Williams Reflects on a Life of Public Service

Union County Mayor Mike Williams

If you're feeling disillusioned with party-line politics, sometimes it's refreshing to look at the politicians right here at home, the people who talk to the folks they represent every day, the politicians who don't see themselves as answerable to a party, but to the people who voted them into office.

Whether you agree with him on all decisions or not, Union County Mayor Mike Williams is one of those hometown politicians. Born and raised in Union County, he went on to serve in the state legislature for 18 years and is in his second term as mayor.

"I see myself as a public servant more than in a political job," he said. "My responsibility is to do what's in the best interest of the public. Sometimes you have to put your political career in harm's way, but if you're doing what you should be doing, that's what you do."

Williams grew up on Maynardville Ridge. His grandmother Alice Cook ran the House Truck Stop restaurant where his mother was a waitress. When he was just a kid, he was already at work in the restaurant, bussing tables and delivering food. He attended Maynardville Elementary School and Horace Maynard High School. After high school, Williams worked with ETHRA in various positions including summer youth programs and job development.

He went to college in 1982, attending night school at the University of Tennessee with a major in education, then transferred to Lincoln Memorial University to finish his degree. He taught in Campbell County for a couple of years and half a year in Union County schools before he changed careers. It wasn't that he didn't like working with kids, he said.

"It just didn't fit very well," Williams said. "I just realized that I liked being able to get in and out of a space, needed a little bit of freedom."

From there, he worked in the Alumni Affairs office at LMU, doing fundraising and attending alumni events. He also worked as an announcer at LMU basketball games, traveling with the team and doing radio broadcasts with another announcer.

In the late 1980s, Williams decided to run for the state House of Representatives. He lost his first race but won his second and went on to serve as state Representative from 1990 to 1996 and as state Senator from 1996 to 2008.

The reason, he said, is simple.

"When I taught school, you'd always invite elected officials to come and talk to your classes, and generally speaking they only showed up during an election year, and I just thought that wasn't fair to the students. I remember voicing that to several people. They said, 'Why don't you run and do it differently?'" he said.

And during his time in Nashville, he said he's most proud that he stayed humble.

"I never got above my raising," Williams said. "I always felt like it was a huge responsibility to represent people and not just a party or certain people. I felt like you owed it to everyone to do what you could and take their needs to Nashville. I always took it as a big responsibility. We passed the Hope scholarship while I was in Nashville. I was there and supported it. I fought against a state income tax. It was a wonderful experience being there and a huge responsibility, but I never forgot where I came from."

But, it was that ethic that eventually got him in trouble with the Republican party and drove him to change his affiliation to Independent. According to Williams, he "bucked the system" by refusing to vote along the party line on a budget that would divide state surplus, not among all 95 counties, but among four or five metropolitan areas. He also was late to commit to a party-line vote for Speaker of the House.

"I had been told by a member of the Republican party that they were not going to allow me to run, they were going to throw me off the ballot," Williams said. "I didn't believe it, but I kept hearing it more and more. I think the public should decide who serves in the office, not people in Nashville. I thought the only way I could run was if I ran as an Independent. I just said, 'I work for the people back home.'

He lost the 2008 election and took two years off, working with TDOT as a project manager, and during that time he decided to run for mayor of Union County. He won and took office in 2010.

Just like with the decision to run for state legislature, Williams said he thought he could make positive changes in the county by serving as mayor.

"I just think we could do better than we're doing," he said. "I thought I could do it and make it closer to the way it should be."

Williams counts setting up central finance in Union County as one of his successes, and one of his biggest challenges.

"I think the biggest challenge was getting a grip on our local budget to make sure we were sound financially. The state had written up Union County many times over not having centralized finance," he said. "I met with the auditors within the first month of taking office and asked, 'What do we need to do to make this right?' Now, our county is well financially. We refinanced loans at a lower rate. We have a better credit rating. It was something that put us on a sound financial foundation. Before you can build something up, you'd better make sure you have a good foundation."

He also feels that folks outside Union County are seeing the county in a different light these days.

