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Thomas Hensley, former trustee, former register of deeds, and community advocate, dies at age 85

Thomas H. Hensley, who served for 24 years as Unicoi County’s elected trustee, as well as register of deeds, died Sunday, Feb. 14, at Johnson City Medical Center. He was 85.
Mr. Hensley was a lifetime resident of Erwin. He was the son of the late Holt and Estelle Blankenship Hensley.
He served in World War II with the U.S. Air Force.
Mr. Hensley retired after 24 years of service in the trustee’s office in Erwin. He was also a former Register of Deeds in Unicoi County.
He also was an active member of the Erwin Kiwanis Club and served many years as the treasurer. He was a Hixson Fellow.
Mr. Hensley also drove for Trailways, and he worked as a deputy for the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department.
He was a member of Ninth Street Baptist Church, and he served as the banking treasurer and was a member of the Goodwill Sunday School Class.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Hensley was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Erma Mae Kitzmiller Hensley; brother, Holt Hensley Jr.; and sister, Bernice Hutchins
Survivors include two sons, Tom Hensley Jr. and wife, Karen, Jonesborough, and Mike Hensley and wife, Kathy, Unicoi; daughter, Susan Sherfey, Telford; grandchildren, Amy Hensley, and spouse Donnie, Brandy Putman, and spouse, Kenneth, Rachel Lewis and spouse, Jason, Ethan Hensley, Paige Williams and spouse, Brad, Adam Hensley, Heather Stanford and spouse, Jon, Justin Bennett, Josh Sherfey, Bethany Sherfey and Mark Mussler; and 12 great-grandchildren with a 13th great-grandchild also expected.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Valley Funeral Home Chapel. The Rev. Niles Kitzmiller will officiate. Music will be provided by the Ninth Street Baptist Choir.
Pallbearers will be the grandsons. Honorary Pallbearers will be the Goodwill Sunday School Class.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 17, from 5 p.m. until service time.
Interment will be held Thursday, Feb. 18, at the Valley Funeral Home Chapel with those who plan to attend asked to meet at the chapel at 10:30 a.m. to go in procession to the Mausoleum at Evergreen Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to Ninth Street Baptist Church Improvement Fund or the Kiwanis Foundation for Park Fund, P.O. Box 207, Erwin, TN 37650, or to Trinity Baptist Church of Jonesborough.
Valley Funeral Home is in charge.