Obituaries

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Ronnie J Higgins -
Ronnie J Higgins, age 54, of Erwin, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2015, at the Johnson City Medical Center. He was a native of Unicoi County and the son of the late R. H. and Polly Honaker Higgins. Mr. Higgins worked as a supervisor with Unicoi County Gas Utility District for 35 years. Ronnie was a founding member of the NWTF Unaka Longbeards. He was an avid outdoorsmen and loved to hunt and fish.

Ruth Elizabeth Erwin Phillips -
Ruth Elizabeth Erwin Phillips, age 102, of Rogersville, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Ruth was born the year the Titanic sank and was raised in Erwin, TN.

Clyde A. Swinehart -
Clyde A. Swinehart, 84, passed away on Thursday, April 23, 2015 at his residence. He was a native of Elkhart, Indiana and a son of the late Eldon and Erma Fetter Swinehart. He lived in Erwin, TN from 1960 until 1977 where he was active with the youth in Unicoi County coaching Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball. He loved the outdoors. Fishing and hunting were his passion. In 1977 they moved to Bradenton, FL. In Bradenton he was a member of West Bradenton Baptist Church where he taught Sunday school, was a member of the choir, served as a deacon for 35 years. Mr. Swinehart worked with the former Superior Hone Corporation retiring as an industrial drafting engineer after 45 years of service.

Harley Cleveland Foster -
Harley Cleveland Foster, age 71, passed away on Monday, April 20, 2015 at Johnson City Medical Center. He was a native of Unicoi County and a son of the late Leroy and Leora Foster. Mr. Foster was a machine operator for American Water Heaters, formerly Mor-Flo Industries. He was a member of the Church of the Nazarene. In addition to his parents, Harley is preceded in death by sisters, Geneva Harris, Irene Orren and by a brother, Steve Foster.

Marylyn Miller Birchfiel -
Marylyn Miller Birchfiel, age 90, of Elizabethton, passed away on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Ivy Hall Nursing Home, following an extended illness. Marylyn was born in Unicoi, Tennessee, a daughter of the late George Washington Miller and Myrtle Paul Miller. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley Birchfiel; two sisters, Alleene Geisler and Mary Nell Vance; and a brother, O.R. Miller.

Sharmalee H. Gosnell -
Sharmalee H. Gosnell, 84, went home to be with her Lord on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 after a long illness. She was a daughter of the late Thomas Garrett (T.G.) and Birdie Edwards. Born in Greeneville County on May 1, 1929, she moved, with her parents and siblings to Unicoi County in 1939. At a time in her life, she was a cook at Rock Creek Elementary School, managed two restaurants and was the bookkeeper for the family business, GMC Logging. Sharmalee was known for her big heart and giving nature. She was also a great cook and made sure you didn’t leave her house hungry. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband Buster Gosnell, by and infant son, Steven Gosnell and by a son, Harold Lynn Gosnell and by 12 brothers and sisters.

Jacqueline “Jackie” Parker Miller -
Jacqueline “Jackie” Parker Miller, 86, Gray, passed away Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at the Life Care Center of Gray. She was a native of Erwin, and daughter of the late Zachary and Ella Smith Parker.

Donna Mae Johnson Jones -
Donna Mae Johnson Jones, of Erwin, TN, passed away Sunday, April 19, 2015, in the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital Long Term Care after a lengthy ill ness. She was born June 26, 1931 in Bakersville, NC to the late Dewitt Talmadge Johnson and Madge Wilson Johnson. Mrs. Jones lived in Erwin for the past seventy-four years. She was married to the late Robert Glenn "Pete" Jones for thirty years who preceded her in death on June 26, 1979. Mrs. Jones is survived by her son, Stephen Glenn Jones and wife, Becky of Raleigh, NC and her daughter, Susan Jones McInturff and husband, Kevin of Unicoi, TN; five grandchildren, Jenny McInturff Wilson and Andy McInturff of Unicoi, Justin Jones and wife, Chelsea and Megan Jones all of Raleigh, NC, Ryan Jones and wife, Meredith of Waynesville, NC. She is also survived by two great-granddaughters, Kaleigh and Alysa Wilson of Unicoi. In addition, she is survived by one sister, Maxine Johnson Jones Rathbone of Bakersville, NC, and many nieces and nephews, including Becky Manfull who provided such loving comfort and care to Donna Mae in her times of need. In addition to her husband and pa rents, Donna Mae was preceded in death by two grandsons, Shepherd Glenn McInturff (who he called her "my little nanny") on July 19, 2005 and infant boy McInturff on August 23, 1985 and two sisters, Mildred Johnson Geouge and Wilma Johnson Rose Buchanan.

Roy Darrell Hopson -
Roy Darrell Hopson, age 69, went to be with his Lord on April 17, 2015, with family by his side. He was born February 5, 1946 in Erwin, TN, the son of Roy and Jetta Hopson. Roy served in the U.S. Army in Germany from 1965 until he was honorably discharged as Sergeant E-5 in 1967. He moved to Jacksonville from Erwin, TN in 1967. He worked for Southside Mike Shad Parts Department for 20 years. He then joined C&D Insurance and Bonds, Inc. until his retirement. He was a devoted member of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville. He was an avid Gator fan. Other than his parents, Roy was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley and a brother, Larry.

