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P&E Distributors Founding Partner J.D. Eatherly Passes Away

J.D. Eatherly

J.D. Eatherly, 92, of Nashville, Tennessee, passed away peacefully in his favorite chair with his wife by his side on Saturday January 22. Born and raised in Clarksville, Tennessee, he was the son of the late Jesse William and Douglas Serenia Chester Eatherly. He was preceded in death by his son Steve Eatherly and step-daughter Pam White.

When Eatherly left the Marine Corps in the ’40s, he went to Detroit and started working for a Rayco Auto Service franchise installing seat covers and vinyl tops. Shortly after, a Rayco franchise store opened in East Nashville in the early ’50s and he transferred from Detroit to Nashville to be closer to home. In the late ’50s, a second Rayco franchise opened in downtown Nashville.

In the early ’60s, Eatherly saw the need for a speed shop in Nashville, so he started his own business known as Rayco Racing Division. As the company started to grow, in 1962, it became Tennessee Speed Sport. The business continued to grow, and in 1967, he incorporated P&E Distributors, dba Tennessee Speed Sport. Throughout the ’70s and into the ’80s, the company’s wholesale division flourished and still continues today.

Eatherly was an avid NASCAR fan and loved to listen to the current and old races on the radio. He was also a very successful real estate developer in his retirement.

Survivors include his wife, Daisy Duke Eatherly of Nashville; children, Sandy Cantrell (Gary) of Bell Buckle, Tennessee; Donnie Eatherly (Donna) of Hendersonville, Tennessee; Sue Ann Jennings (Al) of Lebanon, Tennessee; stepchildren, Barry Burnette, Vickie Corbitt, Rhonda Burnette (LeAnne Searcy) and Martene Beasley, all of Nashville; daughter-in-law, Darcy Eatherly; step son-in-law, Barry White; and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be Thursday January 27, at 3:00 p.m. from the Chapel of Taylor Funeral Home with Bro. Steve Baggett officiating. Place of rest will be in Dickson County Memorial Gardens. Services are under the direction of Taylor Funeral Home, Dickson, Tennessee, 615-446-2808.

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