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 Bessie K “Bess” <I>Williams</I> Pirkle

Bessie K “Bess” Williams Pirkle

Loudon, Loudon County, Tennessee, USA
Death 31 Oct 2012 (aged 105)
Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, USA
Memorial ID 100009370 · View Source
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January 6, 1907 - October 31, 2012
Bess Pirkle, 105, the oldest living member of First Baptist Church of Cleveland and an inspiration to the thousands who knew and loved her, passed away Wednesday evening in a local health-care facility.

Pirkle, a prayer warrior who always exhibited a calm and reasoned outlook on life with the conviction that God is in control of all things, would have been 106 years old on January 6, 2013.

"A woman of grace and dignity, Bess Pirkle was a role model for all of us, displaying throughout her life an enduring devotion to her Lord, Jesus Christ, and compassion for people she met along the way, including those at Life Care Center of Cleveland, where she spent the last few years of her life," said Beecher Hunter, president of Life Care Centers of America and a fellow church member. "She was an inspiration for her faith, good humor, and a desire to always see the best in others."

"I am happy and glad I reached this age," she said at the celebration of her 105th birthday. "I think I made it because I am not a worrier. Being this age feels just as natural as anything, and I am enjoying this part of my life."
The key to her longevity has been her disposition, she said. "I don't dwell on little things."

Born in Loudon County, Tennessee, Pirkle worked at the post office after she graduated from high school. On June 17, 1933, she married Floyd Pirkle, who was a reporter for the Cleveland Herald. The couple was married for 41 years, until he passed away in 1974.

Pirkle had lived in Bradley County for 80 years, and was a member of First Baptist Church since 1934.

A dedicated fan of the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team, she often wore and displayed in her room the orange and white colors of the school. On the occasion of her 104th birthday party, she received a signed football and a birthday card from Derek Dooley, UT's head football coach."I'm more excited about getting this note from Coach Dooley than (the one) from the president," she said, referring to a letter she received from President Obama.

Funeral services will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. Friday, November 2, 2012 at First Baptist Church with Dr. Allan Lockerman and the Reverend Jim Gibson officiating. Interment will follow in Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with David Pirkle, Ron Pirkle, Tommy Pirkle, Gerald Lillard, Dan Cooke, and McKamy Hall serving as pallbearers. Visitation will be from 2-3 p.m. at the church Friday prior to the service.

Ralph Buckner Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements

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  • Created by: beverly(dyer) gourley
  • Added: 1 Nov 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 100009370
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bessie K “Bess” Williams Pirkle (6 Jan 1907–31 Oct 2012), Find A Grave Memorial no. 100009370, citing Hilcrest Memorial Gardens, Cleveland, Bradley County, Tennessee, USA ; Maintained by beverly(dyer) gourley (contributor 47596530) .