Dr. John Miller Key DVM, was born July 21, 1929 in the Rutherford County Hospital, Murfreesboro, TN to the late John Otis and Ruth Alexander Key.
The family lived in the Walter Hill community near Murfreesboro, where his father farmed and milked Jersey cows.
His family moved several times in Tennessee, to Chattanooga, Pulaski, and Linden, where John started school and graduated from Linden Elementary School. Another family move was to Paris, Tennessee where he attended E.W. Grove High School, graduating in 1947. He enrolled in the Navy V-5 program, which provided two years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, followed by Navy Cadet pilot training and receiving his wings as a Naval Aviator at Pensacola, Florida. He was assigned to a Military Air Transport unit at Moffett Field California. Following his fulfillment of his required active service, he transferred to the Navy Reserves and enrolled in U. T. Martin and received his BS in Agriculture Degree.
Following graduation he took a position as Co-Pilot with Trans World Airlines stationed in Michigan. There he met his future wife, Maxine Joan Merrill, and after being transferred to New Jersey they were married in June, 1960. He next resigned from TWA and moved to Knoxville to enroll in UT to take courses required for enrollment in the Veterinary School at Auburn University where he received the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree.
Upon graduation, John took a job with the State of Tennessee as a meat inspector. Then he began to work for other veterinarians as a relief veterinarian in Nashville and also in Knoxville. In 1976 he established the first veterinarian clinic in Smyrna, Smyrna Animal Clinic. He was working there when he fell. He loved his employees and they thought of him as a father figure.
He was an active member of Springhouse Worship and Arts Center. He was an avid UT fan and found great joy being with his grandchildren. He loved helping people and working with animals and was a strong Christian man.
He is survived by a daughter, Jennifer Key of Morrison, TN; son, Jeff Key, of Murfreesboro, TN, wife Cindy, and grandsons Joshua and Jacob. He is survived by two brothers, Jesse Key, Knoxville, TN and Jim Key, Stillwater, OK.
Visitation with the family will be Friday, April 12, 2013 from 12:00pm until the Celebration of life service at 2:00pm at Springhouse Worship and Arts Center with Pastor Ronnie Meeks officiating and with Military Honors.
In lieu of flowers family ask for donations to be made to Beesley Foundation, 2215 Keeneland Commercial Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN 37127 or New Vision Baptist Church Dominican Republic October Missions Trip 1750 North Thompson Lane, Murfreesboro, TN 37129.
Those wishing may send condolences online at www.murfreesborofuneralhome.com
Murfreesboro Funeral Home, 145 Innsbrooke Blvd, Murfreesboro, TN, 615-896-2229.