Lex J. Lancaster

Born on July 19, 1941

Departed on December 26, 2015 and resided in Nashville, TN

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Lex Jerry Lancaster was born on Saturday, July 19, 1941 in Hendersonville, Tennessee. He was the son of Martin D and Alma Smith Lancaster. He finished high school in Hermitage Springs, Tennessee and enlisted in the United States Army. During his military service, his primary post was as a member of the Military Police Unit at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. After his discharge, he joined the Nashville Police Department where he served until he joined the United States Marshals Service as a Deputy Marshal. During the 70s and 80s, he was a member of the Marshals Special Operations Group (SOG) and was at several school integrations throughout the South along with the American Indian Movement occupation of Wounded Knee South Dakota which began in January of 1973. He spent several months in Guam involved in the resettlement of the Vietnamese and was one of several SOG members of an INTERPOL group that hunted for Nazi Physician Josef Mengele and several notorious international gun runners. He was among the Marshals assigned to guard John Dean during the Watergate Hearings beginning in the spring of 1973. Lex enjoyed his job and before retiring after 25 years, served several years as the Chief Deputy of the Middle Tennessee District.
Lex was married on December 28, 1976 to Deanie (Ava D Smith). Although they had no children, he was the favorite uncle of his nephews John Gunter and Cory Lancaster and his much loved niece, Martha Gunter Damron. His most special love was Emma Grace Damron, his older great niece. He fell in love with her soon after she was born and lying in the Nursery at Middle Tennessee Medical Center. A few years later, he was able to share his love with Thomas Damron, Molly Gunter, Noah Gunter and Ellie Kate Gunter. He adored them and especially spent many "grandfather" hours with Emma and Thomas Damron during frequent visits. Emma and Thomas adored Uncle Lex as well because they felt and reveled in his great love and affection for them.
Lex died suddenly on December 26, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee and was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Sandra Lancaster Smith. He is survived by his wife, Deanie; brother and sister-in-law Donald and Elaine Lancaster of Nashville; sister-in-law, Pamela Smith (Bill) Douglas; brother-in-law, Ken Smith, all of Crossville, Tennessee; nephews, Cory(Monica) Lancaster, of Melbourne, Florida, John (Amanda) Gunter, of Grimsley, TN; niece Martha (Corey) Damron, of Murfreesboro, TN; he is also survived by Emma, Molly, Thomas, Noah and Ellie Kate; several cousins and his great friends Mike Cunningham and Terry and Janet Sims both of Nashville. His many loved ones will miss him and cherish his memory. The great love he gave each of them will be his legacy.
Celebration of Life will be Wednesday, December 30, 2015 at 10:00am, at West Harpeth Funeral Home. Visitation will be Tuesday, December 29, 2015 from 4:00pm until 8:00pm, and one hour prior to service time on Wednesday. Interment will follow at Green Acres Cemetery in Crossville, TN.

40 Comments to Lex J. Lancaster

  1. Marilyn Sechrest
    December 28, 2015 8:17 am

    So sorry to hear about Lex. Will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Stephanie Farrar
    December 28, 2015 8:19 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for God’s peace and comfort for you.

  3. Cindy Taylor
    December 28, 2015 9:48 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my prayers. I pray for you to feel God’s comforting love and peace.

  4. Vicki Lancaster Brinsko
    December 28, 2015 11:13 am

    So sorry to hear about Lex. You are in my prayers. please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  5. Janet Covington
    December 28, 2015 11:40 am

    Deanie, I’m so sorry to hear this sad news about Lex. I’m praying that God will wrap his arms around you and bring you comfort.

  6. Theresa Hughes
    December 28, 2015 4:49 pm

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Janet Ammons
    December 28, 2015 7:19 pm

    Deanie, I was so sorry to hear of your loss. Know that we are thinking of you and let me know if I can do anything for you.

  8. Vicky Zelenka
    December 29, 2015 12:40 am

    Deanie, I know your heart is broken with the loss of Lex. I pray you will find comfort in your grief and that God will carry you through this terrible time in your life. God bless you and you are loved.