"When I go to meetings outside the county, they look at our county differently. They hear good things. We've had other counties come to our county to see how we changed our financial status. We have counties coming to us to see how we do business. I think that speaks very well, and I think our image is improving," he said.

While he's proud of improvements to Wilson Park and the addition of a memorial to veterans there, he said he's most disappointed that he's not gotten more done.

"We need more things for our young people," he said. "I think the people of this county deserve activities."

Anyone who has met Williams probably knows about his love of cars and specifically the late NASCAR racer Dale Earnhardt. Williams collects and works on cars as a hobby. In fact, he still has the 1975 Hornet he drove to his first session in the state legislature. And it still runs.

He has four vehicles painted in honor of Earnhardt, and they've become his signature vehicles.

"I always liked racing, and the reason is that you earn it or you don't. Your performance determines what you make," Williams said. "The first time I ever saw Dale Earnhardt race, he didn't even do well. He wrecked early in the race. He wrecked, and the thing that got me was that I watched this driver get out of his car and work on his own car. I became a fan the more I learned about him, how he never forgot about his family, never forgot where he came from, and he did so much work for people that nobody knew about. I thought, 'This is a really good guy."

"The reason that I have the cars is not what people think. It's to remind me that no matter how good things are or how bad things are, they can take a big swing. (Earnhardt) was top five at Daytona and got killed on the last lap. The Earnhardt legacy to me is no matter how bad things are, they could be worse, and no matter how good things are, don't get yourself up on a pedestal or you'll get knocked down."

Williams said he hasn't decided whether he'll run for another term as Union County's mayor or not. It depends on who might come next.

"You either lead, follow or get out of the way," he said. "I just believe that you ought to make a difference. I think you do the best you can for as long as you can, and maybe let somebody else take up the mantle and maybe do better."

"I just think I've been blessed that people have trusted me to be in public service for as long as I have, and I hope I've never taken that for granted. This is not my office. This is a place I rent for a period of time. It's been a good ride."



Union County Success: From UCHS to UT Commemorative Speaker

As Cadie Chapell approached the front of the room, she was unsure of how her speech would go. Little did she know it would be her first of many.
Chapell, at the time a small, petit, 4th grader talked to her class about a family sky trip never imagining that those small steps would one day lead to her speaking in front of her graduating class and guests at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.

Nourish Kids Kick-off

Join us this Saturday, May 28, as the Union County Farmers Market kicks off our Nourish Kids program. This will be the third season that the market has partnered with Nourish Knoxville to present this program. Through a grant, Nourish Knoxville has been able to assist markets like ours throughout East Tennessee, providing materials and Produce Bucks making this program possible.

Historic Walking Tours

Interested in historic homes? Historic downtown Maynardville? East Tennessee history? Have you ever done a double-take and wondered what is that old building, what stories can it tell? If so, join us for a walk through history.

Tree Planting Problems

Improper planting depth is one of the most common challenges impacting the growth and health of urban trees. Trees planted incorrectly are not only subjected to the physical stresses of improper placement, they’re also more susceptible to insect pests and fungal pathogens. These issues, combined with the already stressful urban environment, may lead to the untimely decline of trees that would otherwise prosper if planted correctly.

UTIA Appoints Gary Bates Head of Department of Plant Sciences

Interim Director Gets Nod to Continue Role Permanently

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has appointed Gary Bates, professor and interim head of the Department of Plant Sciences, as the department’s permanent leader.

Bates has served in the interim position since 2020.

The Famous Flying Trampoline

What came into your mind when you read the title? Did you think I was referring to some kind of circus performer like a trapeze artist? I can see why. They do some amazing stunts while flying through the air. Actually, I am talking about a trampoline that took a famous flight.

What a Sight!

Occasionally in life the stars align themselves, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes I can see the alignment, sometimes I cannot.
I remember several years meteor showers were predicted. I got out of bed around 2:00 a.m., the reported best time to see them at my location, to witness this wonder of nature. For whatever reason, I did not see the expected phenomenon.

