Local News

Story published: 12-27-2011 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Remembering those we lost in 2011

By Lynn J. Richardson
Publisher

The area lost several notable people in 2011. While the Herald & Tribune honors all those who lost their lives this year, here are few community leaders whose absence will be especially missed as we enter a new year.

JOSEPH LEON COLBURN

Cranberry Thistle Co-Owner

Joe Colburn, popular co-owner of Jonesborough’s Cranberry Thistle, made life a little sweeter in Tennessee’s oldest town. A talented baker, Colburn passed away Jan. 10, after a brief illness.

Colburn was a native of Maryland and had served his country in combat in the United States Army in WWII and the United States Air during the Korean War. He left behind his wife of 34 years, Nancy Colburn, and his sister-in-law, Joe Storie.

JIM ALLEN

Former Herald & Tribune Co-Owner

Local businessman, entrepreneur and former owner of the Herald & Tribune, James Allen, 81, of Johnson City, died Monday, Jan. 25 at his residence.

A native of Wetumpka, Ala., Allen had lived in Johnson City since 1954. He bought Griffith Motors and operated it until 1984 and also formed Southeastern Tile Distributors. He was one of the founders of Emersons Restaurants, having 43 restaurants in 16 states at one time.

Allen was at one time the co-owner of the Herald & Tribune. Along with the late Bill Breeden, the two purchased the paper from Tim Pridgen in 1961 and co-owned it until 1970 when Breeden bought Allen out and became sole owner.

Allen was survived by four sons, Mike Allen, Keith Allen and Madison Allen, all of Johnson City, and Ronnie Allen, of Greenville, S.C.

CHESTER R. WHITE

Owner & Operator of White’s Auto Parts

Chester R. White, owner and operator of White’s Auto Parts in downtown Jonesborough, died Saturday, March 12, 2011 at the Johnson City Medical Center.

A native of Union County, he loved his country and served in the US Army in the 246th Signal Corp. He was stationed in Germany and France.

White was at his business in downtown Jonesborough every day, ready to chat with anyone who visited his store.

He left behind his wife of 61 years, Louise, and two sons, Don White and Kyle White, who shared ownership of the business with their father.

RICHARD SHADDEN

Appalachian Fair Manager, County Commissioner

Richard Shadden passed away unexpectedly at his home in Gray on May 21 at the age of 67. He had been with the Appalachian Fair organization for 21 years and served as the Gray community’s representative on the Washington County Commission.

Described as a “quiet and thoughtful leader” by County Mayor Dan Eldridge, Shadden was a member of the Gray Ruritan Club, a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Shrine Club.

Shadden was employed at the Kingsport Press Book Manufacturing Company for 25 years. He served on the Convention and Visitors Bureau of the Johnson City Chamber of Commerce, was a Director of the Tennessee Association of Fairs; and the former President and Vice-President of the Tennessee Fairs Assoc.

In addition to his mother, Mr. Shadden was survived by his wife of 46 years, Sherry Hale Shadden; one daughter, Stephanie Roark and husband Jon; and one son, Dr. Bo Shadden.

JEFFREY A. BERRY

Director of Washington County Juvenile Services

On Wed. June 8, 2011, Jeffrey Alan Berry, 48, passed away unexpectedly.

And though Berry spent only 3 1/2 years as the Director of Washington County Juvenile Services, the vast majority of his life was dedicated to advocacy for children and young people.

Berry worked in social services at the adolescent unit of Woodridge Hospital, served as activity director at Holston Home for children and oversaw juvenile in-home probation at HomeBase.

In 1995, he came to Washington County Juvenile Services as Senior Youth Services Officer, but left eight years later to become the director of attendance in Kingsport City Schools. It was there that he created the first program in Tennessee to charge parents with younger children’s truancy.

Berry worked in other areas including juvenile detention, school guidance counseling and as a facilitator for Moral Kombat.

Berry served as coordinator of the Washington County Truancy Board, Foster Care Review Board, and Child Support Services. He also served as Grand Division Coordinator for the Tennessee Juvenile Court Services Association, secretary/treasurer of the East Tennessee Attendance Supervisors Association, and was immediate past-president of the Northeast Council of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth.

