Mr. Mark Lytle Tenpenny, 58, of Auburntown, Tennessee passed away on Sunday, February 26, 2023. He was born in Woodbury, Tennessee on Saturday, October 3, 1964. He is survived by his daughters, Abby (Colton) Tuck of Auburntown and Paige (Lane) Francis of Morrison; mother, Barbara Tenpenny of Auburntown; father, Lytle Tenpenny of Murfreesboro; grandchildren, Hunter, Jordan, Levi, and Kelly Tuck all of Auburntown; close cousin, Travis Turney of Auburntown; and several other cousins and extended family members.
Mark graduated from Cannon County High School with the Class of 1982 and went on to Tool & Die School in McMinnville, Tennessee. Putting his degree and talents to work, Mark most recently worked at Nissan. But for his younger years and majority of his working life, he enjoyed working for BetterBilt, which also matched his personality and interests. Namely, those interests were travel, music, and food!
BetterBilt afforded Mark the opportunity to travel all over the United States doing window repairs and replacements. His exceptional sense of direction kept him on track without a GPS, while his spirit of adventure kept him roaming from here to there. It was a wonder how he managed to always seem like he knew exactly where he was going, but that might be attributed to Mark's happy-go-lucky personality.
He didn't get mad over anything and was just along for the ride. Many of those rides became motivated by Mark's love for good music and food. Having a flexible schedule and being on the road meant that Mark could attend concerts on a whim. To his family, it always seemed like he was at one, and while he was in town, he was sure to sniff out the best food in the area.
The way to Mark's heart may have actually been through his stomach. He was a foodie with the taste buds of a food critic. Once a place impressed him, he didn't forget about them. He loved to share that knowledge with others and frequently met friends and family for a meal. You'd never know who he was going to be eating with because it seemed to be a different person all the time. But even though his lunch acquaintances were a revolving door, Mark did a good job of keeping up with his connections.
He became fluent in the language of CB and Ham radios. From Cannon County locals to the rapper, Sir Mix-a-Lot, Mark talked with just about everyone on the radio. His call sign was a difficult thing to remember because most people knew him by a more memorable name. For local purposes, "Double Nickel" was his name, but when he was out on the road he was better known as "Stray Dog." While it is obvious where "Double Nickel" came from, "Stray Dog" was a little bit more of a mystery. However, it may have been influenced by his days enjoying his passion for coon hunting.
If you knew Mark though, there was one thing for certain. You couldn't know Mark without knowing his girls. He was very protective of Abby and Paige and stayed active in their lives. A man of action, he constantly put his money where his mouth was. When he wanted to push the girls in sports, he had no qualms with becoming their coach for softball or basketball. Mark went as far as to get on the field for himself, playing in the adult softball league for the BetterBilt team.
And Mark's love for music? He passed it on and made sure Colton and Lane got a heaping dose too. In the spur of the moment, Mark would hear about and decide to go to a concert. Many times, he didn't know until 30 minutes before he needed to leave (or less) that he was going. That meant calling his girls while he was headed out the door to meet him at the concert. All of that training on moving quickly on the field and down the court paid off because they often needed to be ready and rolling at a moment's notice.
That speed and spontaneity was also engrained in them from a young age with all of their camping trips together. Every other weekend, they were packing up the camper and headed somewhere for another adventure. So when Abby and Paige got married, Mark again got to pass along his sense of adventure and wisdom. This time, it was to Colton and Lane. Mark and Colton talked extensively about camping, but if either of the guys had a date or trip lined up, Mark mapped out all of their food stops. He made sure the girls were eating the very best the whole way there and back. As for wisdom, there was no telling what Mark and Lane would be on the phone about but they both talked enough to solve most of the world's problems.
Now, when Mark wasn't working, mapping out his next trip, going to a concert, eating, or being with his girls, he might take the time to take a load off and stay for a few rounds of golf. However, you were much more likely to find him being active in the community and community events. Mark enjoyed going to the antique car shows on the square in Woodbury, but Auburntown was the community that held his affections and where he called home.
Auburntown is known for being a close-knit community, and Mark took that to heart. He served with the Auburntown Volunteer Fire Department and was willing to offer wisdom whenever he could. He got involved in the efforts to support and defend the community that's been cultivated since 1949, attending meetings and expressing concerns. Though Mark was usually happy-go-lucky, defending the futures of his girls and now his grandchildren took priority. It's with broken hearts that his family, his friends, and his community lay him to rest.
Visitation will be held at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 4-8 pm. Graveside services will be Thursday, March 2, 2023 at 2 pm at Donnell Cemetery in Auburntown. Those wishing to be part of the procession to the cemetery should meet at Gentry-Smith Funeral Home at 1:00 pm. David Dunn will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Auburntown Volunteer Fire Department.
Share memories and condolences at www.gentrysmithfuneralhome.com Gentry-Smith Funeral Home, 303 Murfreesboro Rd. Woodbury, TN 37190, 615-563-5337 Because every life has a story