Ruth Lee Haynes -
Ruth Lee Haynes, age 90, 315 Walnut Street, Erwin, passed away Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the Center on Aging & Health in Erwin. She had lived in Unicoi County most of her life and was a daughter of the late Jack and Sennie Ramsey Franklin. Mrs. Haynes retired in 1990 after working as a seamstress for tw enty-five years at Industrial Garment and Red Cap. She was a member of Clear Branch Baptist Church. Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Clinton Floyd Haynes; a daughter, Geneva Rutter; one brother, Charles Odell "Bill" Franklin; two sisters, Lennie English and Nola Mae Ashdown.

Walter Helton -
Walter Helton, age 86, of Mooresburg, Tennessee passed away Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Morristown Hamblen Hospital. He was preceded in death by his wife, Katherine Helton; son, Connie Helton; sisters, Margaret Horner, Christina Worley; brothers, Beaford Helton; and parents, William and Myrtle Helton.

Betty Goodin Keever -
“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.” Psalms 86:15

Halvie Griffith -
Halvie Griffith, 68, peacefully passed away Friday, April 10, 2015 at his home in Rogersville, TN. He was previously from Erwin, TN. He spent his entire adult life serving his Lord Jesus Christ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Conway and Dolly; and siblings, Ann Lee, Tomy, and Charlie. He is survived by wife, Joan; daughters, Michelle Ledford and husband, Randy, of Watauga and Tonya Hayworth, and husband Steve, of Rogersville; eight grandchildren, Paige Jandreau and husband, Mason, Jessica Wilkins and husband, Jason, Machen Ledford, Logan, Joshua and Parker Hayworth, Dustin Ledford and wife, Deborah and Angel Bieberly and husband, Matt; two great-grand children, Dawson and Aspyn; three sisters, Lucille Griffith, Virginia Hoyle and husband, James, and Lola Street; four brothers, Bill (Roscoe) and wife Shirley, Clyde and wife Charlyne, Walter and wife Pam, and Jimmy and wife Dianne; sister-in-law, Louise; and numerous nephews and nieces. A Celebration of Life will be held 2-4 pm on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens, 121 Covered Bridge Lane, Unicoi, TN. Memorial donations may be mailed to Branch House Ministries, P O Box 294, Rogersville, TN 37857.

Lester Leroy Rogers -
Lester Leroy Rogers, age 64, of Erwin, passed away on Thursday, April 9, 2015, at the Johnson City Medical Center. He was a native of Unicoi County and a son of Ethel P. Rogers. Mr. Rogers operated a mobile home transport company. He loved to attend auctions and go camping with his family. Lester is preceded in death by his maternal grandmother: Bonnie Rogers.

Mr. Mark Arwood -
Mr. Mark Arwood, age 53, Erwin, passed away Wednesday, April 8, 2015 at Unicoi County Memorial Hospital.

Russell D. Byrd -
Russell D. Byrd, age 59, of Erwin, went home to be with the Lord, Friday, April 10, 2015 at Johnson City Medical Center. He was a native of Unicoi County, and the son of Ethel Byrd, and the late Oliver Byrd. Russell was a long time employee of Verizon Wireless. He attended First Pentecostal Holiness Church of Erwin.

Mildred Erwin Conley -
Mildred Erwin Conley, age 91, was born on July 21, 1923 in the Stuart Circle Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. Her parents were the late Herman Erwin (Erwin, TN) and the late Josephine Baumgardner Erwin (Kings Mountain, NC). She attended grammar schools in Kings Mountain and Erwin when her fa mily moved back to Erwin from Union Level, Virginia. She graduated from Unicoi County High School in 1940, and attended Carson Newman College and Business College in Johnson City, TN. She began her working career at the Southern Pottery (Blue Ridge Pottery) in Erwin. Mildred was later employed by Tennessee Eastman Corporation during World War II at Holston Ordnance in Kingsport, TN. Also, she worked for Tennessee Eastman during the war years during the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, TN. Later she transferred back to the main TEC plant in Kingsport, where she was secretary to the auditor. She retired as bookkeeper for Range Chevrolet in Erwin in 1983. Other than her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Jack B. Conley, in 2002; her brother, Harry L. Erwin, (Kingsport) in 2012; paternal grandparents, William Stuart and Hester Woodward Erwin (Erwin); and maternal grandparents John Calvin and Susan Emeline Costner Baumgardner (Kings Mountain). Mildred was a member of First Baptist Church in Erwin and also First Baptist Church in Kingsport during the war years. In her leisure time she enjoyed crocheting, camping, working puzzles, reading, keeping journals and family history. She was a past member of: The Mayflower Society by descent from William Brewster; The Unaka Chapter DAR by descent from Adam Cloninger, Thomas Costner, Jacob Rhyne (all from Gaston County, NC) and William Tilson (Unicoi County, TN); First Families of Franklin (James Sams); Unicoi County Historical Society; and the Mitchell County, NC Historical Society. She is survived by her daughter Rebecca Anne (Becky) Conley who was her caregiver and best friend; a niece, Martha Ann Erwin; and a nephew, William D. Erwin. Also surviving are two great nieces (Michael Wendy and Mary); one great nephew (Travis); five great-great nieces (Addie, Allison, Ashley, Brooklyn and Maelee), and one great-great nephew (Jaxson). Serveral cousins and many family members related by marriage als o survive and special friend Jeanne Jarrett. Goin Home.

Mollie Holloway Harris Street -
Mollie Holloway Harris Street, 90 went home to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 5, 2015 at the Center on Aging in Erwin. She was a native of Bee Log, NC and daughter of the late Reverend Moss "Poppy" Holloway and Lora Tolley Holloway.