LENOIR CITY (WATE) – Ted Wampler Sr., founder of Wampler’s Farm Sausage, passed away Sunday at the age of 86.
The business started in the 1930s with just a small slaughter shack and supplies totaling $38.
“We started out with basically a one-man store. Now we employ about 160 at this plant here,” Wampler said in a 2011 interview with Kristin Farley.
Wampler’s father Riley started the company by processing hogs for neighbors. They shut down the slaughterhouse briefly in the 1940s, but then a new trend helped bring Wampler’s sausage to the general population.
“After World War II, little mom and pop stores sprung up everywhere so Dad suggested we re-open the slaughter house. So we did. We each invested $1,100.”
By the 1950s, it became a corporation, and in 1981, the family officially changed the name from Wampler’s Wholesale Meats to the name we know today, Wampler’s Farm Sausage Company.
Wampler also served as a justice of the peace, foreman of the Loudon County grand jury, as chairman of the Loudon County Board of Education and the Loudon County Vocational Governing Board, and on the Executive Board of Directors of the Loudon County Rescue Squad.
He is survived by his wife Frances Wilburn Wampler and many children, foster children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The family is receiving friends from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Lenoir City. Funeral services follow at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Burial will be Wednesday morning at Pleasant Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Crossroads Church of the Nazarene or the Child Advocacy Center.