Obit: Francis Cordell

Obit: Francis Cordell

October 8th, 2017 in Obituaries
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SOUTH PITTSBURG — Francis Merritt Cordell Jr., (“Captain”), known by his friends and his international Star Trek community as “Captain Magic,” soared beyond human time and space Oct. 4, 2017. He was 64-years-old measured in human time. His human body taken by cancer, his intelligence and spirit are ageless. Self-taught flutist of recorder and flute instruments, he built his own instruments and played his internal music upon them. Father, grandfather-and self-taught applied physicist and star gazer, he knew precision instrumentation, measurements, telescopes and microscopes, drafting, mechanics, and building, and he recreated vessel after vessel of the Star Trek television series according to their precise blueprint models. He was a professional and imaginative magician who gave spell-binding performances at schools and social organizations and at his Uncle Sam Cordell’s funeral reception. He knew the flora and fauna of the middle Tennessee mountains and became their researcher, friend and protector along the heights of Dogwood Trail where he spent his final years by himself, befriending raccoons, deer and the occasional coyote and cougar, and the neighbor’s calico cat Skittles, who adored him. He lived most of his life in Marion County and Chattanooga, working day jobs in printing companies, notably Arcade Printing, until the business failed, but his night and weekend work was the work of the imagination and of his deep passion for philosophy and science and of spiritual ascendance and transformation. Merritt was pre-deceased by his mother, Olivia West Cordell and his grandparents, Fannie and Lucien Cordell, of South Pittsburg and Dorothy and Melvin West, of Orme. He is survived by his father, Dr. Francis Merritt Cordell Sr., of South Pittsburg, Tenn.; and his cousin on his mother’s side, Martelia West; and by cousins on his father’s side, Dr. Lucia Cordell Getsi (David Staniford) (SC) Jon Cordell (Summer) (GA), Ruth Cordell (TN), Dr. Sara Cordell (Jim Ottery)(IL), and Charles Cordell (Reni) (CA). And by beloved life-long friends, Gary and Lori Lewis, Lori Hawkins, and Alan and Janice Carter, of Marion County. His friends, cousins and father held him close through his final stage of the human journey and his teleport to the Enterprises that voyage beyond. His favorite and parting saying was, “Beam me up, Scotty, there is no intelligent life on this planet.” An informal celebration of life for friends and family is being planned at Mr. Cordell’s home in late October. His ashes will be interred beside his mother in Sequatchie Valley Memorial Gardens, Jasper TN. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in his name to Hospice of Chattanooga. Arrangements are by Cremation Center of Chattanooga, 423-362-5999.