In Memoriam

Tom Lyle Naylor, age 78 of Murfreesboro, died unexpectedly after a short illness February 20, 2017. He was born in Wolbach, Nebraska on May 10, 1938. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Flora Naylor, of New Plymouth, Idaho, and siblings Bonnie Richardson, Wes Naylor, Jack Naylor, and Terry Naylor.

Survivors include wife Dottie of Murfreesboro; son David and daughter-in-law Kristin; daughter Michele and son-in-law A.J. Farley. 

Tom’s family moved from Nebraska to Idaho in 1940 and his early interests were in agriculture, particularly dairy farming. Active in 4H and FFA in high school, he was selected to be first chair trumpet in the National FFA Band in Kansas City, where his lifelong interest in music began.

He held four degrees in music: a B.S. from Bob Jones University, M.A. from Appalachian State University, and an M.M. and D.Mus. from Indiana University. After teaching high school in Eminence, Indiana and Cedarville College, he came to Middle Tennessee State University in 1967 to teach trumpet, and later served as chairman of the music department for 15 years. He and his wife, Dottie, put each other through graduate school at Indiana University and performed together in many recitals and churches.

He served as director of the Governor’s School for the Arts from its inception in 1985 until 1998. An author, he wrote The Trumpet and Trombone in Graphic Arts, 1500-1800 and was the author of numerous articles. He was a member of the Tennessee Cultural Arts Commission and a founder of Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts.

Naylor retired as a Professor Emeritus from MTSU in 2000 and his early interest in farming returned. He and Dottie acquired a farm on Cripple Creek, and he found great satisfaction working with beef cattle and training horses. A special delight was hosting grandchildren and guests on the farm. Trails through the woods were named after children, grandchildren, and siblings. His favorite was Dottie’s Dixie Highway. In addition to the farm, he found an enjoyable hobby in coins, and for several years collected and sold international coins in various 

The family will welcome friends at a celebration of Tom’s life at the Naylor farm (3240 Cripple Creek Rd., Readyville, TN 37149) on Saturday, March 4 from 2:00 until 4:00. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to one of the following:

The Tom Naylor Music Scholarship, MTSU Foundation, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.

Ripe for Harvest, P.O. Box 487, Monument, CO 80132 for the clean water ministry of Ben and Angela Blycker

Woodfin Memorial Chapel is in charge or arrangements