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Berry Highland West

OBITUARY

Donald Bayless Anderson

December 1, 1955May 5, 2021
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Donald Bayless Anderson, Age 65; of Knoxville passed away suddenly at his home on May 5th. He was born December 1st, 1955 in Columbia TN. He graduated from Columbia Military Academy . He went to The University of Tennessee where he was an active member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. Don was well known in the Knoxville Restaurant Community. He started working at Regas Restaurant as a server in 1979. His hard work led him to a General Manager position and then he became President of Regas in 1991.

While at Regas he became President of The Tennessee Restaurant Association. In 1998 he was voted Restaurateur of the Year. He continued his career as Managing Partner at Italian Market Grill, Tennessee Grill, & Baker Peters. In 2005 he became owner of New Knox Brewery Co. He then became owner of Mulligans Restaurant in 2006. After Mulligans moved locations, he opened Tennessee Tap House in 2017 with his wife and his daughter.

Don had a great appreciation for good food and craft beer. He loved to grill thus earning the nickname of GrillMan. While at UT, he was always grilling food for his fraternity brothers who still call him that to this day. Don loved all sports. He was an avid UT fan. He listened to SportsTalk on the radio or his phone. Everyday. All day. One of his favorite places to be was at his farm - hunting, fishing, and just getting away. Don loved his friends. He was always ready to help everyone. He was the kind of guy that would give you the shirt off his back. Don loved his family. He especially enjoyed time with his granddaughters.

He is survived by Patti, his wife of 35 years; Daughters, Macy and Sarah ; Son, Matt and his Wife Jessica ; Granddaughters , Addie Joy & Paisley Grace Anderson ; Brother, Haywood, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Receiving of Friends will be held on Monday, May 10th at 3:30 pm with a memorial service to follow at 5:30 PM at Berry Highland West Funeral Home, 9913 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN 37932.

In lieu of flowers, Don would have liked donations made to Alzheimer’s Tennessee due to years spent caring for his Aunt Myrlene. Mail to: 5801 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919 or online at alztennessee.org

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, May 10, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Monday, May 10, 2021

Memories

Donald Bayless Anderson

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Dave Landeo

May 12, 2021

Don was always so kind and caring. I was fortunate to know him while performing at Mulligan’s for several years. His smile and enthusiasm was always a spark for me. When I approached him about a fundraiser for Alzheimer’s he immediately went far and beyond with the event. I learned that he’d been caring for a relative that had Alzheimer’s and understood what it entailed. Don was always caring for others. That was Don.

Grady Regas

May 10, 2021

A personal note to friends of the Anderson family:
I have had conversations about Don's sudden passing. When I shared the news, the other party would have a shocked reaction such as Oh My! That would soon be followed by: "What can we do?". My response to that question is to do for the Anderson Family what they have always done and continue to do for you and for our community: GIVE LOVE! Give love back to the Anderson family by visiting their restaurant for wonderful food, live entertainment and lots of love (please see: www.TennesseeTapHouse.com).

We
love you, Don, Patti, Macy, Sarah, Matt, Jessica, Addie Joy Paisley Grace, Haywood and the entire extended Anderson family. God Bless you!

Grady Regas

May 10, 2021

Patti and the Anderson family,

We love you and pray for God's reassurance and peace to comfort you right now.

We miss Don today as we celebrate his amazing, life. Sooo many people that know Don as their good friend feel this way today. We are simultaneously sad and glad as we celebrate Don. We are selfishly sad that we won't hear Don's laughter, shake his hand, or savor his smile. Yet, we are glad we got the opportunity to do all that and so much more while Don blessed us with his love. If I had to describe Don with a short phrase, I think that phrase would be: "love giver".

We remember Don being named "RESTUARATEUR OF THE YEAR" . In my view, this level of achivement doesn't happen unless you reach out and give love to everyone in your world: family, friends, team members who depend on you, restaurant guests, suppliers, landlords, and the community. "Love givers" describe the Hospitable Anderson family. In the restaurant business, Christmas season seems to be the busiest time when rest and recoperation are at a premium. The public may be unaware that the Anderson family's way of celebrating Christmas Eve was to package and deliver hundereds of sets of Winter gloves and hats to the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries; "giving love" to people they did not know. I belive Don personified "giving love". In college he gave love by doing the job in his fraternity that no one else wanted to do: grill the food. The nickname given to him for giving this love to his brothers was "Grill Man" . Decades after college, you could spot one of his fraternity brothers when they would refer to him as "Grill Man".

