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



Kennedy Hill excels

Union County native Kennedy Hill is not your average high school graduate.
She is one of the valedictorians for the Union County High School Class of 2020, she served as the Beta Club vice president and Horace Maynard FFA Chapter president, and has acquired approximately 400 service hours with 4-H over the past four years.
Hill ran for homecoming queen for FFA this past fall raising over $14,000 for her FFA chapter and is currently a state finalist for the Swine Production Proficiency award through FFA (to be announced on June 2).

The Normandy Invasion

This graphic tells the story of how the French beachhead was supplied on D-Day June 6, 1944-- Army photo 190631

The Atlantic Wall was originally imagined by Adolph Hitler. In December 1941, Hitler conceived a broad band of steel, guns and troops on a defensive line running 2,400 miles from Holland to Spain along the coast with 15,000 strong points manned by 300,000 troops.

Carl Smith - From Union County to Mr. Country - Part 3

Country Connections By James and Ellen Perry
Carl Smith’s talent and good looks took his career in country music into a four-year, 190-episode TV show called “Carl Smith’s Country Music Hall” for Canadian Television, and was also syndicated in the USA. The show ran from 1964 until 1969.
Carl’s television show was appreciated by men and women of all ages. Ladies especially liked Carl because he was tall and handsome with wavy black hair and blue eyes. Carl was very courteous and had easy going mannerisms and a smooth voice. Carl had it all, as Mrs. Ruth White said.

June Dairy Month - It's More than Milk

Union County 4-H Dairy Month Ambassador Joannah Kadron

It’s June, folks!
Which means it is Dairy Month, a time where we celebrate dairy and the nutritious value of its products. Did you know: June dairy month started out as a way to distribute extra milk during the hot summer months, but in 1939 June became the official “dairy month.”

The Mark of the Beast

Revelation 13:16-18
16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six. (KJV)


Bug Bash

I squealed. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but I did it.
What in the world happened?
The night before, I washed a load of towels. Since it was late and I was tired, I decided to put them up the next day. The next morning, I politely skipped into the laundry room. When I bent down and picked up the clothes basket, I saw movement inside of it. Lots of movement.

Clouds, the weight of elephants over your head

By: Steve Roark
Volunteer Interpreter: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
With all the rainfall we’ve had, clouds have been pretty common of late. And when you look up at fluffy clouds suspended in the sky, you naturally think they do not weigh much since they are literally floating on air. But taken as a whole, there is a surprising amount of weight hanging up there.

Human Raccoons

I read a post on Facebook a few days ago that brought me a moment’s pause. Someone wrote that s/he never imagined ever entering a bank wearing a mask and asking for money.
Have you ever thought that if someone had predicted your future and told you certain things that you would have imagined yourself to be in a completely different place and circumstance than you presently find yourself?

Hamburger Stew

Have you ever made hamburger stew? It's easy and cheap to make. Use ground chuck. The last thing you want is having to deal with the beef fat that is tallow. Use whatever vegetables you have, if you don't have the frozen mixed vegetables. That is what I do. The other veggies you always have on hand. Serve it over rice to extend the number of servings you get. It's called creative cooking 101.

Remembering our brand new 1936 Ford

A 1936 Ford. This would be the only new car my Dad ever bought. Back in the day, you paid cash for almost everything, and that included a new automobile.
You could buy furniture on a revolving credit plan, but I am not sure about buying a car. Anyway, Dad bought a 1936 Ford, two-door, with six cylinders and painted a nice shiny black. That is what I remember about it. The picture shows Dad sitting on a front fender, a classic pose of days gone by.

Union County Health Department Press Release

The Union County Health Department will be distributing cloth masks Wednesday, May 27th, from 11:00 a.m. –1:00 p.m. in front of Luttrell Elementary School. Individuals can pick up the number needed for their household. These masks should not be used on any child under two years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who could not remove the mask without assistance. These are not medical masks and they should not be used for medical or commercial use.

Food Preservation: Freezing

As we plan for fall and summer, we are faced with uncertainty. While food systems are secure and safe due to USDA oversight, there can be food shortages of some products at times. Food preservation is a great way to ensure access to food, decrease food waste, decrease trips to grocery stores, and save money. However, it must be done safely.

