Frank B. Couch, Jr, age 79 of Triune, TN, passed away Tuesday, 31 January 2017 at Maristone Assisted Living in Franklin, TN.
Mr. Couch was born 17 July 1937 in Nashville and was the son of the late Frank B. Couch, Sr and Rosa Louvenia Pewitt Couch.
He was Valedictorian of the West High School Class of 1955, and Salutatorian of the Vanderbilt University Class of 1959 where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He went on to serve in the 577th Engineering Battalion (Construction) with the United States Army, discharging with the rank of 1st Lieutenant in April, 1962. His education continued at Harvard University where he received his Masters of Science in Civil Engineering in 1966, ranked #1 in his class.
Ben retired in 1992 with 33 years of government service, having served many as the Chief of the Nashville Geotechnical Branch of the Corps of Engineers. His life was dedicated to designing the foundations of many well known structures including Percy Priest Dam, The Sunsphere in Knoxville, the AT&T (Batman) building in Nashville, and many of the HCA Hospitals. He received the highest honor bestowed by the Governors of both Tennessee and Kentucky as honorary Colonel for his outstanding contribution not only to those in the Civil Engineering profession but also to the residents of the two states for finding an innovative way to prevent the imminent failure of the Wolf Creek Dam in the 1970s.
In his younger years he loved to play softball, even helping create a league within the Corps of Engineers. In the early years of his children’s lives, he allowed them the space and freedom to explore and develop on the family farm. He provided for them and ensured a strong education for each of them.
He is survived by his wife: Sylvia Marie Couch; four children: Kim (Tyler) King, Sheryl (Sam) Bottoms and Debbie (John) Fast, all of Arrington, and Ben (Holly) Couch, III of Franklin; two brothers: John Warren “Jack” Couch of Nashville and Charles Frederick Couch, Sr of New Mexico; and 14 grandchildren.
Ben’s family will receive friends for visitation from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, and again on Friday, February 3 from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Harpeth Hills Funeral Home. Graveside services will be conducted on Friday, February 3 at 11:00 a.m. in the Garden of the Good Shepherd in Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens, with military honors provided by the United States Army.
Since one of Ben’s loves was the Triune Riding Club where he served many years on the Board of Trustees and as President, a catered Celebration of Life will follow at 1 pm at the Triune Community Center.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.