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Obituaries

DOROTHY CUNNINGHAM RUEHL

Dorothy Cunningham Ruehl, 91, of Indianapolis, Indiana, died peacefully on Nov. 10, 2023, surrounded by her family. She will be terribly missed by her family and friends. Dorothy was born Oct. 10, 1932, in Nashville, Tennessee, to Horace V. Wells and Dorothy Ann Overall. She spent her youth in Clinton, Tennessee, with her beloved sisters, Katrina Counts, the late Natalie Smith, and the late Nancy Townsend. Dorothy had fond memories of growing up with her three sisters, whose deep friendships and laughter continued throughout their lives. Dorothy graduated from Maryville College and bravely relocated to Indianapolis, where she knew no one. She worked at the Irvington Public Library, where she met her first husband, Thomas Edward Cunningham. She married Tom in 1958 and earned her master’s in library science from Indiana University. Dorothy and Tom had three children: Anne M. Glaser (Scott), Dr. James Cunningham (Catherine), and the late Thomas W. Cunningham. Dorothy continued to enjoy her friendship with her daughter-in-law Kristin Cunningham Baker after her son Tom died in 2011. Dorothy worked as a librarian for decades, sharing her love of books with her children and grandchildren. Dorothy and Tom enjoyed their long marriage; however, Dorothy was widowed in 2006. After Tom died, she pursued her many interests, including family, golf, bridge, travel, line dancing, volunteering, and reading. She was a longtime member of Irvington Presbyterian Church, where she served as a deacon, and a member of PEO., Chapter P. In 2016, she met Edward H. Ruehl, whom she married in August 2017. She enjoyed the last eight years of her life with Ed, a wonderful husband. Dorothy is survived by her husband Edward, her children Anne and James, her grandchildren Will, Anna, Natalie Cunningham, Connor and Christopher Cunningham, and Audrey, Max, and Elise Glaser. A memorial service was held Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, at 2 p.m. at Westminster Village North, Foundation Hall (Door 4), 11050 Presbyterian Drive, Indianapolis, IN 43236. Memorials may be made to The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation, Post Office Box 6134, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

LESLIE JEANNINE WILSON

Leslie Jeannine Wilson, 41, of Clinton, Tennessee, away suddenly on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, in Heiskell, Tennessee. She loved spending time with her children and grandbaby, to whom she was a Nenaw. She was very proud of her children. Leslie was so proud to watch her son Jimmy Smallwood graduate from boot camp for the U.S. Army. Leslie was preceded in death by her father. James Wilson; brother Jimmy Solomon; sister Jamie Maples; grandparents Billy and Annette Braswell, and Roberta and James T. Wilson. Leslie is survived by her mother Donna Wilson; sons Jimmie Lashawn Smallwood, and Issakiah Lynn Smallwood; daughters Demetra Kayann Smallwood, and Lakendra Dalton Smallwood; granddaughter Paisley Faith Marban; and uncle Billy Braswell Jr. Family and friends will gather for a memorial service from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, in the Jones Mortuary chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Jones Mortuary LLC. 375 N. Main St., Clinton, TN 37716. 865-457-1515. Jones Mortuary LLC in Clinton, Tennessee, is honored to serve the family of Leslie Jeannine Wilson.

DONALD RHEA McGHEE

Donald Rhea McGhee, 79. May 7, 1944 - November 20th, 2023. He left this Earth early Monday after a fierce and unforgiving battle with lung cancer.  He was preceded in death by his father Duncan McGhee, his mother Hazel McGhee, his sisters Joyce (spouse Larry), Nartella, and Brenda, his brothers Bob and Lavon, and his beloved son Duncan Mac McGhee. Though cancer brought his death upon us, it is not this illness that will define him. Rather, it is his strength, fortitude and unwavering love for those he cared for that will be remembered. Enlisting young, he served his country as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne during Vietnam. From there, he went on to serve his hometown as a paramedic. Eventually, his desire to travel took over and he successfully owned and operated a small-scale trucking company that would take him coast to coast. Having visited all of the lower 48 states, British Columbia, Quebec, and various parts of Mexico,  his knowledge was something that could only be gained through life experiences. He was willing to walk to the ends of the Earth for those he loved.  He was a husband, father, brother, son, and friend. His stories will continue to be told and shared among those who knew him best. He is gone but not forgotten, and will be forever in our hearts. We will be missing you. Until we meet again, all our love. Don is survived by his loving wife Brigitte McGhee, his son’s Donnie McGhee (Vicky spouse), Jeff Hart (Nick spouse), Brian Hart, Ian McGhee (Calei spouse), his daughter’s Kim Hill (Jerry spouse), Nicolette Breeden, and Melanie Fall (Bouya spouse). Many beloved grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Lifelong friends Ed and Cheryl Mayes and numerous loved extended family members. Graveside service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, 2023, at the Harness-McGhee Cemetery in Caryville, Tennessee.

SHIRLEY KAY ROLLINS

Shirley Kay Rollins, 69, of Rocky Top, Tennessee, passed away on Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She and her late husband Roy Rollins enjoyed spending time at Norris Lake cruising in their boat. Shirley was involved in the Moose Lodge for many years and loved to play bingo with her friends. She was an avid animal lover and rescued many abused and neglected dogs. Along with her husband Roy Rollins, she was preceded in death by her son Gary Dale White; and brother Bryan Vowell. She is survived by her father JC Vowell; mother Grace Ellis; brother, Dennis Miller and wife Janice of Rocky, TN, and Greg Miller of Clinton, TN; sister Gwen Lane; aunts, Ruth Daugherty, and Kathy Brooks; Uncle Roger Brooks. She also leaves behind a host of nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends. Shirley’s visitation for family and friends will be on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, from 1-2 p.m. in the chapel of Jones Mortuary, with her funeral following at 2 p.m. Her interment will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Rocky Top. Jones Mortuary LLC in Clinton, Tennessee, is honored to serve the family of Shirley Kay Rollins.

