Claude (C.W.) Workman was born on a chilly New Years Eve December 31, 1913. It seemed he was born with a ball in his fist and persistence in his heart. Yes the stars shone brighter that evening over 100 years ago.By the age of four, Claude spent hours a day throwing his ball against the side of the Workman Farmhouse in Jefferson County. He learned to be quick and accurate.When the Workman family moved to Knoxville, Claude's biggest hero of the day was Babe Ruth. This was baseball's "Golden Age" After spring training, it was not unusual for various leagues to stop at Knoxville's Caswell Park to play exhibition games.As the doors opened a wide eyed Claude stood and watched "Murders Row" descend in their Yankee uniforms. Feeling a powerful tug on his shoulder, Babe Ruth put his heavy arm around Claude. He asked, Kid do you want to go into the game? My father was speechless as Babe Ruth kept his mighty arm around my fathers shoulders and walked him through the gates into the park. At this precise moment Babe Ruth became Claude's one and only hero for life, Yes, that was the way it happened.Claudes positive attitude and determination were formed for life and he never stopped playing ball.
Even the St. Louis Cardinals sent scouts to Knoxville to view Claude. Claude slugged 4 base hits. Sadly he was not signed due to his size. My father was fast and could turn a ball even faster! He moved to Oak Ridge during the war where he spent many years at K-25. He was asked to be their first paid sports manager. He played and managed and took the team to their first "Tournament Championship in 1954. Many years were spent umpiring and refereeing. He was invited to become a major league umpire, but chose to remain home with his beloved family. He remained with Union Carbide for 34 years and retired from O.R.N. L. in 1979. Claude was forever singing. A gentle spirit, and he praised God dailey during good times and bad. He remained young at heart till his death.
Claude was married to the late Frances Tilson Workman.
He is survived by two daughters Karen and Diane He is also survived by his two grandchildren two, Bill Muenzer and Alyson Muenzer and great grandfather of Wil Lynn.
A special thanks to Mr. Michael Dohoney, who kept vigil with Diane during her fathers final days, and Mrs. Kese Dohoney for her many kindness. For the past 19 years of his life, he shared a special relationship with Rachel Craver of Knoxville, her family became her extended family. This providing him with three more children and two more grandchildren. All of who loved him both survivors and extended family very deeply. He was a charter member of Central Baptist Church Oak Ridge
Visitation with the family will be May 2, 2014 from 7-8 pm at the Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home with Service at 8 pm the the Rev. Glenn Ellis officiating burial will be at 11 am Saturday May 3, 2014 at Oak Ridge Memorial Park
Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home is serving the Workman family.