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George Lovell, chief cook at the ELC since 2011, passed after a battle with cancer on November, 18th 2023. The George we knew and treasured was witty, loyal, compassionate, generous, and determined to take care of those around him. He could share a dry comment with a straight face until you met his glance and discovered he could no longer contain that affable smile. If you needed anything or had a special request, George had no hesitation to step up and offer help or accommodation. If the mark of living life well is measured by what you give to others without expectation of recognition or reward, George achieved this. He was our chef, our proud veteran, our resident comedian, our nurse, our brother, our friend. We are forever grateful he was a part of our program family, where he was loved, cherished, and respected. We miss him deeply.

Should you wish to make a donation in memory of Chef George, his daughter, Desiree, wishes to include the ELC Enrichment Fund to honor her father’s appreciation of his opportunity to interact with and provide for our children. A memorial donation to the UT Early Learning Center may be made securely through one of the links below, or you may mail a check payable to “UT Foundation, Inc.” and mail it to 1525 University Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37921. Please note on any check or online that the gift is in memory of George Lovell, ELC Enrichment Fund.

  • Early Learning Center Enrichment FundThis fund is used in various ways to enhance the ELC program.
  • Lilly Cantrell Memorial FundThis fund is used to provide scholarships to ELC families of children with special needs, as well as to provide classroom materials for children with disabilities. Read more about this scholarship here.
  • Playground Improvement FundThis fund is used to improve ELC playgrounds and outdoor classroom spaces, which are key components of our program.