MERI ANN BEETS

Meri Ann Beets, 52, of Clinton passed away suddenly on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at UT Medical Center. Meri was loved and will be greatly missed; she had an immense love for animals and was always a jokester.  She was preceded in death by grandparents Jessie Waldo Thomas, Irene Scott and Doug Thomas, as well as father-in-law J.D. Beets. Meri is survived by her husband, James Beets; sons, Stephen and Austin Betterton, and Chris Darling; mother, Joyce Stewart and husband Rick; mother-in-law, Sue Beets; sisters in law, Susan Bentley and husband Donnie, and Cynthia Beets Barriera and fiancé Trent Hutchison; brother, John Pratt; aunt, Kathy Thomas; uncle, Gary Thomas and wife Debbie; ex-husband, Steve Betterton; very special friends, Sherry Haden-Buntin and Ted Killen; and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, from 5-7 p.m., with a funeral to follow at 7 p.m. Interment will be at Sinking Springs United Methodist Church cemetery on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023, at 11 a.m., with Jim McNeal officiating. Holley-Gamble Funeral Home is honored to serve Meri’s family. holleygamble.com 

DENNIS HAROLD BURRESS

Dennis Harold Burress is “Touring That City” and rejoicing in heaven following a brief illness. Dennis left this world peacefully on Nov. 21, 2023, with family by his side. He loved the Lord and accepted Jesus as his Savior at an early age. Dennis served as a deacon at Black Oak Baptist Church and New Salem Baptist Church. Dennis drove a tractor-trailer for UPS for 33 years and talked with many drivers on his CB radio using the handle “Jawbreaker.” He was a talkative fellow if he knew you. He loved working outside and “piddling,” as he called it. He liked to farm a little, weld a little, and even built additions on his house. A fun pastime for him was church league softball; man, could he hit a softball! Camping with family and friends was also on his list of fun things to do. Last but not least, we can’t forget how much he loved Westerns. Dennis loved his family and enjoyed making many memories with them. He really enjoyed seeing and doing things with his grandchildren and great-grandson. Dennis was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Jean (Silvey) Burress. Dennis leaves behind his loving wife of almost 63 years, Totsy (Hattie Margaret) Burress. His loving daughter Myra (Rick) Keever, and loving son Wayne (Angie) Burress. He also leaves behind his grandchildren to cherish his memory: Travis (Katie) Keever, Ryan Keever, Meredith Burress, Evan (Samantha) Burress and great-grandson Henry Keever. Also left to cherish his memory is his brother Raymond Burress and many nieces and nephews. Arrangements were handled by Holley-Gamble in Clinton. The graveside service and interment were held at Woodhaven Memorial Gardens, Powell, Tennessee, on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023. Pallbearers were Rick Keever, Travis Keever, Ryan Keever, Evan Burress, Meredith Burress, and Kevin Burress. We want to thank the UT Medical Center for the awesome care he received. Thank you to the staff in the ER, the staff on 6th floor Neuro ICU, and the staff on the 9th floor Vascular Surgery and Transplant Unit. Special thanks to Bonnie and Beth from Palliative Care for helping us get the best care for his needs. We also extend our gratitude to Sacred Grounds Hospice House and UT Hospice for their tremendous love and care.

LINDA SUE WHITE

Linda Sue White, 74, of Clinton passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, at her residence.  Linda was a member of Second Baptist Church and was born on Nov. 28, 1948, to Earl and Jessie Bullock.  Throughout her life, she loved to paint, sew, and do woodworking. But most of all she loved spending time with her grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Larry White; grandson, Kirklan Henson White, and sister, Annie Metier.  She is survived by her son, Joseph White; daughter, Dawn White Davis; grandsons, Canyon White and Justin Patterson; brother, Larry Bullock; aunt whom she loved like a sister, Faye Parks; aunts, Marie Brock and Jean Sharp and husband Bill and several nieces and nephews.  The family held a graveside service at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church cemetery, with the Rev. Bill Sharp officiating.  Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. holleygamble.com

JOHN HOYE BUNCH

John Hoye Bunch, 80, of 100 Vista Road. Oak Ridge, Tennessee, went to be with Jesus on Sunday Nov. 19, 2023. He was born April 25, 1943, in Clinton, Tennessee, to the Rev. Hoye Bunch and Vera Crumpley Bunch. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Charles Stephen Bunch, brother-in-law Ronald L. Hooks, grandparents Milas and Martha Bunch and Frankie Crumpley. He is survived by wife, Alice Bunch, sisters Nancy (Kyle) Wires and Martha Hooks, step children Alex Grigorov, Jeff Norman, David and James Callaway, numerous nieces, nephews and a host of relatives and friends. John was a member of Laurel Branch Baptist Church in Briceville and often attended Mount Pisgah Church in Oliver Springs. He was retired from Alloy Fabrications in South Clinton. The family would like to express their deepest appreciation for the staff at Erwin Health Care Center in Erwin, Tennessee, for their exceptional, loving and compassionate care during his illness. The family would also like to thank Caris Hospice of Erwin. No memorial service is planned at this time.