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Obituaries

W.D. Sanders

W.D. Sanders, 80, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024, at his home in Clinton, Tennessee. Christianity is the foundation on which W.D. built his life.  W.D. was born in Carthage, Tennessee, to Thomas and Lovie Sanders in 1943.  The youngest of four children, W.D. graduated from Clinton High School in 1961 before going on to the University of Tennessee, where he achieved a bachelor’s degree in science and education.  In 1962, he married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Norman, and together they embarked on a lifetime of beautiful memories that will be cherished by all those who love him. W.D. worked as a pharmaceutical representative for Novartis until his retirement in 2001.  After retirement, W.D. and Phyllis moved to Baneberry golf course.  W.D. loved to play golf, and he played every chance he got. In 2021, W.D. and Phyllis moved back home to Clinton to be closer to their family and friends.  W.D. and Phyllis attended Second Baptist Church. W.D. is survived by his wife of 61 years, Phyllis; daughters, Melanie Sanders Cook, Treva Sanders Webster (Rick) as W.D. would say best son in law ever; grandsons, Jackson and Silas Webster; sisters, Peggy Jackson, Sue Hunt; and brother, Thomas Sanders. The family will receive friends on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, from 5-7 p.m. at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton, Tennessee, with a funeral to follow at 7 p.m.  Dr. Michael Thompson will officiate.  In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donating to Tunnels to Towers (t2t.org/donate/ or St. Jude Children’s Hospital (stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html) The staff at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home is honored to serve the family and friends of W.D Sanders.

Judy Altum Emert

Judy Altum Emert, 80, entered Glory on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 at her home surrounded by her daughters and beloved husband of 62 years. Judy was preceded in death by her parents, James Owen Altum (Jack) and Eunice Hux Altum (Patsy), and granddaughter Taylor Bernice Clark. Judy is survived by her husband, Clyde E. “Eddie” Emert; children, Tammy Clark (Dwayne), Donna Colwell, Ginger Fisher (John), Bryan Emert (Lisa); grandchildren, Channing Miller (Gabriel), Macy Fisher (Cole), Ellise Fisher, Adam Clark (Timeka and Zachary Clark, Cody Emert; and several great-grandchildren. Judy is at peace now, surrounded by angels and her Savior Jesus Christ. We are sure she is trying to find a way to help the residents of heaven. She is free from all her earthly worries and stressors. Services are private and will not be announced. Jones Mortuary of Clinton, Tennessee, is serving the family of Judy Altum Emert.

Blaine Garrett DeWalt

Blaine Garrett DeWalt, 31, of Clinton, Tennessee, passed away on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, at his home. He dearly loved his mom, children and his kitty. Mom will really miss his smile. Blaine liked to play pool and golf. He was a nature guy and loved walking in parks, and also enjoyed climbing and jumping off cliffs. He had the biggest heart of anyone that you would ever meet. Blaine was preceded in death by his father Kenneth DeWalt, and grandfather Jerry Johnson. He is survived by his mother Tina Rogers and husband Robert of Monroe, N.C.; daughters, Madelyn DeWalt and Blakely DeWalt both of Oliver Springs, TN; Grandmothers, Shirley Campbell of Clinton, TN and Elizabeth Johnson of Clinton, TN; sister Gabrielle White and husband Michael of Clinton, TN; nephews, Brogan White, and Daxeyn White; niece Kailor White; Aunt Joyce Rittenberry of Clinton, TN; also his inseparable best friend Weston Miller of Lafollette, TN. A visitation for Blaine was held Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in the chapel of Jones Mortuary from 11 a.m. until noon. His graveside service followed the visitation at Anderson Memorial Gardens in Clinton. Jones Mortuary in Clinton is honored to serve the family of Blaine Garrett DeWalt.

Roger Leon Childs

Roger Leon Childs, 77, of Clinton, Tennessee, entered eternal rest on Feb. 5, 2024, with his loving family nearby. Roger will be remembered as a loving husband, father, provider, and friend.  He never met a stranger and was always willing to help. No matter what the issue, you could always count on Roger. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, hunting, camping, and riding four-wheelers and dirt bikes. However, Roger always dreamed of flying.  He obtained his pilot’s license in 1994, and enjoyed flying every chance he got. Roger was proficient in using ham radios. Roger was a jack of all trades; he worked at White Stores, Jim Robin’s Seat Belt, Modine, K-25 and Y12, and drove a truck for a short time.  He graduated from Clinton High School in 1965 and served in the National Guard from 1965 to 1971. On Aug. 23, 1969, Roger married his soul mate, Dianna Sue Walden, and together they spent 54 beautiful years together.  They raised two children, Skeeter and William (Skip). Roger was preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Sybil (Bower) Childs; brother, Marvin Childs.  He is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Dianna Sue; daughter, Skeeter Lynn (Chris) Combs; son, William Hubert ‘Skip’ (Toska) Childs; grandchildren, Marisa Renee Northrop (Jason), Megan Nicole Childs, Miranda Grace Childs, Holly Noel Combs, MaryAnna Elizabeth Combs, and James Riley Combs; brother Charles (Cheryl) Childs; and sister-in-law, Betty Childs; several nieces, nephews and a host of other family and friends. The family wishes to thank all of the staff at UT Hospice and Summit View of Rocky Top for their love and care. The family received friends on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024, from 5-7 p.m. The funeral followed at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home, with Pastor Randy Norton officiating.  Family and friends met at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, to go in funeral procession to Oak Ridge Memorial Park for a 1 p.m. interment. holleygamble.com

