News Opinion Sports Videos Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Events Search/Archive Community Schools Churches Announcements Obituaries Calendar Contact Us Advertisements Search/Archive Public Notices



Betty L. Hammond, 93, Norris, passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the North Knoxville Medical Center.

Betty was born Jan. 16, 1925, in Barber County W.Va., to the late William L. and Glenna McDaniel Jones.

Betty was a clerk for the U.S. Treasury during World War II and retired as an office manager for the City of Norris. She was a charter member of the Norris United Methodist Church. Betty loved arts, crafts, bowling, hiking, watching University of Tennessee sports and working in the church food pantry.

She was preceded in death by: Parents; husband, Drew S. Hammond; sister, Thelma O’Connell; and brother, Cecil “Pete” Jones.

Survivors: Sons, Patrick Hammond of Maryland, Bill Hammond and Patsy of Clinton; daughter, Erin Humphrey and Danny of Norris; grandchildren, Jimmy Hammond of Georgia, Whitney Hammond of Powell, Kevin Humphrey of Norris; great-grandchildren, Cody Hammond, Cailin Hammond, Cole Hammond, Presley Hammond; great-great-grandchildren, Daisy, Jesse and Briar Hammond.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Norris United Methodist Church Food Pantry P.O. Box 327, Norris, Tenn., 37828.

Visitation will be from 5 – 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Norris United Methodist Church.

The funeral service is at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Norris United Methodist Church with the Rev. Billy Kurtz officiating.

Interment is at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 15, 2018, at Norris Memorial Gardens in Norris, TN.

You may also view Betty’s guestbook online at

Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, is in charge of arrangements.


Garry Lee Howard, 62, Speedwell, passed away Monday, March 5, 2018, at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge.

He was a member of Eagle’s Rock Missionary Baptist Church. He was born in Clinton on June 18, 1955, son of the late Rev. Berl and Nola (Wilson) Howard. Garry was a loving husband, father, brother and friend who greatly enjoyed bluegrass gospel music. He played with The Glory Road Boys and was an avid hunter and fisherman.

Survivors include: Wife of 25 years, Florenda (Monday) Howard; daughters, Ami Jo and husband the Rev. Matt Childress, Lea and husband Deacon Josh Gibson; grandchildren, Paige, Bryson, KeeLee, Ali Jo and Emmitt; brothers, the Rev. Richard Howard and wife Nina, Donald P. Howard and wife Billie; special friend, Helen Mayes; several nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends.

The family received friends from 6 – 8 p.m. Thursday, March 8, 2018, at Eagle’s Rock Missionary Baptist Church, 131 Ridge Dale Road, Harrogate, with funeral services following at 8 p.m. at the church with the Rev. Tim Huddleston and the Rev. Matt Childress officiating.

Music will be by Shawn Rupert, Rev. J.J. Patterson, Mike Crabtree, Dan Graves, and Vic Graves.

Family and friends met at 10 a.m. Friday, March 9, 2018, at Reece Funeral Home and Valley Chapel to go in procession to Beeler Cemetery for 11 a.m. graveside services.

Pallbearers: Deacon Josh Gibson, Bryson Childress, Gabe Howard, the Rev. Matt Howard, and Michael Wilson.

Reece Funeral Home and Valley Chapel is honored to serve the Howard family.

Sign the guest register at


Robert “Bob” Lee Johnson, surrounded by his loving family, passed away peacefully in his home to be with our Heavenly Father March 6, 2018.

He was born in London, Ky., Oct. 7, 1937, to the late Robert and Amanda Johnson. He was a member of Second Baptist Church in Clinton and lived by example, the life of a Christian.

In 1960, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country by scanning broadcasts to intercept secret codes. He was stationed primarily in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and at Fort Walters in Texas. He was honorably discharged in 1963.

Following his U.S. Army service, he completed his college degree in electrical engineering from Indiana Institute of Technology.

Bob retired in 1997 as a Deputy Director with the Department of Energy in Oak Ridge, where he was responsible for buying power for select DOE plants.

He enjoyed fishing, kayaking, hiking, reading, watching westerns, and spending time with his family.

He is survived by: Eileen Johnson, his devoted wife whom he married on Sept. 14, 1962, and shared 55 wonderful years together.

He is also survived by: Son, Robert Todd Johnson and his wife Tina; daughter, Tanya Calhoun and her husband Kelly; brother, Charles Johnson and his wife Jeanette; four grandchildren, Amanda and Alden Johnson, and Harrison and Matthew Calhoun; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; nieces; nephews; and a host of other family and friends.

The family received friends at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton from 6 - 8 p.m., Friday, March 9, 2018, with the funeral service following, with the Revs Mike Thompson and Ronnie Owens officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the building fund at Second Baptist Church, Clinton.

Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton was in charge of all arrangements.


Troy H. Nelson, 77, Clinton, passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, at his residence.

He was a member of Island Home Baptist Church. Throughout his life he loved fishing, putt putt golf, going to church, and spending time with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by: Parents, Hilbert and Mary Nelson; brothers, Jack Bumgardner, and Carl Nelson; daughter, Patty Christman.

He is survived by: Loving wife, June Nelson; daughter, Annette Tullock; sons, Carl Nelson and wife Cheryl, Gary Nelson; stepdaughter, Connie Ford; sister, Marcella Nelson; grandchildren, Paul and Cody Ford, Madison Hemphill, Carrie and Cory Nelson, Ryan, Kayla, and Holden Tullock; great-grandchildren, Adrianna Ford, Noah and Elsie Cooley; several nieces and nephews

The family received friends from 5 – 7 p.m. 5:00-Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at Holley Gamble Funeral Home with funeral services following in the chapel with the Rev. Calvin Braden officiating.

His burial will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at Island Home Baptist Church Cemetery.

Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements.


Frances Lucille Brown Phillips, 86, Lake City, passed away Saturday, March 10, 2018, at her residence.

Frances was born April 23, 1931, in Anderson, S.C., to the late Norman Thad and Mary Delena Bryant Guffey. She was a member of the Walden View Baptist Church in Briceville. Frances was retired from the Anderson County Schools Food Service. She loved sewing and quilting.

Frances was preceded in death by: Parents; husbands, Woodrow Brown and Charlie Phillips; sister, Betty Bowen.

Survivors: Sons, Tim Brown and Kathy of Clinton; daughter, Gina Miller and Mike of Lake City; brother, John Guffey and Peggy of Thomasville, N.C.; ister, Louise Van Hook of Franklin, N.C.; grandchildren, Jason Utley and Courtney of Clinton, Justin Utley and Markie of Andersonville; great-grandchildren, Alayna and Caroline.

Visitation was from 6 – 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2018, at the Hatmaker Funeral Home.

Funeral service was held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, 2018, in the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Wayne Phillips officiating.

Interment will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, 2018, at the Clark Chapel United Methodist Church cemetery in Franklin, N.C.

You may also view Frances’s guestbook online at

Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, is in charge of arrangements.


Audra Ruth Seiber, 81, Lake City, passed away Saturday, March 3, 2018.

Ruth was born Oct. 23, 1936, in Lake City to the late Samuel and Annie Hatmaker Braden.

Ruth retired from ALSCO af- ter working for the company as a seamstress for more than 20 years. Ruth was a member of Fraterville Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, Ruth was preceded in death by: Husband, Lish Seiber; broth- ers, Leon, Columbus, Eugene, and Robert; sisters, Naomi, Pauline, Dora, and Blache; and great-granddaughter, Anna Mae Rose Seiber.

Survivors: Sons, William, Richard, Donald, Darrell, Dew- ayne, and Jeffery of Lake City; niece, Sandra Davis of Taylor of Michigan, Carolyn Cox of Lake City; nephews, Benny Braden of Clinton, Bill Braden and Eva Braden of Toledo, Ohio; grandchildren, Brian, Micheal, Cody, Kyle, Steven, Lisa, and Bentley Seiber; and many other family members and friends.

Visitation was held from 6 – 8 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2018, at Hatmaker Funeral Home.

Funeral service was at 8 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2018, in the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Tom By- rge of ciating.

Family and friends met at 2:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at Hatmaker Funeral Home in Lake City and went in procession to Circle Cemetery in Briceville for a 3 p.m. inter- ment.


Imogene Broyles Ferguson, 77, Campbell County, passed away Friday, March 2, 2018, at her residence.

She was born March 4, 1940, in Pioneer to the late Curtis and Marie Meredith Broyles.

Imogene was a member of Willowbrook Baptist Church. She was loved working in her garden and owers.

In addition to her parents, Imogene was preceded in death by: Son, Ricky Ferguson; and sister, Eyvonee Broyles.

Survivors: Husband, Bill Fer-guson of 59 Years of Pioneer; daughters, Angie Ferguson of Pioneer, Andrea Ferguson of Pioneer; son, Edward Fergu- son of Lake City; brother, Terry Broyles of Brazil; grandchil- dren, Colby Ferguson, Hunter Ferguson, Teddy and Monica Ferguson, Tabitha and John Branch, Chessisa Ferguson; eight great-grandchildren; special friends and caregiv- ers, Trina, Trisha, Toni, Lisa, Debra.

Visitation was from 5 – 8 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2018, at Hatmaker Funeral Home in Lake City.

Funeral service was held at 8 p.m. Monday, March 5, 2018, in the Hatmaker Funeral Home Chapel with the Rev. Roger Leach and the Rev. Steve Mor- gan of ciating.

