OBITUARY: Mark A. Pirtle – Rutherford Source

Mark A. Pirtle, a business icon who played a major role in Murfreesboro’s business development over the past three decades but was best known for his engaging personality and generosity of time and money, died on Monday October 3, 2022 after a long illness.

Anita Pirtle’s husband will be remembered as a generous family man, for his vision, his great business success and for his immense willingness to share his fortune, time and entrepreneurial spirit with others.

Son of Joyce Pirtle of McMinnville and the late Jack Edwin Pirtle, Mark is survived by one son, JD (Kimberly) and grandsons Hawkeye and Caspian of Chicago; one daughter, Mary Bevin and one grandson Kieran; stepson, Bo Martindale of Nashville; three brothers, Mike (Sharon) of Murfreesboro, Tim (Mary) of McMinnville and Jack (Margie) of Nashville; and one sister, Joy (Mike) James of Chattanooga; as well as numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Pirtle has focused his career on real estate development and automobile sales. He has developed over $400 million in new building construction and land sales in central Tennessee over the past 30+ years. Notable projects include Stonegate Corporate Center, Mark Pirtle Gateway, the former State Farm property on Broad and Memorial, and the Haynes property between Highway 231 and Thompson Lane in Murfreesboro.

His crowning achievement in this area, and probably the most beneficial to this community, was becoming the first major developer of the then new and unrealized Murfreesboro Gateway Project. While others balked or demanded special concessions on the farmland then offered by the city, Mark moved quickly and decisively across a wide area, building the community’s first Class A office building, Stonegate. , an early success which then led to further developments, producing the impressive Medical Zone in the center promenade.

He played a major role in the expansion of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, as he and Anita donated land on Broad/Memorial for the first professional chamber headquarters. The chamber includes the Mark Pirtle Economic Development Center at its current headquarters on Medical Center Parkway.

Additionally, Mark was a graduate of the General Motors Institute and owned car dealerships in Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, Cookeville and Jackson, Tennessee, and Beckley, West Virginia. He has received the Honda President’s Award four times and earned Oldsmobile Elite Dealership status.

Pirtle was a member of the board and executive committee of the First National Bank of McMinnville and served for 10 years on the board of directors of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Rutherford County. He served as chairman of the boards of the Middle Tennessee State University Foundation and the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.

He was one of only 10 recipients of the Jennings A. Jones Champion of Free Enterprise Award, given to a business leader who has made a difference in his community, and was Businessman of the Year of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce in 1996. and Business Legend of the Year 2016.

He was a sports enthusiast and before he lost his health he practiced water skiing, racquetball, tennis and golf, where he excelled as a near-zero player.

Raised in the Church of Christ, Mark attended Westwood Church of Christ in McMinnville and World Outreach Church.

Funeral services will be Friday, October 7, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at World Outreach Church. Visitation will be Thursday, October 6, 2022 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Woodfin Memorial Chapel. Speakers will be Allen Jackson, James Vandiver and Johnny Holden.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Mark’s memory to Alive Hospice of Murfreesboro, Boys and Girls Club of Murfreesboro or a charity of your choice.

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