Danny Cecil Parks

Danny Cecil Parks departed this life on Tuesday January 23, as a result of the Main Street fire in Rocky Top, Tennessee. Danny was born on March 19, 1955, in Washington, North Carolina, to a military family and was of the Christian faith. He was baptized as a teen at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dutch Valley, Anderson County. Danny was the first child and only son of Carter and Bobbie Parks, raised with four younger sisters in an energetic and sometimes chaotic household with devoted, ever-present, and fiercely loving parents. He served in the U.S. Air Force after graduating from Lake City High School. Danny was a retired landscaper who enjoyed working with plants and flowers, and he loved the natural landscapes, forests, hills, and valleys of East Tennessee. He was deeply loved by his extended family and friends and was known for his quick wit, joking manner, and mischievous, smiling eyes. Danny was a long-time resident of Lake City (now Rocky Top), where he developed deep and caring roots for his friends and beloved community. He served for decades as a coach, umpire, and organizer of youth sports and adult softball at the Lake City Ball Field. Mr. Parks was preceded in death by his father, Carter O. Parks, and brother-in-law, Michael Ray Bunch, both of the Dutch Valley Community; grandparents, Cecil C. Parks and Arpie Sisson Parks of Laurel Grove; and Al Chrismon and Clorine Isley Chrismon of Bath, North Carolina; as well as several aunts and uncles from Tennessee and North Carolina. Left to grieve are his mother, Barbara C. Parks of Clinton; son, Preston Parks (Kylo) of Knoxville; daughter, Barbara Ellen Parks (Bryen) of Clinton; grandchildren, Za Parks, Ducky Julian, Tate Julian, and expectant granddaughter, Anna Parks; sisters, Seaira Parks Stephenson (Brad), Angie Parks Bunch, Regina Parks McCallister (Dennis), and LaVerne Parks. He is survived by a host of nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins from Tennessee, North Carolina, Louisiana, and other locales. The Parks family gratefully acknowledges the outpouring of support and condolences from first responders, law enforcement, and the Rocky Top and Clinton communities after Danny’s unexpected and tragic death. Jones Mortuary in Clinton, Tennessee is in charge of arrangements. Receiving of Friends is planned for Sunday, January 28th in the chapel of Jones Mortuary from 1 to 3 PM with the service to immediately follow at 3 PM. Interment is planned for Monday, January 29th at 2 PM at Clinch River Baptist Church in Medford. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you consider supporting the other victims of the Rocky top fire who tragically lost everything they owned as they fled the rapidly advancing fire. Danny loved his neighbors, and our thoughts are with the other families who are left to rebuild their lives after this disaster.

Ellen Skidmore Hughes

Ellen Skidmore Hughes passed away at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge on Dec. 20, 2023, after battling with dementia. Mona Ellen was born on Nov. 24, 1934, on a farm in Westel, Tennessee, to Rachel Hodge Skidmore and Paul Jackson Skidmore. She graduated from Cumberland County High School and moved to Oak Ridge, where she was introduced to Charles Hughes by her sister, Margaret. They married in 1951 and later welcomed two daughters, Charlotte Ellen and Laura Sue. To help put Charles through pharmacy school, Ellen worked at Y-12 in accounting and budget. In turn, she completed a degree in public health from UT. In 1973, the couple opened Edgemoor Pharmacy in Claxton, which served the community for 35 years. Ellen also operated an adjoining, award-winning gift shop called Charlotte’s Web. Ellen was passionate about the store, and particularly enjoyed working with its staff and customers. Ellen was also passionate about music, which is one of God’s greatest gifts. From her earliest years, she loved singing with her family and playing piano, as well as singing in choirs. She was also well-traveled, both in the United States and various other countries. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, with whom she shared 72 years of marriage, and her siblings, Mary Hall, Faye Garrison, and Paul Jr. (Sunny Skidmore). She is survived by her daughters, Charlotte Bounds (Tim) and Laura Graves (Arnold); her granddaughters Camille Graves (Will Lavender), Rachel Leander (Erik), and Patricia Ellen Lenaghan (Scott); her great-grandchildren Esmee Graves and Selma Lavender, Viggo and Ingrid Leander, and Jack and Conor Lenaghan; her sister, Margaret Stewart. and sisters-in-law Pat Hughes and Alice Hughes. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge, First Baptist Clinton - Organ Restoration Fund, or to plant a tree to remember her.

Janet R. Sievers

Janet R. Sievers, a native Tennessean and lifetime resident of Claxton, Tennessee, passed away after a brief illness on Jan. 24, 2024. She is survived by her three children, Elliott Sievers, Lara Sievers (spouse), Garrett Sievers, and Mason Sievers (children/grandchildren), Paige Sievers, and Dawn Sievers.  She worked for the Department of Human Services in Clinton, Tennessee. Upon retirement, she enjoyed spending time with family, and watching her grandsons growing up. Reading was one of her favorite hobbies. As one of nine siblings in an unusually close family, her focus throughout life was family in general. She was a devoted mother and grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She will be deeply missed by us all. Per her wishes, there will be no funeral home service. A small graveside service for immediate family will be held at Bethel Cemetery in Karns. holleygamble.com 

Janice Sue Melton

Janice Sue Melton, 78, passed away at her home on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024, after a lingering illness. She enjoyed attending services where she was a long time member of Mt Pleasant Methodist Church. Susie was preceded in death by her parents, Zee and Reba Mitchell Melton; sisters, Betty Irwin, Ruth Murphy, June Henderson; and brother, James Melton. She is survived by her brothers, Clifton (Judy) Melton of Clinton, TN, and Clayton (Pam) Foust; sister, Faye Melton McCoy of Andersonville, TN. Susie also leaves behind a host of other nieces, nephews, and her church family. Graveside service for Susie was held Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, at 10 a.m. at Norris Memorial Gardens in Norris, Tennessee, with the Rev. Robin Kyek officiating. Jones Mortuary in Clinton is honored to serve the family of Janice Sue Melton.