Friends and family met at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at Meredith Cemetery in Pio- neer for interment.

You may also view Imo- gene’s guestbook online at www.hatmakerfuneralhome. com

Hatmaker Funeral Home, Lake City, was in charge of ar- rangements


Harold “Ray” Blakney, born Nov. 18, 1946, died following a lengthy battle with Alzheim- er’s Disease at the Tennes- see State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, March 2, 2018.

Ray, who hated to be called Harold, was born in a hospital in Corinth, Miss., not because he was from Mississippi (he’d happily tell you he was not) but because it was the closest hospital to his family home in Counce, Hardin County.

He was the third child of Raymond Odle Blakney and Eula Mae Carson Blakney. His father, Raymond, was a World War II Navy veteran and welder and his mother, Eula, became a nurse after the birth of their three children. Ray was, no- tably, the grandson of Oscar Blakney (aka “Big Six”), the notorious 6’6” Hardin County deputy sheriff who was univer- sally acknowledged as some- one not to be messed with.

Ray grew up in Counce, where he was a member of First Baptist Church, and no matter where his life took him, whether the elds of Vietnam or the mountains of East Ten- nessee, he always consid- ered Hardin County home. A Tennessean through and through, he was proud to say that he had lived in all three grand divisions of the State of Tennessee, having resided in his hometown of Counce, as well as Martin, Memphis, Knoxville, and Murfreesboro. Ray graduated from Pickwick Southside High School in 1964, where he played both basketball and baseball. For a relatively short fellow, he was one heck of a ball player and could be counted on to never, ever miss a free throw. In fact, he often yelled liberally and colorfully at the television or in person at basketball games when players were unreliable on the line because, as we all knew from Ray, “free throws win ball games.”

After graduating from high school, Ray enrolled in the fall of 1964 at the University of Ten- nessee at Martin, but the Unit- ed States Marine Corps would later have other plans for him. After spending a year in col- lege (where his grades might or might not have been some- thing to write home about), he left Tennessee to work and earn money for his continued education at the Inland Steel Company in Indiana Harbor, Indiana. After about a year of that particular type of edu- cation, he decided college sounded just ne after all, and returned to Martin. However, after approximately six months back in college, Ray felt called to serve his country. He enlist- ed in the United States Marine Corps in 1966 and enjoyed a new haircut and a lengthy stay at Parris Island, courtesy of the United States government. After completing boot camp at Parris Island, Ray went on to infantry training at Camp

Lejeune. He was then selected to attend military journalism school at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana, where he earned some college credit and began a love for journalism that would later serve him well. In January of 1967, between boot camp and deployment, he married his childhood sweetheart, Kay (Rich) Blakney of Savannah and, though they would ulti- mately divorce later, the two were married for 46 years and raised two children together. From June 1967 until July 1968, Ray served in Vietnam as a military journalist, both writing for the Marine Corps and leading the dangerous task of escorting civilian jour- nalists as close to the front lines of battle as they dared. His work was published in the US military newspaper Stars & Stripes and the USMC’s week- ly Sea Tiger newspaper, which was disseminated through- out Vietnam during the war. He spoke of the erce nature of the journalists who often wanted to push the boundar- ies of their own personal safety (and his) to accurately report on the status of the war. Dur- ing his time in Vietnam, he was assigned to the headquarters of the First Marine Division in Danang and he took captivat- ing photos and—occasionally, but not often--told spellbind- ing stories of his service and of the brave service of others. He even still had a bit of shrapnel in his back which was larger than the tiny butter y tattoo he bravely procured in his youth. One of the few times his family ever saw him cry was when he visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, where he located the names of those he knew who were lost in battle.

Upon returning from Vietnam, Ray served the nal months of his enlistment in Atlanta. He had enlisted as a Private, but in the course of two years he attained the rank of Sergeant. Although he reported that his superior of cers encouraged him to consider a military ca- reer, Ray declined. In fact, he said that he was told he could “shoot right up” in leadership, but Ray said he’d had “quite enough of shooting, thank you very much.” The Tennessee boy had been away from home long enough at that time, and it was back to Tennessee for him. Armed with the GI Bill and a newfound respect for educa- tion that did not involve dodg- ing bullets, Ray was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 1968 and returned to UT Martin with a renewed sense of purpose and a well- earned appreciation for life. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1971. He then continued to take advantage of Uncle Sam’s educational generos- ity and enrolled in law school at the University of Memphis (then Memphis State Univer- sity), where he earned his Doc- tor of Jurisprudence in 1974. He practiced law in Memphis for about 15 years and served his community on countless charitable organizations and boards, including service as president of the USO, as a member of the Rotary Club, Elks Lodge, and the VFW, and as board president for the Frayser-Millington Mental Health Center. He also spon- sored teeball teams for longer than anyone can remember and faded yellow baseball jerseys bearing his name can likely still be seen in Memphis to this day.

