The award-winning Union County Opry

Union County Opry - Bringing Country Home! at Union County High School Auditorium

I'm sure you've noticed the Union County Opry signs posted at the Maynardville city limits. I know I have, and we're not the only ones. Middlesboro resident, William Isom, who drives to Knoxville to work each weekday, noticed them also.
Last July, he got curious and contacted the Union County Chamber of Commerce, who put him in contact with Union County Commissioner Danny Cooke for more information. Getting the details of the location and show times, Isom attended the August and September performances and, as a community service, shot footage to capture the venue and the entertainment offered to attendees.
You see, Isom just happens to work for East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Service. On November 26, 2019, East Tennessee Life aired a segment featuring Union County Opry. Isom, who has been a huge supporter, also recommended the Opry for the Be More award. Sponsored by Home Federal Bank, this award recognizes non-profit organizations that have made a positive impact in their community.
Opry organizers attended a breakfast last week honoring past recipients of the Be More award. Among them were organizations with programs for tutoring kids and helping the hearing impaired—a humbling crowd to be in for sure. The event announcer proclaimed that all people need a place to get away and clear their mind, and that is what the Opry provides.
East Tennessee Public Broadcasting Service is looking at also using Union County High School to film their show "Riders of the Silver Screen" and is helping to promote the Opry with segments on the upcoming shows. Local ABC television broadcaster WATE also supports the Opry by promoting upcoming events.
The idea of an Opry was sparked in October of 2018. County commissioners Danny Cooke, Sidney Jessee, Jr. and Debra Keck attended a 5-year planning meeting at Big Ridge to plan goals for the state park. One goal discussed was to have an amphitheater to be able to host concerts and maybe pick up the fall festival that the Museum of Appalachia no longer hosts.
Jessee proposed that an amphitheater would create an opportunity to create Union County Opry. Then Cooke thought, we don't have to wait for the amphitheater, we could start an Opry now! He didn't get any sleep that night as thoughts were flying through his head and he called Jessee and Keck the next morning who were on board to move forward. The Opry is organized as a 501(c)3 with Jessee serving as president, Cooke as vice-president, and Keck as the secretary/treasurer. They first reached out to the Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter, and Union County High School principal/administrator Carmen Murphy about using the High School. Then they got busy planning the entertainment. Knowing that the Lions Club hosts a fundraising gospel singing each March, they decided to plan a nine-month program April through December.
The first show in April 2019 was a tribute to our musical heritage in which 15 local bands participated. Cooke said they had issues with the sound system, and with getting one band off of the stage and the next band on and all the equipment changes it turned into a five-hour show! It seemed like a total disaster. Yet, people came the next month and supported the Moron Brothers, who had the crowd laughing for a solid two hours!
One audience member shared with the merchandisers that she hadn't laughed in two years, and was so thankful for the two hours filled with joy that she hugged and thanked the band representatives. Doyle Lawson was the next performer, and his show was well attended. The following show was Balsam Range and their sound technician spent a significant amount of time with the Opry team going over the sound system and helping them to form a plan to build their equipment.
Cooke stated that they have bought a piece of equipment with each show, and now the entertainers might choose to use their microphones, but no other equipment has to be changed out between acts. Cooke attributes the Opry's survival of that first season to the Moron Bros and Doyle Lawson pulling them up from that first show. By November, Mark Bills, the Opry band's drummer, had figured out the lighting and Delana Hutchinson now runs the lights using color and even synchronizing the lights to the beat of the music, really putting on a show comparable to what you see in Knoxville. The Balsam Range sound technician even laughingly stated: "You can have the band sounding like a CD, but the lighting guy will get all the credit for a great show!"
Of course ticket sales are the primary source of revenue to pay the performers. However, the Opry is occasionally awarded grants, such as the $5,000 grant they received from the Tennessee Arts Commission. The show from last Christmas was sponsored by the county. There was a wonderful turnout and a huge amount of toys were donated in place of ticket sales to benefit low-income children in our community.
Opry organizers received an email from a Knoxville lawyer on Monday after the Balsam Range show, which just happened to be the same weekend as Garth Brooks. This lawyer had brought five guests with him up to the Opry, very much enjoyed the show, purchased some merchandise afterward, and went to Li'l Joes. He shared that he spent over $700 that weekend and that he would be back, praising them for the "natural fit" of tapping into our musical heritage to create this event in Union County.
Now that the inaugural 2019 season is behind us, and the 2020 acts are booked, Cooke expects to see bigger names and a little more variety in genres in 2021. The long-term goal is to get enough participation to warrant an event center. It is wonderful for the school to allow the use of their facilities, but the acts cannot rehearse ahead of time, and everything has to be set up and taken down on the same day, which makes for a very long day for Opry volunteers.
That's another amazing detail—many people work hard every month to make this possible for our community, but none of them receive any compensation. The Opry has a Facebook page, which is its primary method of spreading the word about upcoming events. Tickets can be purchased online, a transaction that captures attendees’ addresses and gives Opry organizers hard data regarding where audience members are from.
In the 2019 season, 50 percent were from out of town. One was from another country; others came from 11 different states and 45 regions of Tennessee outside of Union County. Cooke feels this entertainment is "just adding another piece to the puzzle" to the services offered to our citizens.
Cooke thinks the next step might be to provide more accommodations when people are visiting, suggesting that a 15-20 room motel could work for meeting these occasional needs.
The Opry now has a house band that consists of:
Craig Allen – lead singer
Mark Bills – drummer
Allen Capps – fiddle player
Jessica Cooke – vocals/fiddle
Danny Hutchins – keyboard
Melinda Jessee – vocals
Sidney Jessee, Jr. – banjo/guitar
Johnny Railey – bass player
Rusty Rutherford – lead guitar
Cooke says they consider themselves a country band, but can play whatever you want and they do get a bit "rocky" sometimes. He also wants to recognize Deerenda Cooke, who makes the flyers, prints and cuts the tickets, keeps up with the seating chart, decorates, runs backstage, and generally serves as the glue that holds it all together and makes it work.
I have the Opry schedule posted on my refrigerator and plan on catching some of these shows, and I hope you do, too.
The next show of the Union County Opry is Mayberry Comes to Maynardville, Rodney Dillard of the Darlings, April 4, 2020, at 7 p.m. For tickets call 865-992-8388 or visit