Peanut butter and jelly bars

As i have said before, bar cookies are the easiest and quickest cookie to make. Who doesn't like peanut butter and jelly? These bar cookies are great

3 cups plain flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup grape jelly

Local Biodiversity

Biodiversity remains a big deal in ecology circles these days. The dictionary defines it simply as the variety of living things in a particular area or region. Opinions on the importance of biodiversity vary, but to me the loss of any plant or animal species means something’s wrong, and rightfully raises some concerns.


Union County Success Stories: From UCHS to LSU

Union County, a small part of Tennessee and an even smaller part of the United States. With a population of approximately 20,000 in 2019, we often wonder what is produced by the endeavors of our families, teachers, and leaders.
One story that I would like to begin to tell over the next few months, is the story of successes that have come from our small part of the world.

Walk the Market Returns

UT Extension Union County and the Union County Farmers Market are at it once again; partnering to create healthier, more active lifestyles. When you join us at the market each Saturday, just sign-in and pick-up your pedometer for the day, then walk the market and surrounding areas. When finished, exchange the pedometer for the market bucks you have earned! Thank Reliant Family Health for sponsoring this program and providing the market bucks and incentives.


One of my favorite songs as a child was, “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” I don’t know many times I have peered into the night sky and thought of that song. At times, I even sang it. So to me, the word “Twinkling,” meant something shiny and sparkly. That changed for me a few years ago in a dramatic way.


Once upon a time a weary Ronnie Mincey prepared himself for bed. His lovely bride had retired some time earlier. He turned on the television to assist his delve into the realms of rest. As he crawled under the covers beside his oblivious wife and wrapped himself “just so” in the sheets, he heard something fall to the floor.

Why We Love the Mountains

Mountains seem to be a universal attraction to people no matter where they come from. To those who were born and raised in them, they are especially endearing because they were the constant backdrop of our lives: their beauty, their challenges, and their molding of the culture of our ancestors that was passed on to us. Mountains are special, but what is it about them that everybody falls in love with? This will sound over-simplistic, but the answer is their three-dimensional terrain. Let me explain.


Plant and Seed Share Return to Farmers Market

Need a plant to beautify your home? Maybe you really wanted to try 3 different varieties of summer squash so you ordered 3 seed packets, and now you have way too many seeds. Perhaps you even started them indoors, afraid they would not all germinate and now you have way too many plants. Plant and Seed Share to the rescue!

Headed My Way

When I heard the announcement at church, I was so excited. It was a chance to play on a real softball team again.
You see, I played softball for years when I was kid. My position was second base. I played that position in the Knox County and state championship games. I also played it in invitational tournaments. So, when the church organized a lady’s softball team as part of the outreach ministry, I immediately signed up. I couldn’t wait to smell the infield dirt.


I begin with some questions for thought—Do you ever give advice? Do you like to give advice? If so, what does that say about your opinion of yourself? Do you ever receive advice from others, either solicited or unsolicited? How well do you receive advice from others? Are you better at giving or receiving advice? Are you one of those who could care less about either giving or receiving advice?


I have several recipes similar to this one. Each is a little different. Most call for corn meal. This recipe uses biscuit mix instead. It goes together quickly.

Paulownia: The Purple Roadside Tree

Paulownia is most often noticed when it blooms in the Spring, right now in fact. Its large tubular purple blooms are quite showy along roadsides.

Paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa) is also called royal princess tree, empress tree, and lilac tree. It is not native to the U.S. but was introduced as an ornamental landscape tree around 100 years ago. It’s a very prolific seed producer and has since spread until it can now be found everywhere, especially along roadsides and other disturbed areas.


Mother’s Day blooms at Union County nurseries

For all of your Mother’s Day needs visit one of Union County nurseries. Today I had the pleasure of visiting with Allen Beeler at the Little Valley Nursery. He took me on a tour of his greenhouse, showing his hanging baskets and potted plants getting ready for Mother’s Day. This is one of his busiest times of the year. His best seller is the Black Mamba petunia, and the Mother’s Day favorite is the classic petunia, with red being the favorite.

