Albert L. Menefee III, a longtime member of the Iroquois Steeplechase Race Committee who served as Iroquois’ president from 2009 to 2017, died Monday, Sept. 3, after an extended illness resulting from a hunting accident. He was 59.
In serving the Iroquois Steeplechase over many decades, Albert Menefee followed a family tradition. His father, Albert L. Menefee Jr., was a trustee of the Iroquois Foundation and an active participant in the Iroquois Steeplechase, as a rider in his younger days, a horse owner, and a racing official. His mother, Valere Potter Menefee, also was a horsewoman whose family was involved with the Iroquois Steeplechase.
“Albert’s contributions to the Iroquois were enormous,” said Iroquois Chairman Dwight Hall. “He provided generous financial support as well as hundreds of hours of his time and labor in the months leading up to the race. He will be missed greatly by all and cannot be replaced.”
An avid sportsman and conservationist, Albert Menefee was never more content than when working outdoors on his farm, whether in a saddle or a tractor seat. He knew hard work, and there wasn’t a type of machinery that he couldn’t fix, an important skill for when he was president of Menefee Crushed Stone, a job he took over from his father and ran until 1998.
He was an accomplished equestrian and was drawn to the keen thrill and deep traditions of fox hunting, becoming a long-standing member of the Hillsboro Hounds, where he served as Whipper-In and earning the title of Master of Fox Hounds. He went on to establish his own pack, the Cedar Knob Hounds, which continues to hunt his family farm and surrounding lands in Lynnville, Tenn.
With horn in hand, he loved the call and return of hounds echoing through the hollows of Middle Tennessee. Mr. Menefee was raised in Williamson County and lived most of his life in Brentwood, near his family’s Holly Hill farm. He attended Overbrook School, Battle Ground Academy, and graduated with a degree in business administration from The University of Tennessee-Knoxville.
Among his philanthropic work, he served on the board of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, where he won Land Conservationist of the Year for his work restoring native habitat in Giles County. He also worked with Centerstone Military Services in support of wounded veterans, the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center, Williamson Medical Center, Boys and Girls Club, the Boy Scouts of America, Monroe Carell Jr. Vanderbilt Childrens Hospital and numerous others. Having a rare blood type and antibody profile, he was a regular donor to the American Red Cross.
He is survived by his wife, Theresa Stewart Menefee; children Albert Leo Menefee IV, Hannah Menefee Dudney (Nathan), and Benjamin Potter Menefee; stepchildren Elizabeth Brodnax Shanahan (Peter) and Phillip Brodnax; aunt Margaret Menefee Gillum: sisters Rabbi Ruth Valere Adar (Linda Burnett), Marianne Menefee Byrd (Andrew), Eleanor Menefee Parkes, and brother John Thomas Menefee (Crispin). Marianne Byrd succeeded her brother as the Iroquois Steeplechase’s president.