“Masks on” at Cutting Crew

Cutting Crew employees Cindy Sherwood, Nikki Hall (McNutt’s daughter), Amber Greene, Kelly Henry and Andrea Chesney prepare to reopen the salon after almost a two month closure due to Covid-19.

Randi McNutt, the owner of Cutting Crew Family Haircare, was shut down the last week of March due to Covid-19.
As of May 11, the shop is reopened, but things are a far cry from normal.
“We are wearing masks and our customers are too,” said McNutt.
Cutting Crew employs five staff members in the Maynardville shop and also has a salon in Blaine. McNutt says even with extended salon hours they are booked a week out.

Oh my aching back: do yoga, tai chi or qigong help?

It’s a pain. About 80 percent of adults in the United States will experience lower back pain at some point. Treating back pain typically involves medication, including opioids, surgery, therapy and self-care options. Efforts to reduce opioid use and increase physically based therapies to reduce pain and increase physical function and safety are crucial.

Buttercups Are Creating Yellow Landscapes

Driving down the road you may enjoy seeing pasture and hay fields full of lovely yellow flowers, which are buttercups. While I agree they create an attractive scene, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing in that they are toxic if eaten by livestock and compete with the grass for nutrients, sun and other resources.

In the Hay

A few weeks ago I left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school— Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum.
“It’s hotter’n seven hells in this blamed hayloft,” Jay Harvey said.
“That sun’s a beatin’ on that tin roof. I bet it’s a lot cooler down on the barn’s dirt floor,” Clark said.
“Yeah, and a sight more like to be caught hiding out down there, too,” Hen said. “How long we gonna stay up here, Jay Harvey?”

Finding Elvis

Have you ever taken a day trip that gave you quite the unexpected surprise? We did years ago. Most people probably wouldn’t have appreciated our experience the way I did, but I have a quirky way of enjoying things.

Our trip started out innocently enough. We were traveling to Tim’s family reunion in Churchill, which is located in the northeast corner of the state. Some of the roads had been reworked since our last visit, so we were following another relative.

Color Guard

Recently my niece sent me a picture of her youngest daughter on Instagram. Brittany was dressed in a sparkly maroon uniform with an equally sparkly maroon flag in her hand. She was a bit disappointed that this year had been abbreviated by the Covid 19 because she loved being in color guard and performing all those intricate routines.

Funding approved for Hwy 33 construction

State Rep. Dennis Powers

State Rep. Dennis Powers, R-Jacksboro, and State Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, today announced the funding has been approved for the final phase of construction of State Route 33 connecting Union and Knox counties.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation has completed the right-of-way phase of the development for State Route 33 (Maynardville Highway). This 5.2 mile project will adjoin the portion of State Route 33 in Union County to the Knox County line and State Route 144. The proposed project includes widening the highway from two lanes to five.

A Little Bit of Normal

The New You salon owner Vickie Burkhart gives a shampoo to client Rhonda Collins.

Vickie Burkhart has owned her business for 32 years. It was a hard hit when she had to close her salon, The New You, on March 27 due to a government order to help control the spread of Covid-19. But things are slowly returning to normal since Burkhart and her co-stylist Terry Shumate re-opened the salon May 6.

CDC Recommends Wearing Masks in Public

Recently, the CDC recommended wearing masks in public. Many people have regained confidence to enter super markets and other stores as result of wearing masks and gloves. However, gloves and masks, though important, should not be solely relied upon for protection. Homemade masks are not as effective as other masks like a type called N95s, and they are not always put on and taken off correctly. When wearing your mask, make sure it completely covers your mouth and nose. Make sure that you are still social distancing and only going out when necessary, even with a mask.

The Bomber Plant

It was the winter of 1941-1942 and the war was just beginning. Dad found a job in Akron, Ohio, at a tire making plant. They would be making butyl rubber. The Japanese controlled all the real rubber coming out of the East Indies in the Orient. A substitute had to be found. Dad brought us a sample of the synthetic rubber when he came home for a weekend. It looked like rubber. It felt like rubber. It would be the only kind available until the war was over.

What Scares You?