UCBPA hosts 25th annual prayer breakfast

Gathering of people at a meal

Members and guests gather to celebrate at the 25th Annual UCBPA Prayer Breakfast.

President Martin Shafer introduced his good friend Russell Biven to some 70 people who attended the 25th Annual Union County Business & Professional Prayer Breakfast on April 15.
Biven had already shared his heartwarming smile as he greeted nearly every attendee. The former moderator for Channel 10 Live at Five, Russell is currently the marketing director for the H. T. Hackney Brand.

Union County 4-H Camp coming in June

4-H campers in Greeneville, Tennessee

Union County 4-H is going to Clyde Austin 4-H camp June 6-10 in Greeneville, Tennessee. Junior 4-H camp is for 4th-6th grade students in Union County.
Junior 4-H Camp is an engaging program aimed at creating lifelong memories through exciting, constructive activities and fun-filled days. Campers have tons of things to do. The camp features an Olympic-sized pool with a 130-foot long waterslide, a wildlife center, a large recreation hall, ball fields, a basketball court, and shooting and archery ranges.

Two colleges coming to Union County

Two men making a speech

Representative Dennis Powers and Mayor Jason Bailey announce that TCAT and WSCC will be built by the state near the high school.

In a surprise announcement near the end of the groundbreaking ceremony for SR 33, Representative Dennis Powers stated that Union County would be receiving $9M to build a Tennessee College of Applied Technology and a community college adjacent to Union County High School. According to Powers, the construction would become a model for higher education across Tennessee.
County Mayor Jason Bailey added that seniors would be graduating with work ready certifications, additional dual enrollment courses, and possibly a high school diploma and an associate degree at the same time.

Egg factory letter-writing campaign raises awareness, no action

By Mary Nicholas Johnson
Thirteen hundred stamped letters. One hundred forty-two unique signatures. Hundreds of volunteer man hours.
No response.
Are we starting to see a pattern here from our elected officials? I hope you are waking up to the reality that other forces are shaping the future of our community—and it is not you, the citizens.

TVA presented $30k grant at commission meeting

Two ladies talking at a meeting

Aurora Pulliam and Tina Guinn presented a $30,000 grant check to the Union county Commission for shoreline stabilization at Beech Island.

Aurora Pulliam and Tina Guinn from the Tennessee Valley Authority presented Union County with a grant check for $30,000 at the Union County Commission meeting on April 25, 2022. The grant will address the erosion at the campground on Beech Island that could negatively impact the environment.
Pulliam, who manages the recreational agreement between TVA and Union County explained that Union County Mayor Justin Bailey had initiated a request for a review by TVA after the marina discovered a concerning erosion problem in the campground area in 2020.

Hwy. 33 construction begins, slated for 2025 completion

group of people shoveling dirt to symbolically begin construction on a highway

Officials turn some dirt during the groundbreaking ceremony for the last section to complete the widening of SR 33 from Knoxville to Maynardville.

April 8, 2022, was a landmark day in Union County. On that date officials from all levels of government along with representatives of the Tennessee Department of Transportation “turned some dirt” to begin the last leg of the widening of SR 33 known as Maynardville Highway from the Knox County line to SR 144 West for a distance of 5.2 miles.

Plainview amends subdivision regulation, installs officers

Mayor installs a police qfficer

Plainview Mayor Gary Chandler administers the oath to Deputy Jonathan Brogan.

At the close of the public hearing on Resolution R-2022-01 to amend the subdivision regulations, the City of Plainview Municipal Planning Commission voted to reduce the asphalt binder from 2.5 inches to 2 inches and leave the topcoat at 1.5 inches at its regular meeting on April 12.


Chiropractic care and stress

Managing the stress in your life — and most of us experience stress to one degree or another — is essential to keeping a healthy lifestyle. Stress comes from many directions and makes itself known in a variety of ways--it might show up as a headache, tight muscles, nausea or back pain. It’s generally caused by outside factors, some obvious, like fretting over financial problems, and others not so much, such as planning for a joyous occasion like an impending wedding.

