Obituaries for May 10, 2017

Lillian Grindstaff Dees

July 1, 1920 — April 20, 2017


Lillian Grindstaff Dees, 96, died Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the Brian Center Health and Rehab in Spruce Pine.

Born July 1, 1920, in Mitchell County, Lillian was the daughter of the late Jesse and Melissa Grindstaff. She was also preceded in death by her sister, Orla Burleson; and brothers Lodi, Joe and Bill Grindstaff.

After losing her parents at a very early age, Lillian, along with four of her siblings, was raised at Mills Home Baptist orphanage in Thomasville.

She attended nursing school at Grace Hospital in Banner Elk and later business college in Asheville.

Lillian worked for many years at Rex Hospital in Raleigh and later pursued other interests in the western U.S. before returning to her roots in Spruce Pine.

She was a member of Western Carolina Church where she made many wonderful friends.

Lillian had a lifelong appreciation of education and was an avid reader with an open and curious mind – she was interested in most everything in the world around her. 

She will be remembered by her family and friends for her captivating stories, good humor and contagious laugh.

A memorial service celebrating Lillian’s life is 11 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at Western Carolina Church in Spruce Pine.

The family would like to extend a sincere “thank you” to the staff of The Brian Center Health & Rehab for the special care they provided Lillian.




Doris L. Tipton Hughes


Doris L. Tipton Hughes, 75, of Johnson City, Tennessee, departed this world for heaven Friday, May 5, 2017.

2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

Doris grew up in Bakersville in a lovely place called Bee Branch. She moved to Johnson City in 1962. She loved the mountains and returned to her little cabin home several years after her retirement from Citi in Gray, Tennessee. When she returned to the mountains, those were some of the happiest days of her life.

During her early years, she attended Appalachian State University and served within the Brethren Volunteer Service in Chicago. This time was one of the most memorable experiences in her life. She loved her flowers, gardening, porch time and above all things, she loved the Lord Jesus Christ.

Doris was a kind, sweet soul, loving those with all her heart. She was a faithful Christian servant, a listener, a calming spirit and a friend to many. She was a most loving wife, mother and grandmother “Momaw.”

She leaves in this world to someday join her in glory her husband of 55 years, Ed Hughes; son, Matthew Hughes (Jennifer); daughter, Leia Williams (Chip); her precious grandson and the sunshine of her life, Zakkary; sisters, Susie McKinney, Mary Vinson and her sister who she was like a mother to, Helen Street; brothers, Phil and Tony Tipton; several nieces and nephews; and her lifelong best friend, Shirley Butler. 

Doris has already greeted in heaven her mother and father, Burl and Effie Tipton.

A graveside service was 10 a.m. Monday, May 8, 2017, at Mountain Home National Cemetery under the direction of the Rev. John Smith and the Rev. Greg Salyer. Pallbearers were her nephews. Family and friends were requested to meet at Morris-Baker Funeral Home by 9:15 a.m. Monday to go in procession to the cemetery. A celebration of life service was conducted from 6-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at First Church of the Brethren in Johnson City.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the Hughes family via 

Morris-Baker Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Johnson City is serving the Hughes family.




Tom Jarrett

Oct. 16, 1955 — April 20, 2017


Tom Jarrett, 61, of Slagle Road, Bakersville, died Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the St. Joseph’s Campus of Mission Hospitals in Asheville.

Born Oct. 16, 1955, in McDowell County, he was the son of the late Estel and Jackie Woody Jarrett McKinney. Tom was a member of the Ledger Baptist Church and the owner of Jarrett Electric.

Tom enjoyed riding his motorcycle with his special friend, Mark Wilson, along with Bob Stevens, Brown Byrd and Randy Burleson. He also enjoyed camping, fishing and going to car shows. Tom will leave a lasting impact on everyone he ever met.

Left to cherish his memories are his wife of 24 years, Pat Jarrett, of the home; his stepson, John Franklin, of Weaverville; his grandson, Austin Franklin, of the home; his brothers, Mike Jarrett and wife, Debbie, of Bakersville, and Allen McKinney, of Spruce Pine; his stepfather; Junior McKinney, of Spruce Pine; and special nephew, Landon Fox, of Bakersville.

A time to support the family, share memories and receive friends was 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Ledger Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made in Tom’s honor to: Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777.

Words of comfort may be emailed to the family by going to, selecting Tom Jarrett’s name and signing his guestbook. Webb Funeral Home of Spruce Pine is honored to assist the Jarrett family. Tom’s obituary has also been posted on Facebook.



Jay Lee Webb


Jay Lee Webb, 92, passed away May 3, 2017, at NHC facility following a lengthy illness. He was born in Erwin, Tennessee, and was the son of U.L. Webb and Louise Byrd Webb. He spent his early life in Red Hill in Mitchell County, graduating from Tipton Hill High School. He was employed at the Norfolk Naval Yard before volunteering for the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he served on the U.S.S. Natoma Bay.

After his service in the Navy, he worked in Dayton, Ohio, returning to Johnson City, Tennessee, to work at the Veteran’s Administration, where he met his wife of more than 62 years, Joan Campbell.

While at the VA, he completed his business degree from Steed College. At the time of his retirement he was the chief purchasing and contracting agent at the VA. 

He was a member of the Jonesborough United Methodist Church where he had previously served in various positions including chair of the administrative board for several terms, chair of the finance and parsonage committees and was a co-founder of the Open Door Sunday School Class.   

He enjoyed his farm, his friends at Mountain View Apartments, CIRCLE-4 Square Dance Club, church and many neighbors. He especially loved his family.

He is preceded in death by his parents: his younger brother, Junior; and sister, Beatrice Webb Hughes. 

He is survived by his wife, Joan Campbell Webb, of Johnson City; son, Jon M. Webb, of Blountville, Tennessee; daughter, Jayne Webb Lettich (Tony), of Johnson City; grandchildren, Daniel Webb (Brittney), Sarah Webb Conkle (Josh), and Jay and Richard Lettich; and great-grandchildren, Cora and Nolan Conkle, and Boone Webb. Additionally, he is survived by a sister-in-law, Janey Diehl; and a niece and nephews.

The family would like to express its sincerest appreciation to the staff of the NHC Facility for the love and care shown to all of us during his stay.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish can donate to the Good Samaritan Ministries in Johnson City or the Jonesborough United Methodist Church.

A graveside service was 11 a.m. Friday, May 5, at the Fairview Cemetery in Jonesborough. The procession departed Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home at 10:45 a.m. Pallbearers were family and friends. 

Condolences may be sent to the Webb family online at




Patsy McKinney Boone

Patsy McKinney Boone diedMonday, May 1, 2017, at her residence in Marion.

A service to honor the life of Miss Patsy was Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at New Manna Baptist Church with Pastor Tony Shirley and Pastor Bruce Ward officiating. Interment followed at Chapel Hill Cemetery.  

Those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Boone’s memory are asked to consider Hospice and Palliative Care of the Blue Ridge, 236 Hospital Drive, Spruce Pine, NC 28777 or by visiting 

Beam Funeral Service & Crematory is assisting the Boone family.

The MItchell News

Mailing Address: PO Box 339 
Spruce Pine, NC 28777 
Phone: 828-765-7169
Fax: 828-765-1616