Coming Events: Mayberry Comes to Maynardville, Rodney Dillard of the Darlings, April 4th, 2020 at 7p.m. For tickets call 865-992-8388 or visit



Union County Opry returns

One of Union County’s sons, Jerry Cole, third from left, plays bass guitar with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

After a pandemic hiatus, the Union County Opry will return to it’s monthly show schedule at the Union County High auditorium. The first show was held May 1 and featured the Union County Opry Band.
Next month’s show will see Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver return to the UCO stage.

Preliminary school budget balanced with no tax increase

Director Jimmy Carter offered the Union County Board of Education a balanced budget with no tax increase at the regular April meeting.
The budget meets Governor Lee’s request of a $40,000 beginning salary for teachers and building the current salary bonus into the overall certified employee pay scale.

Electronic county meetings to end for May

Garnet Southerland, Director of Union County Health Department Discusses vaccinations

In announcements during the regular Union County Commission Meeting in April, Mayor Jason Bailey reminded commissioners that the order allowing for the holding of county meetings by electronic devices expires April 30.

Rabies Clinic May 7, Thunder Road Vet Services at the ready

You may have heard that due to the pandemic, the TN Health Department has canceled its annual rabies clinics this year.
Thunder Road Veterinary Services office manager Heather Patterson is happy to share that they are hosting low-cost rabies and other crucial vaccinations for your pets Wednesday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rabies shots are only $5, and other vaccines are available at discounted rates.
The groomer, Mitzi, will do quick nail trims, or you may schedule grooming services by calling the office.

