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Ned Ray McWherter dies at 80
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Ned McWherter, who was born the son of a sharecropper in Palmersville, Tennessee's during the great depression and rose to the rank of governor passed away on April 4.After a lengthy battle with cancer, McWherter reportedly expired peacefully at Centennial Medical Center in Nashville at 1 p.m. Born October 15, 1930 to Lucille Golden Smith McWherter and Harmon Ray McWherter, he was a lifetime member of the United Methodist Church, and served for 21 years in the Tennessee National Guard before retiring with the rank of captain.He was married to the late Bette Jean Beck McWherter and has two children. Son Michael Ray McWherter is a businessman in Dresden and daughter Linda Ramsey is a doctor of physical education at the University of Tennessee at Martin.The former governor is also survived by his daughter-in-law Mary Jane Wooten McWherter, two grandchildren, Walker Ray McWherter and Mary Bess McWherter, a stepdaughter, Linda Ramsey and two step grandchildren Matthew Ramsey and Brett Ramsey.McWherter's life story is in many ways the archetypical American success story. He was schooled in a one-room building with a wood-burning stove, he bussed tables for the small restaurant his family owned, and began his business career as a traveling shoe salesman.