Clay Gardner Crowder, died Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 78 years of age following an extended illness. He left this world peacefully at home, surrounded by his wife and children. A third-generation doctor in Blount County, he was a Pediatrician in Blount County for 40 years. He was known as a kind and caring doctor, a brilliant diagnostician, a child behavioral health specialist and a driving force for the betterment of community healthcare services.
He graduated from Maryville High School in 1955. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville as an undergraduate and then the University of Tennessee Medical School in Memphis. After medical school, he joined the Air Force, in which he served as a General Medical Practitioner at Orlando Air Force Base. He was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1966. He completed his residency as a Pediatrician at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and then went into private practice in Maryville.
Throughout his career, Dr. Crowder was dedicated to serving the underserved and the underinsured. In the last years of his career, he was a leader for the Blount County Good Samaritan Clinic, which offers free and discounted medications, services, and other resources to those who need them. He served in various leadership and teaching capacities at Blount Memorial Hospital, Children's Hospital, and the University of Tennessee Medical Center. Upon retirement, he was honored by the Tennessee Hospital Association, the Blount Memorial Foundation, and by Joint Resolution in the Tennessee State Legislature.
Outside of Pediatrics, Dr.Crowder's principal avocation was woodworking, specifically woodturning and clock-making. Primarily self-taught, he learned a great deal from other woodturners across the Southeast, and he both took and assisted in teaching classes at the Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg. Woodturners' Resource reported, "The pieces that he has created on the lathe are simply incredible." Dr. Crowder was a juried member of the East Tennessee Woodturners' Guild in Knoxville. His pieces are prized for their natural beauty and artistic qualities.