4-H at the forefront

4-H is at the forefront of an incredibly necessary movement to help our kids build the skills and give them the tools to not only be productive and successful members of society, but to give back to their communities.
With this vital current goal of 4-H comes an equally important part of 4-H that teaches our kids skills that have been lost along the way with the ever-present emergence of technology and getting things done fast.

Union County Farmers Market opening soon

It’s that time again!
Farmers Markets are opening throughout the south, and that includes your Union County Farmers Market. The season kickoff will be Saturday, May 7, and we look forward to seeing you there.
We love to be ‘Where our Community Meets’ and share ideas, thoughts and information with adults and children alike. Perhaps you have wondered if the Union County Farmers Market is the place for you—we definitely think that it is!

BOE reviews FY 23 budget and calendar amendments

Director of Schools Dr. Jimmy Carter and Finance Director Missy Brown shared estimates in revenues and expenditures for the FY23 School Budget at the Union County Board of Education Meeting on April 12.
Projected increases in revenue include local sales tax, the virtual school payment, and BEP growth funds. Salaries as well as equipment and supply costs account for most of the expenditure increases.

Meet me at the Lemonade and Sunshine Festival

Little Valley Mercantile founders Tim and Kayla Cook.

The beautiful East Tennessee sunshine is ready to be soaked up. The weather is on point and sets the mood for some outdoor entertainment with the family and friends. Luckily, Meet Me at the Market is bringing the Lemonade and Sunshine Festival to Maynardville, kicking off the season right.
Stop in and enjoy local vendors, crafters, food trucks, music and more at the Union County High School parking area between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on May 14.

Canning Questions? Call Extension!

Hopefully we are past the final frost and all the rain and warmth will lead to an abundance in the garden this year. So how can we maximize our gardens? By preserving our harvests in the form of freezing, canning, and drying.
This is article two of four, where we will discuss canning. Freezing is a cheap, easy way to preserve foods where bacteria growth is stopped and items last longer. However, preserving foods by freezing is limited by freezer space. So how else can we stop bacteria growth without a freezer? Canning!

UC 4-H Clover Bowl results

5th grade first place winners are Kenny Greene, McKenzie Muncey, Grayson Schreieck, and Annabella Malicoat.

On April 11, 4th and 5th graders from Maynardville, Paulette, Big Ridge, Sharps Chapel and Luttrell elementary schools gathered at Horace Maynard Middle School to compete in the Union County 4-H Clover Bowl. Each team previously won their in-school contest to qualify to represent their school in the county contest.

Adoption in our house

I have three adopted children: Rick, Tom and Anne. This story is not about them. It is about my husband’s Aunt Orpha, his Uncle Bill’s wife. She was from northern Ohio and has been dead since the early eighties. I met her soon after I married.
Aunt Orpha was a sweetheart. She put up with Uncle Bill. I don’t remember if she had been married before, but I think she had. She was a favorite of mine. Uncle Bill and Aunt Orpha would come from Hillsdale, Michigan, to our house to watch TV.

Sara's Waggy Tails cares for furry friends

Interviews are a lot of fun for me since I enjoy meeting and getting to know other people. But this one is very special to me. You see, I had the honor of interviewing Sara Cox; the sole proprietor of “Sara’s Waggy Tails.”
Did you notice her last name is the same as mine? That is because she is my daughter.
While she was growing up, we couldn’t help but notice her love of animals. Actually, it went way past that. She seemed to also have a way with them as well. I used to joke that dogs would bite me, but they loved her. She could get them to behave and do things whereas I would receive a menacing growl. No exaggeration there.

Honey Chicken Leg Quarters

We know that honey mustard chicken wings are good. The same can be said for chicken leg quarters. They often come in ten-pound bags at the meat counter at a reduced price. Try this recipe and watch your family dig in.