Two weeks ago I left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school— Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum. Three youngsters alone in a barn can be a scary situation for those not in the barn, I’m sure. I promise to join them in their misadventures once again soon, but inspiration has taken me on another path for this week.

Growing Girdle

This is not about people outgrowing their clothes or undergarments. This is about my Mamaw Girdle/Myrtle. She and my daughter Sara share a trait I don’t have: a green thumb.

Mamaw Girdle/Myrtle could grow any flower or plant. If she planted it, it grew. As far back as I can remember, she had flowers growing next to the carport. I think they were azaleas. They were lush and in many colors. She also had a flower garden out in the front yard. That’s the one where I always loved to dig up bugs and other icky stuff. She didn’t mind as long as I didn’t dig up one of her flowers.


Buttermilk Pie

Back in the day, a country housewife had a supply of buttermilk. After all, she churned her own butter. Now, we pick up a carton at Food City, not realizing how it used to be. Buttermilk Pie was good then and it still is. Use a refrigerated pie crust you have on hand or make your own. If you don't have buttermilk in the fridge, shame on you!

Drive in for Kindergarteners

The 2020-21 Union County Schools Kindergarten Round-up will look a bit different this season with a drive-in style registration. Union County Public Schools K-12 Curriculum Supervisor Dr. Lauren Effler hopes to make the process as easy as possible for parents.

Kindergarten Round-up will be held Thursday, May 28 from 4-6:30pm at each elementary school. See photo for more details and a list of items parents need to bring for the registration.

Ready to Ditch the Gray?

Holloway and her new canine friend Miss Alaska relax in front of the TV during quarantine.

When was the last time you had a haircut, color, perm, manicure, etc.? People have started saying we’re all in the same boat. Maybe we’re all in the same state of grayness.

By the time this article is published, Janet Holloway will have reopened her salon, bringing into play a whole new set of challenges to running a business.

Like many companies in Union County and beyond, Janet’s Hair Salon closed its doors March 27th thanks to the state’s mandatory shut down due to Covid-19.

When Hand Washing First Became a Big Deal

Hand washing has certainly come to the forefront these days, and rightfully so. The experts say frequent and thorough hand washing is the most important thing you can do for defense against Covid-19. And it’s been an important health action for many decades, but this hasn’t always been the case. For thousands of years people were getting sick or dying from contamination spread by unclean hands, but no one knew anything about bacteria or viruses and such. The first glimmer that clean hands were a big deal occurred in 1847 in an unusual manner.

My Southern Momma

“You’re so nice,” my friend Susan told me.

I shook my head and laughed. “No, I just have a Southern momma.”

My Southern momma began my training as soon as I learned how to talk and was able to communicate with others. It’s an old family tradition. My momma received most of her training from Mamaw Girdle/Myrtle.

Unfortunately for my momma, I didn’t take to my training as well as she did hers. I don’t know who was more frustrated: me or my momma.


Appreciation to the Working Man

Last week’s submission left three fictitious youngsters in the hayloft of Uncle Ex Newman’s barn as they laid out of school—Clark Mosely, his older brother Hen, and their still older cousin Jay Harvey Tatum. We’ll join them in their misadventures once again soon, but inspiration has taken me on another path for this week.

The Tail of the Dragon

Have you ever done the Dragon? You haven't? Well, you are in for a treat, or a treatment; whatever. Let me tell you the story of my daughter Anne's sister-in-law, Jackie. She came down to visit last summer. She has a brother over on the North Carolina side of the Smokies. Jackie has never been near the Smokies before. She needed directions on how to get to her brother.

The Journey to Clingman's Dome

My husband and son on the way back down. Pictures by the author.

Back in the mid-nineties, I had hip replacement surgery. I didn’t want it, but the horse I fell from about twenty or so years earlier gave me no say in the matter. It was a strange journey. About 1989, I went to see an orthopedic doctor at Ft. Sanders when my back was hurting. He ordered an MRI after saying he was pretty sure he knew what was wrong. I wish he had just told me.

Pickled Eggs

This was one my dad's favorites. He liked it with a glass of beer. The bar he frequented always had a gallon jar on the counter behind the bar. I never made them for Dad. I didn't have the recipe. These are different than eggs brined in beet juice.