Preliminary FY 22 General Fund Budget comes up short

Union County Sheriff Billy Breeding Addresses Budget and Finance Committee

Mayor Jason Bailey presented the FY 22 County Budget for all departments to the Budget & Finance Committee of Union County Commission on April 20.
The current proposal is out of balance by some $331,000.

Working at home a pain in your neck? Try these posture and Ergonomic tips Part IV

Create a DIY sit/stand station. The popularity of standing desks has increased significantly over the past several years. You can create your own standing desk at home by simply working at a raised kitchen counter, for example, but be sure that the height of the counter does not cause you to bend your elbows too much. You should be able to comfortably reach your keyboard with elbows bent at about a 90-degree angle.

Boys will be boys

Dan was always the sergeant, fully in command with the rest of us boys his privates. This summer day we were fighting the Japanese on some Pacific Island.
We crawled, jumped over oak tree stumps, eased through briars and bushes on the Perry farm overlooking Norris Lake in 1954. We knew that our Sergeant Dan was about to have us attack the Japs, win another victory and march home later that day being patriotic soldiers in this boys’ army.

What’s wrong with Jesus?

Perhaps I should have entitled this article “What’s Wrong with Christianity?”
The answer to both questions are not synonymous, but they are related.
Plus questioning what is wrong with Christianity is too subjective, as evidenced by the various Christian denominations found throughout the world. Denominations, including religious sects, are greatly influenced by personal feelings or opinions.


The red-tail: King of the hawks

Photo by Harold Jerrell

Photo by Harold Jerrell

While several hawk species spend time in East Tennessee, the red-tailed hawk stays around all year and is the most common one seen.
They prefer to hang out in open fields near woodland edges. Seeing a red tail gliding across the sky and hearing their high-pitched cry gives one a pleasing dose of wildness.
The red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) has a body around two feet long with wide wings that span around 4 four feet, making it the largest hawk we have. The female is a third larger than the male.


Big Ridge Bluegrass Festival to continue tradition

The bluegrass style of music was born out of rural Appalachia. Folks around the hills and hollers would gather and have fellowship bringing with them their stringed instruments.
These traditions are still carried on in these parts today. Many of these bluegrass pickers went on to influence country music like Roy Acuff from Maynardville. Roy was a fiddle player and singer that became one of the founders of the Grand Ole Opry.

11-Year-old Alex Booth wins tourney

Alex Booth and his dad Dave Booth.

When Alex Booth developed a passion for fishing at the ripe old age of seven, he didn’t have to twist his Dad’s arm very hard. Before Alex was born, Dad was fairly heavy into tournament bass fishing, but wanting to spend more time with Alex, he sold his Bassboat. Likewise when Alex turned ten and wanted to tournament fish it wasn’t hard to convince Dad to buy a new boat. Nearly every Saturday in any weather for the next year or so, you could find Alex and Dad learning more about bass fishing.

Union County High School Blooms

Horace Maynard FFA students Dylan Hall & Caden Walker

If you were hoping to get to the Union County High School in time for purchasing flowers and garden plants, you may have started a bit late. Horace Maynard FFA secretary Josh Brantley says 2021 has been a fantastic selling season.

Southern Spirit performs ‘Old Stuff’ at museum

Two men singingcountry music in a museum

Southern Spirit sings Old Stuff, their latest album to entertain Union County Historical Society

Southern Spirit performed selections from Old Stuff, their latest album and the name of the signature song, for the Union County Historical Society at the Union County Museum in April.
Shandy Glover and Chris Hooper of Sharps Chapel roots combined their talents in songwriting, arranging and guitar picking to bring authentic country music to the audience.
Glover, lead guitarist and lead singer, debuted the Martin, a 54-year-old guitar gifted to him by Hooper a few years back.