In 2004, Jeff was a recipient of the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency’s Outstanding Character Award

In addition to his parents, he left behind his wife of 25 years, Kathryn “Kem” Moore Berry; his son, Eli Berry and his daughter, Marlee Berry.

KATHRYN WINDHAM

Storyteller, photographer and writer

Even though she wasn’t a resident of Jonesborough or the Washington County community, residents felt a loss upon learning of the death of Kathryn Tucker Windham who was a perennial favorite at Jonesborough’s National Storytelling Festival. She died at her home in Selma, Alabama, on June 12 after just celebrating her 93rd birthday on June 2.

International Storytelling Center Founder and President, Jimmy Neil Smith described Windham as a “pioneering journalist, a photographer, a collector of ghost stories and folk history and an author,” as well as “one of the most respected in the storytelling movement.” Windham told her first story at the Jonesborough festival in 1974 and her last in 2010.

BILL BREEDEN

Former Herald & Tribune owner and publisher

Bill Breeden, former owner and publisher of the Herald & Tribune, died at his home in Johnson City on June 10. A life-long newspaperman, Breeden went to work at the Johnson City Press-Chronicle in 1948 after completing his military service in the Navy during World War II where he was an LSM495 serving in the South Pacific and was part of the fleet that took the first occupational troops into Koble and Osaka, Japan.

He was with the Press-Chronicle for 13 years before purchasing the Herald & Tribune with the late Jim Allen.

Breeden became the sole owner in 1970, also serving as the paper’s publisher until 1980 when he returned to the Johnson City Press-Chronicle as Advertising Manager, later bcomgin Sales and Marketing Director. He retired in 1997.

Former co-owner and general manager of the Johnson City Press, Tim P. Jones, recalls Breeden as one who “was always interested in his community.”

Breeden served as President and Board Member of the Johnson City Boys Club and also served on the board of the Jonesborough and Johnson City Civitan Club. Breeden also served on other boards, including the American Red Cross, Appalachian District Fair and Johnson City Country Club. He was President of the Jonesborough Community Chest.

EUNICE KEEFAUVER McCOY

Ms. Eunice Keefauver McCoy, age 82, Jonesborough, passed away Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ms. McCoy was a daughter of the late Robert and Fannie Milhorn Keefauver. She left behind a son, Joe McCoy and wife, Cathy; and two daughters, Elizabeth McCoy and Jeanette McCoy Miller, owner and operator of Marj On Main in Jonesborough.

Ms. McCoy received a B.S. Degree from ETSU in 1954. She taught school in Arlington, VA, and Jonesboro High School. She served as a Hostess at the Jonesborough Visitor’s Center until she retired in 1997. She was an avid reader. She supported the Washington County Library and was a member of the Friends of the Library.

Property once owned by the McCoy family is now occupied by Lowe’s and other commercial developments.

MARK HICKS, JR.

Former county commissioner, attorney

Mark Clyde Hicks Jr., 84, Johnson City, passed away on Tuesday, December 13, 2011, at his residence.

After his service in the Navy, Mark attended ETSU and obtained a Law Degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law. He was a Senior Partner with Hicks, Arnold, Haynes & Sanders for 25 years and also served as the Washington County Attorney for 18 years.

Hicks served on the Tri-City Regional Airport Commission for 35 years, the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee for 39 years, and in 1984 he was a Presidential Elector.

He also served on the Johnson City Medical Center Board, the Johnson City Power Board, The Republican National Committee, the Tennessee Historical Commission and the Board of Directors for First Tennessee Bank. He was a member of the American Legion, Sons of the Revolution, Johnson City Rotary Club and the ETSU Foundation.

He left behind one son and daughter-in-law, Mark Clyde Hicks III and Carol Annette Hicks, Jonesborough, owners of the Creekside Restaurant in Jonesborough; one daughter, Ellen Hicks Thornton of Nashville; and the mother of his children, Lois Dillow Hicks, retired advertising director of the Herald & Tribune.