Dawson Epperson signs with Tennessee Wesleyan University

On March 13, 2020, Union County High student Dawson Epperson signed a basketball scholarship with Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, Tennessee (TWU). Dawson talked to several schools before making the decision to sign with TWU. TWU is a member of the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. Dawson is undecided of his major at this time.

BOE discusses 2021 budget and completes work virtually

Chairman David Coppock called the first virtual meeting of the Union County Board of Education to order on April 9, 2020, with all board members present.
Director of Schools Jimmy Carter relayed a message from UCEA President Carolyn Murr. She thanked the BOE for the care and thoughtfulness shown during the pandemic, especially the distribution of food to the students.

4-H Grows Youth and Service in Union County: “This is how I can help doctors and nurses stay safe.”

Union County 4-H-er Gracie Tindell uses her sewing skills to provide face masks for locals in need

By Alyshia Victoria
4-H is a youth development organization where students are taught life skills and decision-making to live better lives, meet goals and become community leaders. As we are all adapting to rapid change and impact in our community, 4-H students are truly stepping up to meet challenges because of what they have learned from the program.
Gracie Tindell, a sixth grade 4-H student who is a part of the Smoky Mountain 4-H Club here in Union County, is one of those students.

Tomatoes Part V: Nutrient management and fertilization

Blossom End Rot

In the final article for home tomato gardening, we will discuss fertilization, common challenges and harvest. The 2019 tomato season was my favorite because my daughter discovered the joy of planting, patiently growing, harvesting and consuming my favorite vegetable. The joy on her face when she picked and ate her first tomato filled my heart. I hope you will find the same satisfaction as the 2020 growing season approaches.
Nutrient management and fertilization

Credit score improved 150+ points in less than two years

We all know that credit scores are important—they demonstrate our creditworthiness to lenders and make a real difference in whether or not we can get a loan and how much interest we will have to pay.
But how much control do we have over our credit profiles?
The answer may surprise you.

Carl Smith - From Union County to Mr. Country - Part 2

Country Connections
By James and Ellen Perry
While talking with David Farmer, who partnered with Dr. Bob Wyrick and me on an international radio show called Country Connections, David told me Carl Smith was his inspiration to become a country entertainer and songwriter.
During 1946 and 1947 when David was four or five years old, he and his mother would walk two miles down a dirt road from their home in Powell Valley to Highway 63 and catch a Greyhound bus at 7 a.m. to the LaFollette, Tennessee, Greyhound bus station.

From Straight Branch Holler in 1905 to Plainview

H. W. (Tint) and Francy Beeler’s General Store opened at Straight Branch Holler in 1905

H. W. Beeler (Tint) and wife Francy (Clawson) opened Beeler Store and a canning business on property now under Norris Lake in the 13th district in Union County in 1905. Tints father, French Haggard (Hag), married Martha Stiner. They farmed and he operated a blacksmith shop on the opposite bank of the Powell River.


UCBPA Meeting

Saturday, June 27, 2020 - 13:00

UCBPA meets the second Tuesday of each month for approximately one hour. Membership is $25 annually. The meeting begins at noon at Hardee's in Maynardville. Anyone interested in making Union County a better place to live, work, worship, or play may attend.

26th UCBPA Scholarship Benefit Golf Classic
Saturday, June 27, 2020 at Three Ridges in Knoxville
Tee Time 1:00
Lunch provided
Prizes, goody bags, putting contest, free beverages
Major Sponsors: Food City and UCEA
Cost $300 per team
Entry Form attached


Isaac Carson Stout

Isaac Carson Stout-age 94 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday evening, May 26, 2020 at his home. He was a U. S. Army Veteran of World War II. Preceded in death by son, Garry Stout; parents, J. R. and Roma Hill Stout; brother, Vernon Stout.
Survivors: wife, Shirley Stout of Luttrell; son, Ricky Carson Stout of Oklahoma; daughter, Sheryl Stout of California. Four grandchildren. Brother, Harold Dean Stout of California. Several nieces, nephews and friends.