  9. Nina Jeffords
    December 29, 2015 9:09 am

    You are in my heart and prayers. I am so sorry for your lost of Lex. He loved you with all his heart!

  10. Jaylene Baisley
    December 29, 2015 9:46 am

    Deanie, I am so sorry to hear about Lex. You will be in my prayers for God’s comfort during this time.

  11. Ginny Tacker
    December 29, 2015 12:35 pm

    My deepest condolences Deanie, so very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  12. Valerie Lineberry
    December 29, 2015 1:53 pm

    You are in my thoughts and prayers as you endure the loss of your husband. Praying for God’s peace and quiet comfort.

  13. Virginia Meadows
    December 29, 2015 2:36 pm

    Deanie, my heart goes out to you and I’m so sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers for God’s comfort during this difficult time.

  14. Judy Hall
    December 29, 2015 2:38 pm

    Deanie, those of us who know and love you know what a special woman you are. My heart aches for you in this sudden excruciating loss, only a very special man could have belonged to our Deanie. Life can feel so unfair. Just know you have the support and love of all your friends. We are mourning with you.

  15. William and Martha Gallaher
    December 29, 2015 2:40 pm

    Our deepest sympathy to you, Deanie.

  16. Diana Fitzpatrick
    December 29, 2015 4:24 pm

    Dearie, I. Always held you in the highest esteem and know that your Lex must have been a very special person. I extend my deepest, heartfelt sympathy.

  17. Terry Brown and John Eslick
    December 29, 2015 6:01 pm

    Deanie, John and I are so sorry to hear of your loss. You are and will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  18. Jayme Summers
    December 29, 2015 7:31 pm

    Deanie, so sorry for such a great loss for you. You are loved and admired by many. Prayers that God will give you strength during this painful time.

  19. Jean and Larry Johnson
    December 29, 2015 9:12 pm

    Deanie, you know that our heart aches with you. Lex was always so very nice to me and I have only fond memories of him. I will be there for anything you need any time! I still remember being with you the night you met Lex. He was always such an impressive guy! I love you. Rest in peace, Lex! Jean

  20. Lisa Averett
    December 29, 2015 10:26 pm

    So sorry to hear about your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Lisa Averett

  21. Saramma George
    December 29, 2015 11:13 pm

    Deanie, so sorry to hear about your loss.No words to express our deepest sorrow . I have so many fond memories of our time at Saint Thomas and my heart aches for you .Sorry We have not had a chance to visit you since you moved back home.You are such an inspiration to so many, may the Lord give you His peace and comfort and may he hold you in the palm of His hand at this difficult time.We are blessed to have met Lex.Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.
    John and Saramma George.

  22. Patricia Milburn
    December 30, 2015 9:49 am

    Holding you and your family in my heart, thoughts, and prayers, Deanie.
    Patty Milburn

  23. Anne Jervis
    December 30, 2015 3:49 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss Deanie. I am praying for you during this difficult time.

  24. Barbara Ray
    January 3, 2016 3:20 pm

    Deanie, I am so sorry for your loss. I have grown to care a lot about you even thou we have never met. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Your Ohio Cousin

  25. tom and judy smith
    January 3, 2016 4:03 pm

    Deanie, Judy and I are so sorry to learn of the loss of your Lex. Found memories of him in the stained glass classes.

    Also the fun of making draperies for your condo. May God give you comfort at this time.

    In His Love, Tom and Judy Smith

  26. Sally Witherspoon
    January 3, 2016 7:12 pm

    Deannie, I did not know your husband, but am so sorry to hear about his death, it makes me so sad. My prayer is that God will hold you extra tight right now.

  27. L.D. Daniel
    January 3, 2016 9:08 pm

    Prayers for you and your family in your time of grief.

  28. L.D. Daniel ( Lynda)
    January 3, 2016 9:11 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Lex’s passing.My prayers to you and your family.

