Architect Don Wamp, father of former Rep. Zach Wamp dies at 78 - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Architect Don Wamp, father of former Rep. Zach Wamp dies at 78

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Don Wamp Don Wamp

By David Carroll

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Don Wamp, a prominent Chattanooga architect who designed hundreds of prominent local buildings died Saturday night at the age of 78.  He was the father of former 3rd District Congressman Zach Wamp.  Here is the obituary for Mr. Wamp.

Donald Louis Wamp Sr., 78, finished the race in much the same way he ran the race throughout his life – with a fearless spirit, working hard, and on his way to tennis court. Hours after a tragic fall at his office Friday morning January 7, 2011, he took his last breath surrounded by his loving wife, children and grandchildren and is now at peace with his Maker.

Don's legacy is defined by an unparalleled work ethic that demanded the utmost in honesty and integrity. Along with his passionate love of family and tenderhearted demeanor, he will be remembered for his optimistic attitude and contagious enthusiasm for life. From his days as a leader in Army flight school, to his many years as a revered businessperson in our community, others saw Don as a trailblazer and as a natural leader of men.

Born at his childhood in Cullman, Ala., of humble beginnings, this son of a carpenter and homebuilder became one of the most prominent architects in the South. Don graduated from Cullman High School and went on to Auburn University where he serve as the ROTC Cadet commander, played Saxophone in the marching band, was a proud member of Lambda Chi Alpha and graduated from the school of architecture.

After basic training as a commissioned officer, Don fell in love with and married his lifetime partner and wife 56 years, Mary Beth Meadows Wamp. Following his military service as an Army pilot, the family moved to Chattanooga to begin his architectural career which would span over 50 years and result in the design of over 1,000 commercial, residential and industrial buildings in the Chattanooga area alone. As a leader in his profession he served both local and state President of the AIA (American Institute of Architects).

His service and activity in the community included acting as city of East Ridge commissioner of recreation, co-founding United Bank of Chattanooga and serving as a captain in the Army National Guard. Over the years Don remained an avid tennis player winning many local and state titles.

When he wasn't at the drawing board, Don was often playing tennis with friends and spending time enriching the lives of his grandchildren who admired him greatly.

He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Louie and Lois Wamp. He is survived by his four sisters, June Skipper, Barbara (George) Cope, Fran (Joe) Brindley and Glenda (Joe) Culver.

Left to carry on his legacy are wife, Beth, and children Louis (Lynn) Wamp, Zach (Kim) Wamp, Trent (Tracy) Wamp and Allison (Scott) Brewster, all of Chattanooga as well as 16 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Family will receive friends at Red Bank Baptist Church from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12, with funeral services following at 1 p.m. with Dr. Fred Steelman, Father Tom Waddell and family members reflecting on Don's life. Internment will be announced at a later time.

Ralph Buckner Funeral Home of Cleveland is in charge of arrangements.

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