Softball turns into knee ball

While crazy, odd things do happen to me, some of them are quite incredible and beneficial.
For instance, I had an amazing thing happen during a softball game when I was twelve years old. I was playing second base and there was a runner on first. The batter hit the ball to the outfield.

“Oh, the snakes crawl at night, that’s what they say”

Who would ever have thought that “catgut” comes not from cats, but from the natural fiber found in the walls of sheep or goat intestines, and sometimes from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys! Additional research will inform that catgut is used to make strings for musical instruments.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that her sign under the Chinese zodiac, according to the date of her birth, was the dragon. It listed her most negative quality as that of being “stubbornly independent”. She questioned whether this was a negative quality.

Pork Sausage Patties

I like pork sausage as you can tell by the number of recipes I have that include it. Just making patties and frying them can make a rock-like nugget if you get them too brown.
This recipe is nice and tender. The extra time it takes to mix it up is worth it. I like to get my hands in there to do that. I understand that not everyone is inclined. Mix them any way you want. They will be delicious.

Jim Clayton – a legacy of success!

Jim Clayton - “First a Dream”

I would like to share a few experiences of the full and rich life of one of our most highly accomplished local residents, Jim Clayton. He is returning to his first love, music, and will join the Union County Opry Band for a live performance this Saturday. Clayton’s uncle gave him his first guitar on his sixth birthday, and he was in love! As he grew older, he idolized Eddie Arnold and wished to be like him; but God had better plans.

Planting By Nature

Photo By Steve Roark

By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Our forefathers paid a lot more attention to natural events than we do now. They had no radio, TV, or newspaper to provide weather trends, so they looked to nature to tell them when to plant beans or when to strip hickory bark for chair bottoms. They didn’t know it but they were practicing phenology: the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate, plant, and animal life.


Working at home a pain in your neck? Try these posture And ergonomic tips Part III

Chiropractors are accustomed to making recommendations for their patient’s traditional workspaces, but they also understand that in times of unexpected change you must find ways to adapt quickly. Many of the workers forced to go remote are still working on laptops, according to the experts. Here are their top three suggestions for making a home workstation work with your laptop:

Pick a spot. If you do not have a regular desk at home, working at a kitchen table is generally much better than sitting on a couch with your laptop on your lap.

How'd That Happen?

Most people in the room gasped. Some even laughed. As for me, I felt sorry for the guy.

I was around ten years old as I sit in the crowded doctor’s office with my mom. In walks this young man with a red gash on the end of his nose. Of course, those sitting around him asked what happened. With a red face, he told about jerking back on his fishing rod, which caused the now bait-less hook to hurtle toward him. Before he realized what was happening, it had dug into the end of his nose. Since the hook was a little rusty and had dried worm guts on it, he needed to get a Tetanus shot.


Say What?

Things are not always what they seem, and names for items do not always give much insight into the actual origin or use of those items. Take hats, for example. Panama hats are actually made in Ecuador.

Captain Kangaroo? Nope

Kangaroos are not native to Union county, Tennessee. It is usually too big of a hop from Australia to this neck of the woods. I have never seen a live one. The zoos of my childhood didn't stray much from the lion, tiger and monkey varieties. No Kangaroos.

Chicken and Stuffing

Here is another chicken breast recipe. There are so many things you can do with chicken. If you have a can of chicken breast on the shelf or chicken parts in the freezer, you have supper under control. This recipe can be easily cut in half. It is a quickie, done in 35 minutes. Good, too.

A Ministry Making a Difference

Young Life leaders Hope Spivey, MaryAlice Baldwin, Katie Collins, and Jordyn Martin.

Young Life is a Christian ministry that reaches out to middle school, high school, and college students in the United States and in countries around the world. Locally, Young Life ministers to students at Union County High School, Claiborne High School, and on campus at LMU.
Katies Collins is the Area Director serving Union and Claiborne County.

