 1932 in Bremen, Kentucky to the late Harry William and Edith Martin Gatton. Bill grew up on his family’s farm in Bremen, Kentucky and learned many life lessons on that farm. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1954, majoring in Business Administration and Economics and received an MBA Degree in 1958 from the Wharton Graduate School at the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Finance and Banking. Bill entered the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant and completed two years of active duty in 1956. He established his first automobile dealership in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1959 and sold that business in 1965. He purchased the Chevrolet and Cadillac franchises in Bristol, Tennessee and moved there in 1967. Bill made his home in Upper East Tennessee since that time but his heart never left Kentucky. He has owned automobile dealerships in all three cities of the Tri-Cities, Lexington, Kentucky, Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee, Huntsville, Alabama and Austin and San Antonio, Texas. Bill enjoyed the automobile business but also loved the real estate and banking industries.
Bill often quoted a statement he heard Senator Howard Baker make and that is, “There is a time for learning, a time for earning, and a time for returning or giving back”. Bill was a great example of that statement. He strongly believed in education. He worked hard during his career to earn and has returned and given back to many not only in monetary ways, but by mentoring to all that he could. Bill was a stockholder with Sacramento Deposit Bank and served on the Board of Directors at the former Owensboro National Bank Corporation. In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by two brothers, Harry W. Gatton, Jr. and Charles W. Gatton, Sr.; by a sister, Marie Gatton Luysterburg.
Survivors include his wife, Leigh Gatton; a daughter, Chase Gatton; a nephew, Charlie Gatton (Lori) of Bremen; a niece, Charlotte Cobun of Morgantown, West Virginia; a great niece, Christen Gatton Stinnett (Mark) of Lexington, Kentucky; two great nephews, Brent Gatton (Kim) of Bremen and Cord Cobun of Morgantown.
Private family services will be held Saturday at Bethlehem Cemetery in Bremen, Kentucky. There will be no public visitation. Muster Funeral Homes, Calhoun Chapel is handling the local arrangements for the Gatton family.
The family requests that no flowers be sent but that expressions of sympathy take the form of donations to your favorite charity or do an act of kindness.
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