Fred Ortman Proffitt
Sep 11, 2012
Fred Ortman Proffitt
Sept. 11, 2012
Fred Ortman Proffitt, 66, died Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012, at his home from an apparent heart attack.
He was born at Foree Hospital in Athens, on Aug. 9, 1946, to Florence Ortman Proffitt and Harwell Webb Proffitt. He attended Ingleside School in Athens from first through sixth grade when the family moved to Maryville in 1958. He attended Maryville Junior High School, graduated from Maryville High School in 1964, and the University of Tennessee in 1968 with a degree in marketing.
He joined Goldsmith\'s Department Store in 1968 as a management trainee. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1969, where he spent two years at Fort Jackson, S.C., and earned the Army Commendation Medal.
After being honorably discharged in 1971, he joined Proffitt\'s Department Store. While at Proffitt\'s, he worked in a variety of merchandising positions including children\'s, women\'s, accessories, cosmetics and shoes before succeeding his father, Harwell, as general merchandise manager in 1976. In 1985, he became president and chief executive officer of the company and served in that position until his retirement in 1989.
After his retirement, he performed volunteer work for the American Red Cross and the Blount County Chamber of Commerce. His service contributions include past chairman of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the Blount Chamber Foundation, past chair of the Blount County Chapter of the American Red Cross, lifetime board member of the Blount County American Red Cross, past board member of the Knoxville Area American Red Cross and past chairman of the Tennessee State Council of the American Red Cross. He was also a former member of the Dean\'s Advisory Board at the University of Tennessee College of Human Ecology.
Survivors include one sister, Ruth Lightner; and two nephews, David Lightner and Chris Borden. He had many friends, colleagues and family members that he cherished.
He requested that there be no memorial service.
Any memorial contributions may be sent to the American Red Cross.