“Tinkling” at Church

Last week I attended the monthly senior citizen luncheon at the Baptist church where I am a member. The pastor announced that next month that we would be doing something different—playing BINGO.
I leaned over and told one of the gentlemen sitting at the table with me, “We’re turning Catholic! Next thing you know we’ll be using real wine at the Lord’s Supper.”

Longmire family teamwork creates grocery legacy

Sitting on my front porch on this beautiful late April day with the shadows growing long, the temperature is at 80 degrees with a bluebird sky and white azaleas and dogwoods in bloom—life’s treasures given by the Creator.
My thoughts wander over to two very nice and gentle brothers that have deep roots from Union County to Knox County’s Corryton and Gibbs areas.

The 23rd Psalm in short order

I just want to take a moment to write down some random thoughts that come into my mind as I meditate upon Psalm 23. I have pasted the text below and will comment after each verse.
Psalm 23:1-6 KJV; A Psalm of David. David knew a lot about sheep and shepherding. In 2 Samuel 7, as David sits in his palace admiring its splendor, Nathan the prophet reminded David where God has brought him from. “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel:”


Spring Violets

Violets are very abundant this time of year and are probably the most common and the easiest to identify family of spring wildflowers in our area. You can find them about anywhere, especially even in your yard right now unless you’re a grass purist who uses herbicides.


AREC Welcomes Undergraduate Researchers

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics is pleased to welcome eight undergraduate researchers for the 2022 spring semester. Front row (left to right): Heather Mannis, Hannah Williams, and Savannah Jones. Back row: Eilish Bennett, Gray Erwin, Samuel Neary, and Adam Fuller. Not pictured is Lauren Pate.

The Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics has hired eight undergraduate researchers during the 2022 spring semester. The students and their mentors are, as follows:

Heather Mannis and Gray Erwin are working with Drs. Jada Thompson and Carlos Trejo-Pech by reviewing financial documents and creating a dataset for an event study on agribusiness firms relating to large animal health outbreaks, which provides an opportunity for these students to learn more about agricultural financial and food markets.

Ever Lasting Arms

Isn’t it funny how you can look back on things and see them differently after you are grown?
Back in the ancient times of the 1970s, there were no SUVS. When we went on family trips, we rode in one of Papaw’s station wagons. At least once a year, we all piled in one and headed south and east to Cades Coves in the Smokey Mountains. We always packed a picnic. Sometimes Papaw would stop at the KFC in Maryville and pick up a bucket of chicken to have with it.
But one trip was totally different.


The word “addiction” almost always has a negative connotation. I have a theory that everyone is addicted to something. While I believe that not all addictions are bad, I believe that any addiction can be both good and bad.
Take me, for example. I love to collect books. I also love to read them, but I find as much or more joy in the collecting. I learned on Jeopardy! there is a Japanese term for this—“tsundoku”.

Spanish rice

Years ago when i worked as a telephone operator in Angola, Indiana, i learned how to cook rice the South American way. A fellow operator had been married to a man from Venezuela. The main difference is how the rice is prepared. Her Spanish Rice had no meat. She just browned raw rice in a little oil and sauteed it a few minutes. Then she added canned tomatoes, onion and green pepper, cooking until the rice was tender. I understood this was the mainstay of poor folks' diet down there. Do i have you confused as to what is really Spanish Rice? It is whatever you want it to be. Try mine.


Authors Guild of Tennessee

Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 11:00

The Authors Guild of Tennessee (AGT) will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, June 2, 2022 at 11:00 am at the Faith Lutheran Church in Farragut. Social time and book exchange begins at 10:30. Published authors are invited to attend. AGT is now accepting applications for associate membership from authors who have written a book but are not yet published. Serious authors only. In the event of inclement weather, check the AGT Website for updates and information: authorsguildoftn.org.

Sarah Kate Morgan, Busier Than Ever

Friday, June 3, 2022 - 10:30

Union County’s own Sarah Kate Morgan has a full season in 2022 and beyond with travel, concerts, performances, and teaching. If you haven’t had a chance to hear this talented lady in person, you will have many opportunities this year. This girl can make a stringed instrument sing as her soulful voice transports the audience to another, more peaceful time.

