Regrets, Pete Cantrell

Posted By Jerry Lackey on June 9, 2022

August 6, 1933 – June 6, 2022
Luther “Pete” Cantrell Jr. Born August 6, 1933 to Hattie Cantrell and Luther “Whitey” Cantrell Sr. Pete grew up in what was at that time called South Nashville attending Howard High School. After graduating, he was drafted to the army and stationed in London, England where he played in the army band. During his service he traveled through Europe but extremely enjoyed the Bavarian region of Germany.
After completion of his duties he returned to Tennessee and enrolled into The University of Tennessee Knoxville where he majored in Economics as well as played in the band. There, through mutual friends, he met his future wife, Barbara. Once graduating in 1960, the two were married and moved to Nashville.
Soon after moving he enrolled into the YMCA Night Law School (now known as the Nashville School of Law) as well as clerking for Judge Douglas. Upon graduating and passing the bar he accepted a position with Thomas O.H. Smith in his law practice. As the years progressed, they formed their own firm of Smith, Davies, Cantrell which later evolved to Davies, Cantrell, Humphries, and McCoy.
Pete is survived by his wife, Barbara, of 62 years as well as his children Luther “Lee” Cantrell III (Patricia), Timothy Richard (Natalia), and Christopher Thomas. He was the proud grandfather of 8 grandchildren (Derek Mitchell, Kevin Mitchell, Luc Cantrell, Sage Rhodes, Mason Cantrell, Hillary Mieses, Evan Cantrell, and Valerie Cantrell) and 2 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Sue Vanlandingham.
His love of music followed him through his life. He always had music playing somewhere around him. He was a lifelong season ticket holder for the Nashville Symphony as well as an avid Ray Stevens fan. He loved musicals and would play the sound tracks to Hair, Grease, and Phantom of the Opera. Not only did he enjoy listening to music, Pete was a saxophone player and was a long-time member of the Nashville Community Concert Band as well as the Al Menah Shriners band.
He also had a passion for photography. His house is filled with pictures and slides throughout his life and you would rarely see him at a function without his camera. This followed him to his love of travel where he visited Egypt, Great Britain, Russia, and China snapping pictures wherever he could. As a passionate reader, Pete was always in the middle of a book with most having historical significance. He loved World War II and the stories on the European front with his favorite being accounts of Winston Churchill.
Pete bled orange. He developed a loved for all University of Tennessee as a student and member of the band going on many bowl games with them. He was a faithful football season ticket holder since 1975 with many years being a member of The Pride of the Southland Band alumni band. If he wasn’t at the game, Pete religiously listened to John Ward and Bob Kesling. His love of the Vols extended beyond football to basketball and recently enjoyed the historic run by the Vols baseball team. His sports passion went far beyond the Vols. He was an original season ticket holder for the Titans and loved watching PGA golf tournaments. He was able to fulfill a dream as many do and attended a practice round at The Masters.
As well as being an active musician, Pete loved having many irons in the fire. He was a member of the Howard High School alumni and was a devoted Shriner for the Al Menah Temple. One of his most cherished institutions was his Nashville School of Law where he worked not only during his attendance but after graduation until he could work no more. This was the longest occupation he ever had and the school was kind enough to recognize him by naming the bookstore after him. The school also awarded him a distinguished alumni award in 1996. His one wish was to be remembered as an honest lawyer.
FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022
2:00 pm - 7:00 pm
10:00 am - 11:30 am
Funeral Service
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Committal Service
12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
All services will be held at:


Categories: Human Interest