My experience with Don was at Regas Restaurant. I also noticed he was a "love giver". To me, this is what should and does define true hospitality. If I had the opportunity to tag Don with a nickname it would be "MR. HOSPITALITY"! Don was always doing for others; giving of himself and was teaching others to do likewise.

(continued on my next entry)

William F. (Bill) Regas

May 10, 2021

Patti,

I wish I was able to come love on you, Macy, Sarah, Matt, Jessica, Addie Joy & Paisley Grace today and grieve with you. Unfortunately, I am recovering from a fall and do not get out. However, yesterday we had a memorial gathering in honor of Don, under a Power T tent in my driveway with my cousin Christina Paris, her son Chris (with whom you may remember as a Regas Gathering Place bartender), my son, Grady and Jenny. We shared some great memories of you & Don and prayed for the Anderson family, the Tennessee Tap House family of Team Members and valued Guests. We continue to pray for you and your family's strength and for peace.


Some of my favorite memories at Regas Restaurant are memories of Patti & Don Anderson. I am so happy you and Don met at Regas, grew to love one another, got married and raised an amazing family! You and Don were a winning team from the beginning at Regas and carried your winning ways with you as you grew your own family and your larger family of Team Members and Fans as you shared your hospitality with the community. The Anderson family has contributed so very much to the people of Knoxville and beyond through your commitment, generosity, your love and superior hospitality. I thank you and Don for adding so much to my life and to the lives of so many. The Anderson family has built an exemplary legacy as one of Tennessee's most outstanding hospitable families. I share with you and your family my appreciation, love and admiration. May Don's memory be eternal!

Love,

Bill Regas

Jesse Thomason

May 10, 2021

I met Don about 10 years ago when we, Hounddogs, partnered with him and Patti at Mulligans. He was always so great to work with and we built a great friendship over the years. Once they opened TN Taphouse the bond became even stronger and we considered them all true friends. Don was the type of person that would truly give you the shirt off his back. He always showed up at our events or GameDays with food and a smile and we always had a great time at the restaurant with him. The world lost an amazing man and person, but I feel privileged to have gotten to know him over the years and consider him a great friend and business partner.

Lou Gallo

May 10, 2021

I have known and worked with Don for about half of my life and am so sad to hear of his passing. Don was my boss at Italian Market and Grill and Mulligans; however, the word boss is not what I think of when I think of Don. Instead, I think of the word "Friend". Don's leadership style included befriending those who worked for him and we had many conversations about the restaurants, television shows, UT, and life in general. Don's friendly personality made my wife and I (and many others) feel like a part of the Anderson family and we will miss him terribly. Godspeed my friend!

Lisa Stinnett

May 10, 2021

Don was an amazing person and will be missed tremendously. He was always so kind to our family and I will always remember and appreciate his support of our daughter, especially when she first start playing music. Mulligans and Tennessee Tap House have been staples in our lives and the Andersons a part of our family. Praying for peace and comfort for all of the family during this time.

Jonathan Overly

May 9, 2021

Don was my boss while I was a waiter at Regas in the early 1990's. Always appreciated his sense of humor and management style, and have fond memories of those days. I'll be praying for his family over the coming days.

Sandy Leach Garrett

May 9, 2021

Don will always be in the heart of Patti and his family. My prayers and condolences for your loss. Sandy Leach Garrett

Bill Baylor

May 9, 2021

Don Anderson aka GrillMan
I came to know Don his first night hosting the late-night GrillMan business at the Lambda Chi Alpha (LXA) House doing something no one else wanted to do, Don saw a need and jumped on it with passion and determination. He was successful from day one and went on to lead a number of chapter and university events over his LXA years. This earned him the reputation if you wanted something done right, Don “GrillMan” Anderson was the man. GrillMan was his nickname and he wore with pride and a smile. His work ethic and his giving the shirt off his back, fun-loving nature was etched in LXA lore for decades to come.
All of us who knew GrillMan had stories – wonderful, marvelous, hysterical stories. Like the time he personally roasted the pig for 24 hours non-stop for the first LXA Toga party.
Something about the college experience forges bonds that never quite go away, and this is especially true at the LXA House. You live together, you eat together, you party together and you worked for the greater good of the fraternity.
You knew that Don would become successful in his family and business life because that was his nature. And successful he became working for the greater good of his family, his numerous businesses and his industry.
Over the years we saw less and less of each other but Don was the kind of person that you could not see him for years and then get caught up over a phone call and it’s like we never missed a day.
RIP our beloved GrillMan. Our lives were immensely richer for having known you. Out thoughts and prayers go out the Anderson Family and all the lives Don touched and made better along the way.
Bill Baylor

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