Appalachian Family Folk Gathering
June 3rd-5th
Hindman Settlement School in Hindman, KY


Friday, June 3, 2022 - 12:30

The Summer Reading Program "Oceans of Possibilities" for the libraries of Union County will begin Friday, June 3rd at the Maynardville Public Library at 12:30 pm with a story and then to follow: a painting class for kids of all ages. Then CW Farms Petting Zoo will be at the Luttrell Public Library on Monday, June 6th. See calendar for all program dates at each library.

Primitive Quartet

Saturday, July 23, 2022 - 18:00

Primitive Quartet, Journey Home, County Line, Saturday, July 23, 2022, 6 pm, Union County High School, 135 Main Street, Maynardville, TN. $10.
This concert is rescheduled from March 23, 2022 which was cancelled due to snow. All tickets purchased for the March date will be honored for July 23, 2022. Sponsored by Union County Lions Club. Additional information--865-278-6430, minceyr@ucps.org.


Janie Gonzales

Janie Dominguez Gonzales-age 71 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center.

No services are planned.

Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Lois M. Williams

Lois Marie Williams-age 92 of New Tazewell (Union County), born March 24, 1930 passed away suddenly Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at her home. She was saved at an early age and was a longtime member of Leatherwood Baptist Church. She was a loving wife, mother and sister. Preceded in death by husband, John Franklin Williams; parents, Matt and Ollie (Russell) Evans; brothers, Carl Alfred and Clay Evans; sisters, Cecil Keck, Julie McGeorge and Resette Walls; infant sister, Faye; grandson, Brandon Williams and son-in-law, Larry Weaver.

Ben Williford

Ben Hugh Williford - age 89 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully May 24, 2022. No services are planned at this time. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Ben Williford. 865-992-5002 trinityfuneralhome.net

Mark Heath, Jr.

Mark Anthony Heath, Jr. - age 40 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully May 25, 2022 at home. No services are planned at this time. Trinity Funeral Home, LLC, Maynardville, has the honor to serve the family of Mark Heath, Jr. 865-992-5002 trinityfuneralhome.net

Amy Marie Coffey Smith

Amy Marie Coffey Smith, age 47, of Maynardville, Tennessee, passed away at home on Saturday, May 21, 2022. Amy was born April 28, 1975. She attended Big Ridge Elementary School, J. Frank White Academy, and Lincoln Memorial University where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Visual Art in 1996. In later years, she returned to teach at Big Ridge Elementary and to serve in multiple positions at Lincoln Memorial University including the role as Director of Alumni Services. She also worked in the Joyner Library at East Carolina University.

Logan Daniel Black

Hearts are heavy by the loss of Logan Daniel Black-age 26 of Newport passed away Monday, May 2, 2022 in Knoxville. A young man so full of light and love that befriended everyone he ever met. He was a son, brother, father, and dear friend to many. He will forever be missed.

Survivors: son, Sammy; daughters, Hynlie and Vanessa; mother, Rheannon Childress; brother, Dylan Childress; sister, Tiffany Black; nephew, Alyzae Robertson; nieces, Kilayla Black and Delilah Black. Grandmother, Sheila Rouse; uncle, Jack Childress. Several other aunts, uncles, great-aunts and great-uncles.

Brenda Collins Relford

Brenda Carol (Collins) Relford-age 72 of Knoxville passed away suddenly Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a member of Ailordale Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Wren and Adell (Ford) Collins; sisters, Evelyn and James Sands, Lorene Collins, Wanda and Danny Whitson; brothers, Clay and Brenda Collins, Jimmy Collins.

Josie Chesney

Josie Chesney-age 94 of Luttrell passed away peacefully Monday, May 16, 2022 at home with her family. She was a member of Chestnut Grove Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Elbert and Easter Hammock; husband, Richard “Dick” Chesney; daughter-in-law, Vivian Chesney; sisters, Christine Wallace and Esteen Hammock.

Dorothy Sanders

Dorothy Sanders – age 79 of Maynardville, passed away peacefully Saturday, May 14, 2022 surrounded by her family.

