McGhee, Timothy James

Held Long Careers With U.S. Army And Chattanooga State

Friday, December 8, 2017
Timothy McGhee
Timothy McGhee

Timothy James McGhee, 53, of Chattanooga passed away on Wednesday, December 6, 2017. 

Tim was born in Chattanooga, on July 30, 1964, to Jim and Sue McGhee. He attended Tyner High School class of 1982 where he met and later married Toni Manning McGhee. He graduated from the University of Maryland, the University of Louisville with high honors and in 2007 the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a Master of Science Degree.

In 1984 he joined the U. S.  Army and served our country for 21 years, retiring as a first sergeant.   During that time he had a significant impact on the lives of many soldiers, officers, and civilians around the world.  Through his leadership and can-do attitude he molded countless junior leaders for our Army’s future.  His military career took him to many locations throughout the world.  He served in Operation Desert Shield-Desert Storm with the 2nd Armored Division /1st Infantry Division.  In 1999 he led the Earthmoving Platoon of Alpha Company, 94th Engineer Battalion (Combat) (Heavy) into the initial deployment to Kosovo, where his leadership was critical to building the largest U. S. base-camp since the Vietnam War.  Tim’s last duty assignment was with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) as the First Sergeant of 887th Engineer Company. 

After his retirement from the U. S. Army in 2005 Tim began his career at Chattanooga State as the Tech Prep Coordinator. His talents were quickly recognized and he was promoted to director, Building and Construction Institute and then to dean, Engineering Technology. Most recently he served as interim vice-president, Continuing Education and Workforce Development. During Tim’s tenure, the enrollment increased from 205 students to 1,200 students in the Engineering & IT Division in 2017. This was accomplished through Tim’s ability to understand the workforce needs of our community and establish business partnerships, resulting in growth from 10 program offerings to 22 program offerings. In collaboration with UTC, he developed an Engineering Technology degree allowing seamless transfer between the two institutions. The results of Tim’s leadership will be felt for years to come as students graduate with degrees that boast a 98% job placement rate.

Tim will be remembered as a driving force for excellence in the development of the WACKER Institute, Chattanooga State Volkswagen Academy, Polytech Academy at Chattanooga State and many other training partnerships with major industries in our area. His efforts were nationally recognized as the college was awarded the prestigious 2013 Bellwether Award for the training partnership with WACKER Polysilicon, NA. One of Tim’s proudest endeavors was the oversight of the renovations for the Center for Engineering Technology, Arts, and Sciences (CETAS) Building where he was instrumental in securing the initial funds from partners for the much needed expansion of the Engineering & Information Technology division.  He left Chattanooga State in June 2017 to begin a career as the president/CEO of the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee.

He was a member of OLPH Catholic Church.   He was a 3rd Degree Member of the Knights of Columbus #6099, a lifetime member of the VFW #4848, and the 101st Airborne Division Association. He was an avid Tennessee Vols fan and enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family.

Although Tim had many professional accomplishments he would like to be remembered most for his love for his family.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Stevie DeWayne McGhee and sister, Rhonda Kay Richardson.

Left behind to cherish his memory is his loving wife of 34 years, Toni Manning McGhee and his son, Timothy James (TJ) McGhee, Jr.; father, Jim (Shirley) McGhee; mother, Sue Lowery; sisters, Crystol (Javier) Jordan, Christy Durham; brother, Jimmy (Amanda) McGhee; beloved mother-in-law, Martha Manning; brothers-in-law, David Manning, Richard (Kristi) Manning, Robert (Tracy) Manning; sister-in-law, Sheri  Manning;  several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, at the East Chapel of the Chattanooga Funeral Home, 404 South Moore Road, East Ridge, Tn.  A Celebration of Tim’s Life will be held at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 12, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church; 501 South Moore Road, East Ridge, Tn. Burial will follow at the Chattanooga National Cemetery with full military honors at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Knights of Columbus #6099 Wheelchair Fund for Veterans, 7615 Lee Highway, Chattanooga, Tn. 37421 or to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 501 South Moore Road, Chattanooga, Tn. 37412.

The family would like to extend a sincere thank you to our friends, Tim’s co-workers and colleagues for all the support shown to us with your kindness, generosity, love and prayers. We are very grateful for the staff at Siskin Hospital and Hospice of Chattanooga/ Hospice Care Center for their kindness and compassion for Tim and our family during this difficult time. Thank you all so very much.

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