Working at home a pain in your neck? Try these posture and ergonomic tips Part II

More work-at-home suggestions to reduce stress on the body:

Use a keyboard tray and pull it out over your lap. If you use a laptop, use it as a screen only, placing it at eye level with a stand or a stack of books. Get a remote keyboard to use with your laptop computer. To avoid neck pain, keep your screen at eye level whether you use a laptop or monitor. Put books underneath your monitor to raise it or use a stand, if necessary.

One at a Time

As a little girl, I didn’t think much about how I ate. That is, until Papaw Janeway had supper with us one day.
Papaw Janeway was Mamaw Jo’s father. So, when he came over, she and Mamaw Girdle/Myrtle cooked their usual southern feast: pinto beans, fried okra, rolls, creamed corn, mashed potatoes, peas, rolls, cornbread, and, of course, fried chicken.

Just Froggy!

Ask a stupid question and you get a stupid answer, or so the old saying goes. It would seem logical that the Hundred Years’ War lasted 100 years, but actually it lasted 116 years. All of us are not Vulcans, and logic doesn’t always work, Mr. Spock.
A question with a less obvious answer might be: What kind of horse did Joe Cartwright ride on Bonanza? The correct answer: a pinto!

Roadside Forests

It’s a given that in our mountainous terrain you’re going to see trees while driving down the road. Most of them are growing in natural forests with good soil that supports a wide variety of species. But some trees you see especially close to the roadside are not growing in natural conditions, but on road cuts. These are places where soil and rock were removed to make way for the highway and are plentiful in hilly terrain. Conditions at these sites are harsh for growing things, and yet certain tree species and plants are able to make a go of it.


Sweet potato and banana casserole

This recipe is simple. It's mostly just sweet potatoes and bananas. You do have to cook the sweet potatoes first. That's okay. That gives you time to find your deep 2 quart casserole dish and assemble the remaining ingredients. Canned orange juice is okay, too. There's not much to the recipe, just takes a few minutes to prepare.

My log cabin doll house

In the early years of our stay here, near Hickory Star Marina, money was in short supply. We were restoring the buildings on the property with only my husband's Social Security check and his two small pensions. I would later find work baby-sitting Melissa Carter's daughter, Ashley, then doing restaurant cooking, being a security guard at commercial locations and finally as a home health care worker. But it was tough going at first.

Union County Opry is back in 2021!

Last year on March 1st I was so happy to share the exciting news of the Union County Opry with our readers! I concluded the article with the news that I had a copy of their schedule on my refrigerator and was looking forward to catching some of their shows, inviting you to join me. Then the Coronavirus hit. Our world seemed to stop spinning as the pandemic raged on. I confess that it was an unreasonably long time before I could bear to remove that show lineup, well into the Fall, long after any hope was gone.

Support Victims, Build Trust, Engage Communities 2021 National Crime Victims’ Rights Week

The last year has been challenging, to say the least, as we have collectively coped with COVID-19 and the fear, dread and the significant losses associated with it—loss of family members and friends, loss of visitation and time with loved ones, loss of the routine of attending school or reporting to a workplace, loss of the ability to gather for worship or play or leisure, and for some the loss of livelihoods. Imagine if on top of these grievous losses you also suffered as the victim of a crime!

Outstanding Students at LES

The following Luttrell Elementary School students achieved the honor roll.

A Honor Roll
1st Grade: Blake Hall, Jaxon Hall, Colton Surrett, Liam Bussell, McKynna Huling, Adrianna Leonard, and Keaton Mathis
2nd Grade: Ava Chamberlain, Ava Hoskins, Meyah Meza, Kinsley Ownes, Davey Reed, Marlee Weaver, Bree Williams, Presley Wyrick, Landon Whiteaker, Briley Cantrell, Jake Beeler, Olivia Harris, Cheyenne Heath, Jace Naglitch, and Emmie Jo Nirmaier

