Paul Edward Scarbrough, Oakdale

Paul Edward Scarbrough, age 80, of Oakdale, Tennessee, left this earthly world for his heavenly home on May 29, 2018 at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was born August 28, 1937 in Harriman, Tennessee but spent most of his life in Morgan County where he lived and worked.

In 1958, Paul was involved in a serious auto accident which put him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. For a lesser man, that would have essentially been the end, but not for Paul. Despite his paralysis, Paul accomplished a great deal more than many a man in perfect health. He began teaching history at Oakdale High School in 1962 while obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary Education/ History in 1969 and a Master of Arts Degree in Administration and Supervision in 1973 from Tennessee Technological University. He spent 37 years in education as a teacher, school principal and Superintendent of Morgan County Schools. After his education career was over, he became a Field Representative for former US Congressman Lincoln Davis, where he served ten years.


In 1968, he married his soul mate, the former Vera Whaley of Oakdale. Paul lived a full and productive life, raising two wonderful children and serving as a role model for hundreds of students, faculty and colleagues He was a living example of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. He never complained nor used his paralysis as an excuse not to try. He lived by the motto of Sir Winston Churchill: Never, never, never give up. He was the epitome of what the Apostle Paul preached and lived: I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; I have kept the faith.


Some of Paul’s numerous accomplishments are: Outstanding Tennesseean/Governor’s Trophy; Outstanding Handicapped Citizen of the Year; member of Governor’s Committee to Hire the Handicapped; repeated Director of Tennessee Principal’s Academy; Morgan County Lifetime Achievement Award; Morgan County Commissioner; City Recorder of Oakdale; Member, Deacon and Sunday School teacher at Piney Baptist Church in Oakdale; and supporter of the Gideons International.

Preceding Paul in death are his parents Mark and Delta Scarbrough, brothers Gene and Bill (Joy) Scarbrough and sister Peggy (Millard) Johnson. Surviving are his loving wife Vera Whaley Scarbrough, son Dr.Todd Scarbrough (Lisa) and their children Haley, Scout and Riley, daughter Meredith Scarbrough Bell and daughter Kennedy, cherished sister Jacqueline Langley, sister-in-law Christine Scarbrough, and a beloved first set of nieces and nephews: Stephen (Lynn) Cantrell, Freida (Bob) Bennett, Sharon (Steve) McBay, Doug (Debbie) Langley, Carl (Krystal) Scarbrough, Richard (Angie) Johnson, Phillip Johnson, Lisa Kilgore, Susie Johnson, Kim Scarbrough Robinson, Carlos (Margie) Healy, Vera Pugh and Larry, Rory (Kelly) Foster, Bryan (Lana) Foster, Kevin (Beverly) Foster, Connie Conley, John Edde, and many other nieces, nephews, cousins and friends from near and far.


A Celebration of Life will be held at Oakdale School on Saturday, June 2. The family will receive friends from 2-4 PM, with the celebration service beginning at 4 PM. The family asks that anyone who wishes to bring a special remembrance/note about Paul to be preserved for the children and grandchildren, please do so.


The Funeral Service will be held Sunday, June 3, at 2 PM at Piney Baptist Church in Oakdale. The body will lie in state one hour before the service (1-2 PM) and be laid to rest in Piney Cemetery. Ministers leading both services are Reverends Jim Disney, Charles Kelly, Bill Young, Pat McGee and David Tapp. Nephews will serve as pall bearers.


Finally, the family wishes to thank the Parkwest Critical Care staff, Amedisys Home Health Care, all churches near and far who have kept Paul in their hearts during his illness, (especially Piney), Oakdale School and Community and the staff of Davis Funeral Home.


Davis Funeral Home of Wartburg, Tennessee, is handling arrangements.

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