  29. Jeannie Downing
    January 4, 2016 8:12 am

    Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your husband. Bob and Jeannie Downing

  30. Dee Dee Spiva
    January 4, 2016 8:49 am

    Deanie know that you are in the hearts of the many, many people who love you and will be in my prayers for a long time. Love and peace to you.

  31. Beverly Upchurch
    January 4, 2016 1:15 pm

    Deanie I am so sorry to hear of Lex’s death! I remember how sweet he was when I bought my condo and still have the stained glass picture he made for me. You are in my continued thoughts and prayers. Beverly

  32. Marilyn Gentzler
    January 4, 2016 3:24 pm

    I’m so sorry to learn of your husband’s death. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  33. Cindy Gill Dixon
    January 4, 2016 9:04 pm


    I was saddened to read about Lex’s death. He was an amazing man with many talents and obviously loved by everyone he met. I hope your fond memories provide some comfort during this time of terrible loss.

  34. Helen Scott
    January 5, 2016 12:39 pm

    Deanie, my heart goes out to you as you face this time of loss and sadness. Regretfully, I did not have the privilege of getting to know Lex, but I am confident that he was a very special man to have chosen to spend the rest of his life with you. Our years at St. Thomas are filled with memories that are dear to me, and I am still convinced that you are one of the best nurses that I have ever known. I regret that we lost touch over the last years. Gene and I pray that God hides you in “the cleft of the rock” until this present storm passes by.

    • Deanie Lancaster
      January 11, 2016 8:58 am

      Helen…would love to see you. Please call the funeral home and give them your number and I will call you. Alice is coming for a few days soon.

  35. Henry Martin
    January 6, 2016 3:38 pm

    I was so sad to hear of Lex’s passing. My heartfelt symphaties to his family. I knew Lex during his time in the Marshal’s service, as it coincided with my work as a young criminal defense lawyer and since 1985 as the Federal Public Defender. Everyone who had anything to do with the federal courts trusted Lex, respected his judgment and just plain liked him as a person. Although Lex and I were often on opposite sides in cases, there was never conflict – not even tension between us. I had the highest respect for Lex’s professionalism and judgment. More than that, he had the integrity and courage to do the right thing, regardless of what the book might say, and regardless of what others might say. He set a standard in that regard which has become part of the culture of the US Marshal’s office here, though I doubt anyone there now ever worked directly with Lex. I lost touch with Lex when he left the Marshal’s office, which was my loss. I didn’t see the obituary until after the service, so I did not get a chance to come pay my respects, but I just want his family to know that he was a man known for his strength of character, good judgment and genuine good nature.

  36. Barbara Soule
    January 7, 2016 11:55 am

    Deanie, I was so sad to hear of Lex’s passing. I know you adored him and will miss him terribly. You have many friends and family who will support you through this very difficult time. I am one of them. My thoughts are with you and if there is anything I can do, I will. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Barbara

  37. Roger arechiga
    January 7, 2016 12:46 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Lex and I worked many of the same major details during our years in the us marshals service. I always looked up to lex and respected his integrity and decision making. In reading his obituary, I can see we lived a similar life of military, police officer and federal service. I will miss him

  38. Sandy Heinrich
    January 11, 2016 6:56 pm

    Sweet Deanie, my heart breaks for you and your family. I have no words. Just know I’m here when you’re ready. Love you so much. Sandy

  39. Darnell (Abbott) Dingle
    January 17, 2016 4:03 pm

    Dear Deanie, Sorry for the delay in sending this, but I thought someone was going to give me your Nashville address. I was so sorry to hear about Lex. My husband and I still talk about your story that ended with Lex saying, “Your hair isn’t too curly.” If you would like to get away (really away!) I sincerely offer that you can come visit us in Lubbock. You might want to wait for the weather to improve somewhat as we just had winter storm Goliath that dumped almost 1 foot of snow in a 24 hour period. Seriously, spring is a nice time of year and this part of Texas is very different.
    Please know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since Phyllis shared the news with me.
    Love you, Darnell

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