HMMS sports update

Ty Edds hits 1 of 2 HomeRuns in conference win over rival Clinton

The Red Devils hosted Clinton and blasted four home runs against them. Ty Edds found his swing and led the way with two home runs. Tucker Flannigan and Brandon Reed also joined the festivities, both going deep. Flannigan, Harlen Hunley, Edds and Reed all had multiple hits. Reed and Flannigan led the Devils with 3 hits out of 3 at bats each. Ty Edds started on the rubber for the Red Devils throwing four innings and gave up zero hits and zero earned runs. The Red Devils' win over Clinton secured 1st place in the conference with a record of 8-0 in the conference and 9-2 overall. The Red Devils play Rutledge Friday, 16th at 5:00 for their 8th grade night.

Working at home a pain in your neck? Try these posture and ergonomic tips Part I

With so many people still working from home these days to maintain social distancing from their colleagues, many are developing musculoskeletal pain. Improving posture and ergonomics is a proactive way to take care of your body while working remotely.

To reduce stress on the body, follow these work-at-home suggestions:

Tractor Shower

I grew up as a valley girl. An East Tennessee valley girl, which is the best kind.
By now, most of you probably know I was raised on my maternal Papaw’s farm. It’s located in a valley with ridgelines that run along the southern and western sides with Bull Run Creek flowing through it. On the other sides, the ridgelines are a little further away. It makes for quite the view. And it made for quite the excitement at times, especially with the weather.

Always in Jeopardy

Let me begin this article with a bit of trivia—This man was the original host of Jeopardy before Alex Trebek. (Answer: Who was Art Fleming?) Correct.
One of my earliest memories of watching television was watching Art Fleming host the original Jeopardy. If you search Google, you can find more information on Art Fleming, and you can watch clips of the original Jeopardy game show on YouTube. I just finished watching one. It is interesting to see how the show functioned so well in the 1960s and 1970s without a lot of the modern effects that the show presently has.

Speaking Mountain

If you read my stuff much, you know that I am unabashedly proud to be mountain bred. I love our southern Appalachians mountains. The terrain, the climate, the plants and animals, the culture and history, all blend together to form a unique place to live.


Commission approves money to help expand Maynardville water and sewer

Mike Chesney, Maynardville City Manager discusses water and sewer grants

At the March meeting, Union County Commission unanimously approved a budget amendment to allow the county to pay $45,000 toward the match for two Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grants.

School Board to use COVID-19 money to fund summer school with transportation

Dr. Carter discusses summer school plans

The impact of COVID-19 on learning, especially in elementary reading and math, continues to be a concern for Union County as well as our state and nation. To mitigate some of the pandemic's impact on learning, Dr. Jimmy Carter announced at the March Union County Board of Education meeting that summer school will be from June 1 through June 25 with a maximum class size of eighth students per teacher.

UC Health Dept. vaccine clinic moves to Alder Springs Church

Beginning Thursday, April 8, the Union County Health Department is moving its vaccine clinic to Alder Springs Church at 708 Hickory Star Road across from the Union County Humane Society.
Vaccines will still be administered by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Extended appointments are available only on Tuesday. To make an appointment, call 866-442-5301 or 865-549-5343 or to book an appointment online, go to

Farmers celebrated by local ag partners

Union County farmers (left to right) Cody Haynes, Extension Agent Shannon DeWitt, Ethan Mike, Jordan Campbell, and Ernest Nicley

Local agriculture partners collaborated and hosted the annual National Ag Day Farmer Appreciation Breakfast on March 23. Farmers and producers from across Union County were invited to celebrate their hard work and dedication in honor of the nationally recognized day.
The farmers received a complimentary breakfast and a bag full of promotional items in recognition of their efforts throughout the year to preserve our county's farmlands and rich agricultural history.

Earn a Master Beef Producer certificate from your comfy couch

Jeremy Thomas, Union County beef producer and graduate of the Fall 2020 online class

The Master Beef Producer program is an extensive educational program developed to provide information to assist you and other Tennessee cow-calf producers in improving the profitability of your cow-calf operations. The classes provide opportunities to gain knowledge in current beef cattle management practices that are important to the profitability and sustainability of the industry.