In his many years in Mem-

phis, he delighted in playing sports. Some he played well (tennis) and others he played poorly (golf), but he always played with enthusiasm. He loved attending Memphis State basketball games, par- ticularly in the 1980s, and he was a champion card player with an inscrutable poker face. He also loved being part of an award-winning Memphis in May barbeque cooking team for years and he competed not only in Memphis but also in contests as far away as Ireland with the friends he consid- ered his brothers on the team. After practicing law in Mem- phis, Ray moved back to his home county where he accept- ed a new challenge. He joined the staff of The Courier in Sa- vannah as the sports editor. While there, he loved watch- ing and reporting on sports at every level and ultimately garnered the Tennessee Press Association’s award for Ten- nessee’s best sports report- ing in his division, a rst for the The Courier. After several years, Ray moved to Knoxville and joined the staff of the Cou- rier News in Clinton and, again, earned that paper its rst statewide divisional recogni- tion for best sports reporting in the State of Tennessee. While living in Knoxville, he hiked Mt LeConte more times than he could count and won a compe- tition to name the Knoxville Ice Bears, the professional hockey team which continues to play to this day under the name Ray proudly submitted.

Ultimately, however, his large heart would prove to need a tune up in 2011 and, following a lifesaving bypass surgery by the VA doctors in Nashville, Ray decided to hang up his camera and notepad and enjoy life as a full-time retiree. After his recovery and before his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, he enjoyed some of his hap- piest days. He adored doting on his family, particularly his grandchildren. He took long walks with his dogs and taught his grandkids how to dance like no one was watching and to sing like no one had hearing. Just as he had done with his own children, he also taught them at very tender ages how to play poker, to double down and bluff when you need to, to look people in the eye when you speak to them, to remove your hat when the National An- them is playing, and to other- wise avoid taking life too dang seriously.

Ray was a lifelong baseball fan, particularly of the Dodgers (and still obstinately referred to them as the Brooklyn Dodgers despite their move to LA many decades ago). As his illness progressed, he loved spend- ing time with his family visit- ing great American cities and great American baseball sta- diums, particularly during trips to Cooperstown, Denver, Bal- timore, and Washington, DC.

He could wiggle his ears on command, could sing ev- ery Elvis song ever recorded, and once won an RC Cola and Moonpie Festival Dance Com- petition in Bell Buckle. If you think he didn’t brag about that often, you would be wrong. In addition to the love of his fam- ily, he lived for ice cream, Diet Cokes, Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, Hershey’s Choco- late Bars, cat sh plates on Fri- days, and cheeseburgers with mustard and pickle.

His favorite people were usually women and, other than the women to whom he was related by birth or marriage or the nurses who cared for him at the VA, his favorite women in the world were Dolly Parton, Martha Stewart, Hillary Clinton, and Allison Krauss. Clearly, he had a thing for blonds.

Ray’s mother and father and his sister Janice Blakney Swift

pre-deceased him, as well as his beloved dog Josie, whom he technically (but affection- ately) stole from his nephew Greg. He is survived by his daughter Tasha Blakney and her husband Michael and their two children Caroline and Ka- tie (“the Muf ns”) of Knoxville; his son Matthew and his wife Kelly and their two children Lu- cas and Lilly of Murfreesboro; his brother Lowell Blakney of Counce and his family; his beloved nieces and nephews Tim, Greg, Jana, Chris, Carol, and Angie, along with their families, most of whom con- tinue to reside in West Ten- nessee. He also had friends and caregivers who were like family to him, including the very special members of the healthcare team at the Ten- nessee State Veterans Home in Murfreesboro, where Ray resided during the last stages of his disease.

Having lost both his father and his sister to the ravages of Alzheimer’s, Ray knew what his own diagnosis meant. Yet, until the very end, he never lost the sparkle in his eyes or the grin on his face. He joked, danced, and irted relentlessly with the women at the VA, in- cluding those who were actu- ally there to visit their own hus- bands, which came as no sur- prise to those who knew him best. On the night of his pass- ing, he spoke to the angels he saw surrounding him in his room then simply stated, “I’m ready to go,” as he peacefully passed into the next world.

Ray Blakney will be laid to rest among the members of his family who went before him at Shanghai Cemetery in Counce on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 1:00 p.m., where he will re- ceive military honors. Shackl- eford Funeral Directors will be handling arrangements. The family expresses gratitude for any tributes you wish to make on behalf of Ray’s memory, and requests that you con- sider his preference that dona- tions be made in his honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis or to First Baptist Church in Counce. Semper Fi.

A Graveside Service was held March 6, 2018, at the Shanghai Cemetery in Counce.