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Remembering Mr. Biddle

George A. Biddle, one of Washington County’s most beloved residents, died on Friday, at the age of 91.
Biddle, a longtime resident of Johnson City, had recently resided at the LifeCare Center of Gray, due to his declining health.
For those familiar with historic downtown Jonesborough, he will always be remembered fondly as the gentleman who so enjoyed greeting visitors on Main Street.
Joan Furches, proprietress of the Jonesborough Antique Mart, says she misses her dear friend and longtime business associate very much.
“He was here for 30-plus years as a merchant and he was very good for the store,” Furches said. “He always greeted the people and made them feel welcome, always telling them funny stories.”
Furches called Biddle one of the best friends she ever had.
“We were very saddened when he got to the point he couldn’t be here. We missed him so much,” she said. “Every day people came in asking, ‘Where’s Mr. Biddle?’ Everybody in Jonesborough loved him.”

According to Furches, Biddle’s willingness to participate and help with just about anything extended from assisting her with planting flowers in the storefront containers to taking her little dog, Shasta, for walks every day for 14 years.

“They went around the block two or three times a day,” Furches added, “and it was good for both of them.”

On Monday morning, as the funeral procession made its way to the Telford Cemetery, it paused for a few minutes in front of the Antique Mart. The store, which is normally open on Sunday afternoons, closed in his honor.

Even though Furches is saddened at his passing, she says “It is a praise, a celebration, now that Mr. Biddle is gone. He is in Heaven now and there is no more suffering for him there.”

“There are a lot of new people in Jonesborough now that didn’t have the privilege to know him and have his wonderful friendship. They missed out on a lot by not having the chance to know him.”

Mr. Biddle was a son of the late Rev. Jerry Biddle and Luella Cate Biddle. A member of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church, he was a Trustee and held many positions on the official Board.

In 1985, Mr. Biddle retired from the Johnson City School System after 43 dedicated years as the Assistant Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds, where the facility bears his name today.

During those years he was an active member and served on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement, the Civitan Club, a lifetime member of the PTA, a lifetime member of the SHHS Hilltoppers Band Boosters, he also holds a place on the SHHS Hilltopper Wall of Fame and the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Wall of Fame.

Family, friends, and the community, especially the development of children, were always on his mind and in his heart. “A life devoted to others.”

In addition to his parents, Mr. Biddle was preceded in death by his wife, Mildred Henley Biddle; and Nine Siblings.

Survivors include one daughter, Judy B. Whitaker and husband, Col. C. Paul Whitaker, Savannah, GA; Granddaughter, Leslie W. Kennedy and husband, William A. Kennedy, Middleburg, FL; Grandson, Jeffrey A. Whitaker and wife, Polly L. Whittaker, Johnson City; Three Great Grandsons, William A. Kennedy Jr., Grant A. Whitaker and Luke A. Whitaker; Three sisters, Cora B. Horner, New Market, TN, Virginia B. Odom, Mosheim, TN, and Winifred B. Gibbons, Oak Ridge, TN. Several nieces and nephews also survive.

The funeral service for Mr. Biddle was conducted at 4 P.M. Sunday, August 15, 2010, in the East Chapel of Appalachian Funeral Home with Rev. Dr. Jack Weikel and Rev. Bethany Douty officiating.

Mr. Biddle was laid to rest on Monday, August 16, 2010, in Telford Cemetery, Telford. Pallbearers were be Roy Moore, Randy Moore, Pat Wolfe, Dr. Jerry Cole, Dr. Ted Beach, Larry McKinney, Leslie and Kathie Storie, Sydney Smallwood, Keith Lyle, Jim Roundtree, Bob May, Dr. Bob Owens, Laverne and Don Mackey, Pat Aldridge, Gwen Edes, Olin Talley, Charles and Ann Hall, David Johnson, Bob McCracken, Jeff Richards, Elwin Kennedy, Art Pillman, Pat Gagan and Judy Moore — Special Care Giver.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Telford Cemetery, c/o Jerry Douglas, 114 Leesburg Rd., Telford, TN 37690; or the Alzheimer’s Association of Northeast Tennessee, 207 N. Boone Street, Johnson City, TN 37604.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the family at www.appfh.net.

Appalachian Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 800 E. Watauga Ave., served the Biddle Family. (423) 928-6111