People of Etowah - Tim Lett

February 17, 2018 chris
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Name: Tim Lett

Where were you born and raised?

“I was born here in Gadsden at GRMC, but long before it was called Gadsden Regional. My parents had lived in South Gadsden, but moved to Pell City. Mom didn’t want to change doctors, so they made the drive. Being a Preacher’s Kid, I can’t say that I was raised in any one place. I was raised in a home that was full of love. My dad, Bill Lett, now 83, pastored churches for over 50 years. Growing up, I spent time in Pell City, Steele, Sardis City, Pisgah and Scottsboro.”

What is your occupation?

“I spent several years in full-time ministry until I was in my early 30’s. Since then, I’ve spent time between wireless telecom and insurance. In telecom, I did everything from sales, to managing multiple retail locations, and territory representative, and working with national retail accounts. In insurance, I’ve worked as an independent agent and represented major workplace carriers.”

What made you decide to work in your field?

“I got into wireless telecom purely by accident, part-time, back in 1995. To be totally honest, the money was great during those early years. But, all industries and services change. The decision to transition to insurance, this time, was fairly easy. I’ve seen what can happen when families are not adequately insured and crisis hits. Life can be hard if you aren’t prepared. Having made some preparation mistakes along the way, I want to help folks know that they can have peace of mind because they are as prepared as possible for whatever the future holds.”

Tell us about your family and pets.

“I am blessed to have my Dad still with me. He is 83 and lives here in Gadsden. He’s the most loving and gentle-spirited man I have ever known. I have four amazing children and am beyond proud of each of them. Jacob is 22. He is a student at UA, has worked at Planet Fitness since he was a Senior in HS, and is a Specialist in the Army National Guard. Anna Claire is 20. She is wrapping things up at Gadsden State before going to Charleston Southern this Fall. She plans to pursue a career in Music Therapy. She actively serves the LoveWorks ministry as they provide food to the hungry. Micah is 18. He was a starting Offensive Lineman for the GCHS Titans this year and is on the baseball team. Abbi Kate just turned 17. She is a Junior at GCHS, plays the Mellophone, and is a Section Leader in the Titan Band. An interesting note about these four: In 2014, they were recognized as the only set of four siblings to be in All State Chorus during the same year. As for the “pets” part of this question, I haven’t had much success in that department. I’m pretty sure that all of my goldfish drowned themselves.”

What school or schools have you attended?

“Sand Mountain Christian, Whitesboro Elementary School, Pisgah, Scottsboro, Northeast Community College and Samford University.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I would play piano and sing all day long … if it would pay the bills. I’ve had a love for the piano ever since the age of three and my Mother would let me sit beside her while she played. I also enjoy road-trips, visiting places to which I’ve never been, and meeting people I would have never met. But, anything that I do in my free time is always double the joy if I’m spending that time with my lovely girlfriend.”

What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?

“Being a part of raising four incredible young adults has been the highlight of my life. But, outside of that, simply receiving notes and messages from folks who have been touched by something that I was able to do musically. I do “live” piano moments each morning. Recently, the grandmother of a little boy wrote to me and said that “Seth” gets his little keyboard out every morning to play along with me, and that he wants to be a Worship Leader when he gets older. You can’t put a dollar value on that.”

Name the one person that has been the most influential in your life. Why?

“I have to give credit to my Dad, Bill Lett. Dad, now 83, served local churches for over 50 years. He has always been the most gracious and loving example of a Christian gentleman that you could hope to encounter. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard anyone speak an ill word of him. If I could be half the man that he is, it would be a great accomplishment.”

To what do you credit your success?

“I’m not willing to declare any realized or final success right now. At 48, that might be a little premature. But, I’m learning what constitutes success. Success happens when you refuse to give up and you habitually learn and grow from your experiences, whether they be successes or failures. Thomas Edison didn’t fail when he was trying to invent the light bulb. He simply found several hundred ways to not make a light bulb. But, he kept working. That is all I’m trying to do – learn from my mistakes, grow as I go from one experience into the next, and be a better man today than I was yesterday.”

Are you involved in any service organizations?

“No, but I would love to be active in one.”

What is your favorite thing about this community?

“Although I didn’t grow up in Gadsden, it has been a constant throughout the majority of my life, and I do consider it to be my hometown. Gadsden is great because it is made up of good people who want the best for their hometown. We are large enough to have what we need, and many things that we want. But, we are also small enough to maintain a level of attractive and inviting Southern Hospitality. I love our Downtown area and all that DGI has done to make it great. Also, Gadsden’s depth in great music and fine arts is greater than often realized. We have the Show Band and Choir at Gadsden State, as well as the Etowah Youth Orchestra. Downtown can also boast of the Hardin Cultural Arts Center and The Walnut Gallery. Gadsden has the finest individual musicians, as well as the finest local homegrown bands you could want to hear.”

What would you like to see change in the community?

“2018 got off to a rough start with report after report of senseless violence and loss of life. I would love to see all of Gadsden come together to make our hometown so safe that violence and crime become words that are lost from our vocabulary.”

What are three words that describe you?

“I quizzed someone very close to me and was given these words: funny, passionate and sentimental.”

What is something surprising that many do not know about you?

“I enjoy writing political, social, and theological commentary. Also, I’m really just a big ol’ tender-hearted teddy bear.”

What is your favorite quote?

“You can’t let the tail wag the dog.”

What is on your bucket list?

“A. I would like to be able to do some major traveling, including taking a weekend mini-vacation each month. B. I definitely want to become a better musician and do more performing. C. I wouldn’t mind winning the first Alabama Lottery drawing.”

If a movie were made about your life, who would you want to play you?

“I would have to call on John Goodman. Remembering his lead role in the comedy “King Ralph”, he just seems like a good fit. But, if I keep slimming down, Russell Crowe will be hard to knock out of the lead role.”

What advice would you give yourself as a child?

“Most of the advice that I would give myself as a child is so cliché-ish. My sons played baseball and must have heard “Keep your eye on the ball” a million times. Well, that would be good advice, in so many ways. Stay focused, yet flexible, and don’t lose sight of your dreams.”

If you would like to nominate someone for the People of Etowah column, email speters@gadsdenmessenger.com or call 256-547-1049.