Services Saturday for retired Major General, Chancellor T. K. Moffett

Published 2:13 pm Thursday, June 8, 2023

Retired Major General and Chancellor T. K. Moffett died June 5 at the Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo. He was 73.

Visitation will be Friday, June 9, from 5 to 7 p.m. at W.E. Pegues, 535 West Jefferson Street in Tupelo. A funeral service will be held June 10 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 300 North Church Street in Tupelo.

Terrill Kay Moffett had dual careers in the military and the law. He spent 40 years in the military, including the U.S. Army, Army Reserve and the Mississippi Army National Guard. He practiced law for 35 years before accepting a gubernatorial appointment as chancellor on the First Chancery Court in December 2015. He served as chancellor until Jan. 31, 2018, in the district that includes Alcorn, Itawamba, Lee, Monroe, Pontotoc, Prentiss, Tishomingo and Union counties.

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His family said in his obituary, “You may have known T. K. Moffett as an attorney, a Major General, a Judge, a restaurant owner, a professor, a city prosecutor, a Deacon, a Music/Youth Minister, an author, an Army West Point Rabble Rouser, or someone occasionally out of gas on the side of the road as he moved quickly from responsibility to responsibility, but his family just called him ‘Granddaddy.’

“Whether at the beach, on the boat, singing Elvis karaoke, running a half-marathon at a whim, or driving his truck in a parade, Granddaddy was a joy. From the humblest of beginnings, his hard work and determination led him on a great adventure for both the Kingdom and his country.”

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller Jr., who administered the oath to Judge Moffett at his investiture on Jan. 15, 2016, said, “Duty, selfless service and integrity were abiding principles for Judge Moffett. He was either in the courtroom or in his office carrying out the responsibilities of a chancellor. No litigant had to wait for him to have their day in court, or for a decision. Judge Moffett made sure that all litigants were treated with respect. His decisions were plain spoken, the facts were correct, and the rule of law was followed.”

Senior Chancellor Jacqueline Mask recalled Judge Moffett as a colleague on the First Chancery, and before that, as a practicing attorney.
“Judge Moffett loved his family and was a Christian. You didn’t have to be around him long before you realized that,” Judge Mask said.

“When he was practicing law, I always enjoyed having him appear in court because he was an excellent attorney. He always knew the law. He worked diligently to ensure his clients had their day in court. He was efficient, well-organized and practical.”

“He brought all of these qualities to the bench. As a judge, he was very busy and hardworking,” Judge Mask said. “Judge Moffett was kind-hearted, good-natured and understanding. He had a gift of being able to remain calm in a storm. He will be greatly missed.”

At the time he took the bench, Judge Moffett said, “I never planned on being a lawyer. God just opened some doors and has blessed my life.”

He began his law practice in Tupelo in 1980, representing clients in north Mississippi and Alabama in bankruptcy, criminal law, personal injury, medical malpractice, Social Security disability and family law. He served as Tupelo City prosecutor from 1989 – 1999. He was admitted to practice in Mississippi and Alabama.

Terrill Kay Moffett was born July 11, 1949, on a small farm near Becker in Monroe County. He was the youngest of nine children of Elmer Carlos Moffett and Mary Ethel Meek Moffett.

As a teenager, he helped lead musical worship at Becker Baptist Church. He graduated with honors from Amory High School and received nominations to all three U.S. service academies.

He earned a bachelor of science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. He served as an Airborne infantry officer and armor officer, and graduated from the Infantry Officer Basic Course and the Airborne School at Fort Benning, Ga.

He earned a master of arts degree in political science from the University of Hawaii in 1974. He earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Mississippi School of Law in 1979. He was an honor graduate of the Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and he completed United States Army War College as a Harvard Fellow at Harvard University.

During law school, he taught American government at Itawamba Community College and Northwest Community College and political science at the University of Mississippi. He also taught Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure as an adjunct professor at the University of Mississippi’s Tupelo campus.

He commanded at every level: platoon leader, tank battalion commander, division commander. He served in the 155th Armored Brigade, the 25th Infantry Division, the 4th Infantry Division, the 91st Division and the 104th Division.

He mobilized with the 155th Armored Brigade for Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm and with the 91st Division for Operation Enduring Freedom. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1999 and major general in 2003.

He was commanding general of the Troop Command Mississippi National Guard and deputy commanding general of the 91st Division in California. His last command was as commanding general of the 104th Division in Vancouver, Wash. He retired from the military in 2007.

His awards and decorations include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Mississippi Magnolia Cross, the Mississippi Magnolia Medal and the Mississippi Commendation Medal.

He founded Moffett Leadership Institute and conducted leadership and ethics training with numerous military forums throughout the United States, Nigeria, and Rwanda.

You may read the obituary at this link:!/Obituary.