Dillon Zane Whitehead

Dillon Zane Whitehead-age 65 of Luttrell, born and raised in South Knoxville, the son of the late Claude and Bessie Whitehead passed away Sunday, May 24, 2020 at U. T. Medical Center. He was a U. S. Army Veteran and served four years mostly in Korea and Virginia where he met his wife of 43 years. He also worked in communications, construction and patient transportation until he retired. He loved fishing, hunting, the outdoors and all types of music. He was loved by many and a friend to all. Preceded in death by parents, step-father, his four siblings and a granddaughter.

Floyd Archer

Floyd Vasco Archer – age 65 of Maynardville, born January 6, 1955, passed away peacefully at home on May 24, 2020. He was of the Baptist faith. He retired from Knox County Parks and Recreation Maintenance with 20 years of service. Floyd was owner-operator of Floyd’s Small Engines in Maynardville for over 35 years with his wife by his side helping. He was an avid drag racing fan and owner, winning four championships at Knoxville Dragway, Cherokee Dragway and London Dragway, and an Ironman Trophy at Middle Tennessee Dragway. Racing was his passion.

Daniel Joseph Kitts

Daniel Joseph Kitts, age 35 of Maynardville, TN passed away Thursday, May 21st at UT Medical Center in Knoxville. Daniel fought a long and difficult battle but passed peacefully surrounded by his family. Daniel was a member of Grace Baptist Church of Halls.

Proceeded in death by his father Daniel L. Kitts, grandmother Ellen Kitts and uncle Tim Kitts.

Eldon Jones

Eldon Derrell Jones – passed away suddenly on May 18, 2020. He was born September 14, 1967 in Escondido, California. He lived most of his life in California until he moved to Maynardville in 2013. Eldon attended high school in California at Poway High School. He loved his family and enjoyed making people laugh. He always had a story to tell and caught people’s attention. When moving to Tennessee he enjoyed being with his scout family. He so enjoyed camping, games and making a difference in kids’ lives.

Billy Joe Norris, Sr.

Billy Joe (Bill) Norris, Sr.-age 77 of Knoxville passed away Wednesday evening, May 13, 2020. He was of the Baptist faith. Preceded in death by father, Earnest Norris; mother, Bonnie Lay Norris; brothers, Ray Norris and Gene Norris.
Survivors: son, Joe Norris and wife, Lori; daughter, Robin Williams; four grandchildren, Renea King, Joshua Norris, Elisha Grubb, Jessica Hayes; seven great-grandchildren, Ashton, Anthony, Hunter, Lily, Jaylin, Elijah and Grace.
There are no services planned. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Euretha Woods

Euretha Sue Woods – age 52 of Andersonville, passed away May 11, 2020. She was a member of Twinville Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by parents, Paul and Mary Lou Hatmaker; and brother, Quint Hatmaker. Euretha is survived by husband of 35 years, Chuck Woods; children, Sherri (Andy) Dixon, Jonathan (Carrie) Woods, Tonya (Robbie) Blackburn and Tylor Woods; grandchildren, Elaina and Madelyn Woods, and soon to be grandson, baby Dixon; and siblings, David Hatmaker, Timothy Hatmaker and Paula Long.

Penny Kay Cox

Penny Kay Cox – age 60 of Knoxville, passed away suddenly May 6, 2020.

She is preceded in death by parents, Bud and Angela Cox. Penny is survived by son, Tim Damewood; and daughter Brandy Akins; grandson, Ethan Akins; brother, Ricky Cox; nephew, Blake (Megan) Cox; niece, Brianna Roberts Mozingo; and two great nephews.

Ramey L. Daugherty

Ramey L. Daugherty-age 69 of Blaine, born May 30, 1950 in Harlan, Kentucky passed away Thursday morning, May 7, 2020 at his home. Preceded in death by son, Ramey Daugherty, Jr.; parents, Willard and Zora Daugherty; sister, Sandy Daugherty.

Geraldine Nicley Bailey

Geraldine Bailey-age 90 of Mascot, born September 16, 1929, passed away Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at her home. Preceded in death by husband, Raymond Bailey, parents, Vaughn and Ocie (Muncey) Nicley; brothers, Luther Paul Nicley, G. L. Nicley, Jimmy Nicley; one sister, Jean Nicley.

The opinions expressed by columnists and those providing comments are theirs alone, and may not reflect the opinions of Russell Computer Systems, Inc or any employee thereof.