UCBPA hosts 27th Scholarship Golf Classic on June 19

The 2021 Union County Business and Professional Association Golf Classic will be played at the beautiful Three Ridges Golf Course, 6101 Wise Springs Road, in Knoxville on June 19. Tee time is 1 p.m. with a barbeque lunch by Li'l Jo's included in the entry fee. Golfers will receive goody bags, door prizes, as well as compete for Closest to the Pin and Longest Drive.



Linda L. (Adams) Williams

Linda L. Williams-age 63 of Powder Springs went to her Heavenly home Tuesday evening, May 4, 2021 after her long battle with cancer. She was a member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly. Preceded in death by parents, Charles Jr and Jessie (Railey) Adams; brothers, Larry and Gary Adams.

Helen Mona Boles

Helen Mona Boles-age 86 of Maynardville went to be with the Lord Wednesday, May 5, 2021 at Willow Ridge Center. She was a member of Hubbs Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Milford and Sallie (Beeler) Boles; brothers, Walt, William “Bus”, Troy, Edgar and Ora Lee Boles; sisters, Evelyn Boles, Elsie Whitson, Bonita Hensley and Emma Lee Boles.

Heather Jane Collins

Heather Jane Collins-age 45 of Blaine went to be with the Lord, Friday, April 30, 2021. She was of the Pentecostal faith. She was a former manager of Dollar General Store, Asheville Highway, Strawberry Plains. Preceded in death by father, Idell Mason; mother, Ruby Jewell DeBusk.

Sharon Collins

Sharon (Dozler) Collins – 75 of Maynardville, passed away Saturday, May 1, 2021 peacefully at her home with her beloved dogs, Little Bit and Foxy by her side. She was a schoolteacher retired from Union County Public School Systems. Sharon was a Vietnam War veteran, member of the Tri County Honor Guard and American Legion. She was a member of Alder Springs Baptist Church.

Shirley Kidwell

Shirley Thresa Kidwell – age 61 passed away peacefully at home with family by her side after a brave battle with cancer on May 1, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. She was born on April 1, 1960 to Roger and Elsie Daniels. Shirley was an employee of Levi Strauss Company for 25 years. She was always caring about others and was a strong loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, mamaw, aunt and granny. Shirley was a friend to so many.

Eva Lee Wilder

Eva Lee Wilder-age 86 of Sharps Chapel passed away Sunday, May 2, 2021 at her home. She was born December 24, 1934 in Balkan, Kentucky. Eva was a born again Christian and of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by husband, Jim Wilder; half-brother, Carl Goin; sisters and brothers, Clifford Bowen, Heiskell Bowen, Roy Bowen, Edith Taylor, Marie Atkins, Mildred Nelson, Bobby Bowen, Johnny Bowen, Ralph Bowen and Georgia Bowen.

Bill Kitts

Bill Kitts-age 76 of Maynardville passed away Saturday, May 1, 2021 at North Knoxville Medical Center. Private interment Monday at the Haynes Cemetery, Maynardville. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Jerry Wolfenbarger

Jerry Wolfenbarger – age 66 of Heiskell, passed away April 29, 2021 at his home.

He is preceded in death by his wife, Donna Wolfenbarger; and parents, Horace and Margaret Wolfenbarger. Jerry is survived by his girlfriend, Sally Hennessy; granddaughter, Kinslee Jennings, his pride and joy and brother, Harvey (Sandra) Wolfenbarger.

Larry J. Hunter

Larry J. Hunter-age 67 of Luttrell went to be with the Lord Thursday, April 22, 2021 at U. T. Medical Center. He was a member of Mountain View Church of God of the Union Assembly, Luttrell. Larry was a retired employee of Rogers Group Construction. Preceded in death by parents, Ralph and Minnie Hunter; son, Larry Charles (Chuck) Hunter.

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