KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you’ve been to an Aubrey’s Restaurant in East Tennessee, then you most likely knew or had seen Jody Slimp.
He was known as a friend to many, and a fan of Tennessee Football. Just in May, Slimp died from a rare blood disease. The 49-year-old was well known in the Carter, Kodak, and Sevierville community.
“In two lifetimes, I would not have as many friends as Jody had. He worked at Aubrey’s here (in Knoxville) and Sevierville for forever and they actually shut down the restaurant for the day so they could go to his funeral, which is unheard of,” a close friend to Slimp, Jamie Johnson said.
“He really is just a great person and a huge Tennessee fan,” another close friend, Shawn Lane said. “Basically his first love was the University of Tennessee,” Johnson said. “So every year we try to tailgate together.”
Now they will tailgate in his memory. Those closest to Slimp came up with what they’re calling the ‘Jody Bowl.’ Allowing those that knew Slimp the opportunity to come together and celebrate his life.
“We’re just excited about everybody being able to come out,” Slimp’s brother, Tony Slimp said. “The fact that, it’s the best place to celebrate for him because he loved Tennessee and this game in itself—the Florida game was always nerves and excitement and it was probably his favorite game every year,” he said.
After dedicating so much of his time to the Vols, now those that knew Slimp best will put in the same amount of time and effort into making sure he’s remembered by doing what he loved.
“A piece of us will always think that Jody should be there,” Johnson said. “This is what he would want, and he would want us all to have a great time.”
This is an event that Slimp’s friends and family plan to have every year in his honor.