John Rice Irwin passes at age 91

John Rice Irwin, cultural historian and founder of the Museum of Appalachia, passed away at the age of 91 on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022, in Clinton.

His family was blessed to be by his side when he drew his final breath, they said.

A graveside service will be held at Norris Memorial Gardens at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 20. The procession will leave from Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton at 3 p.m.

A celebration of the life of John Rice Irwin will be held at the Museum of Appalachia at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 24.

“How incredibly blessed we have been to have a man in our midst who was so deliberate about bringing people together to share music and stories, and preserve the history of our Appalachia,” Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank said of Irwin.

“He understood the value of knowing where we’ve been, of who we are, and the incredible community bonds that kind of understanding and appreciation creates in us as a people. He will be greatly missed, but he has left an incredible legacy that will never be forgotten -- a legacy his family and our community will continue to build upon.”

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Mike Smith retires after 46 years of service at Eagle Bend Hatchery

Region 4 Hunter Education coordinator Tommy White- head (left) presents Eagle Bend Hatchery Manager Mike “Stump” Smith with his law enforcement service weapon upon his retirement from TWRA with 46 years of dedicated service.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency congratulated Mike “Stump” Smith on his retirement from the agency with 46 years of dedicated service.

Smith began his career as a CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) employee working as a wildlife manager in reservoirs and later serving as a wildlife officer in Hancock and Claiborne counties. He spent most of his career as Eagle Bend Hatchery manager.

His dedication to the agency’s mission and service to the public have been unwavering.

Smith has been a mentor to many professionals in the fisheries field and an educator to students of all ages. He was at the forefront of striped bass culture in Tennessee and has ensured that this significant fishery has continued.

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