She is preceded by husband, Harold Sanders; parents, Edward and Elizabeth (Rogers) Cooper; brothers, Andrew, Jack and Dennis Cooper: and grandson, Randall Sands. Dorothy is survived by former husband, Fred McHaffie; daughters, Debra McHaffie, Faye Sands, Fredda McHaffie and Donna Beason; son, Fred McHaffie, Jr.; five grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren.

Dulcie Gunter

Dulcie Renee Gunter-age 52 of Sharps Chapel passed away suddenly Tuesday, May 10, 2022 in North Carolina.

Survivors: son, Marty Rogers of Maryville; daughter, Kenzie Lou Rogers of Maryville. Parents, Ed and Delores Warren of Sharps Chapel; siblings, Billy and Lorrie Lacy; Sheila Warren Honer; Wendy Warren; Tony Warren; Mark and Linda Warren; Troy Warren; Eddie Warren; April and Rob Miracle. Several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

Louise N. Phipps

Louise Needham Phipps-age 90 of Powder Springs passed away peacefully Monday morning, May 9, 2022 at the home of her son. She was a member of Johnson’s Chapel Baptist Church. Preceded in death by parents, Earl and Martha Needham; husband, Charles Phipps; son, Larry Phipps.

Randy Blankenship

Randy Edward Blankenship-age 64 of Washburn, born March 27, 1958 passed away suddenly Thursday, May 5, 2022. He was a Christian and was of the Baptist faith. Retired employee of Carmeuse Lime and Stone (Luttrell Operation). He was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Preceded in death by father, Coy Blankenship; nephew, Dennis Dalton; grandparents, Ernest and Ida Blankenship; Vaughn and Ida Mae Wolfenbarger.

Warren Seymour, Jr.

Elmer Warren Seymour, Jr.-age 61 of Corryton passed away Tuesday morning, May 3, 2022 at U. T. Medical Center. He was born May 7, 1960 in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. He was a member of Comforter in Christ Church. He loved everyone unconditionally and everyone loved him. He was preceded in death by wife, Annette Seymour; parents, Elmer Warren, Sr. and Martha Seymour; brother, Timothy Seymour.

Karen D. (Loop) Booker

Karen Darlene Booker-age 66 of Luttrell passed away Tuesday, May 3, 2022 at her home after a hard and courageous battle with cancer. She was surrounded by all her family. Karen was of the Baptist faith and a member of Willow Springs Baptist Church. Preceded in death by her parents, Earl and Lucille Loop; nephew, Shane Smith.

Tony Ray Odom

Tony Ray Odom – age 57 of Maynardville, passed away unexpectedly into the arms of the Lord May 2, 2022. He died as he lived, everyone’s friend. He lived life large and rarely in moderation. Tony had an amazing sense of humor, his wit was razor sharp. He wanted to keep everyone laughing. His bigger than life personality made everyone feel welcome. Tony loved fiercely and deeply. We take comfort in knowing that Tony is at peace and surrounded by Jesus’s love.

Richard Livesay

Richard Livesay, 63 of Maynardville, laid down his working tools to be with the Lord on April 27, 2022. He was a member of Circle Assembly of God and an ordained minister of the Gospel. Richard was a member of J. C. Baker Lodge #720 and a Shriner at Kerbela Temple and in the Go Kart Unit. He was the owner of Livesay Electric, Inc. and in 2011 stepped up to the position of Chief Electrical Inspector of Hamilton County, TN. Richard enjoyed classic rock, guitars and old cars. He was a loving father, grandfather, devoted husband and a patient and kindhearted man.

Barry D. Evans

Barry D. Evans (“Poppy”) 69 years old of Knoxville, passed away at his home on April 26, 2022, after a hard fought battle against a rare brain disease. Barry was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, son and friend. He had been an active member of Cokesbury United Methodist Church for 33 years. Barry graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering. He was employed at Tennessee Valley Authority for 10 years before starting his own business which he owned for 32 years.

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.