Billy Joe


HARROGATE Billy Joe White, 76, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, surrounded by his loving family that he cherished.He was born on Aug. 29, 1936.He was a member of the Pump Springs Baptist Church, Harrogate. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Arley and Mary Ethel White; brothers, George and James White.Survivors: His loving wife Cheryl; sons, Joe (Janet) White, of Signal Mountain, Jon (Patte) White, of Hixson, Paul White, of Harrogate; daughters, Laura (Bill) Wilson, of Tazewell, Tenn., Kristi (Jan) Mueller, of Germany. He is sadly missed by 17 grandchildren: Taylor and Kasey White, Joseph and Zack Cayce, Lela and Nick Hubbard, Hannah, Rachel, Luke, Mary Grace, James Calvin, Adelide, Eleanor, and Maggie White, Sebastian Mueller, Parker and Tanner White; brothers: David (Gay) Hughes, Mike (Kim) Hughes, Rob (Kathi) Jones; sisters-in-law, Faye White and Vicki Hughes; mother-in-law, Peggy Hughes; sister, Betty White Ables.Chancellor White attended Whitwell High School and graduated 1955 where he played on the football team. He attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga on a Tennessee Products Scholarship and graduated in 1961 with an AB Degree. He then attended the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and received his law degree in 1963. While attending the University of Chattanooga he became a Master Mason at Red Bank Lodge 717 on December 23, 1960. He transferred to Evening Star Lodge 180 in New Tazewell, Tenn., on March 2, 1967. In 2010 he became a 50-year Mason at Lodge 180.He came to Claiborne County, Tenn., after graduation at UT Knoxville to practice law with William G. Harrell and the firm of Harrell and White was founded. They continued to practice until 1968 when Chancellor White began his private practice. Upon the sudden death of Chancellor James O Phillips Jr. in 1977, Chancellor White was appointed by the Governor of Tennessee, Ray Blanton, to Chancery Judge 2nd Chancery Division. At that time it consisted of eight counties: Campbell, Claiborne, Hancock, Hawkins, Loudon, Morgan, Scott and Roane. In 1984 the judicial districts were redrawn and he presided over Claiborne, Campbell, Union, Scott and Fentress Counties. It remains the same today. He was elected and re-elected 1978, 1982, 1990, 1998, and 2006. Upon his election in 1978 as chancellor he became the first democrat to win this office since the Civil War. Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, who is known as the conscience, the longest serving senator of the U.S. recognized this occasion. As a result of a Chancery Court case involving an estate in Claiborne County he and others were successful in creating the J. Frank Academy at L.M.U. which he was extremely proud. He was closely involved in beginning the Claiborne Horse Show and Rescue Squad, and the water access now known as Brogans Landing. He, with the support of a few men were able to establish and build the first football program in Claiborne County. He was instrumental in many changes for the better good of people in all the counties he served. He had sat as a special judge on the court of appeals. He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed football, softball, golf, fishing, hunting and shooting. He won the Champion of Champions of trap shooting in 1977 and shot on Russell Bivens team in support of the fight for cystic fibrosis. He loved farming and raising cattle.Funeral and Masonic services will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday Nov. 24, 2012, at Pump Springs Baptist Church, Harrogate, Tenn., with Rev. Gary Miller officiating. Music by Gary Miller and Mike Ramsey. Obituary by the Rev. Charles Earls, Eulogy by Honorable Judge Eugene Eblen. Speaker Honorable Judge Frank Williams.Visitation 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Pump Springs Baptist Church. Additional visitation will be Sunday from 1-2 p.m. at Reece Funeral Home followed by burial in Oak Grove Cemetery.In lieu of flowers ,please make donations to: First State Financial, 919 Main St., New Tazewell, TN 37825 for a scholarship to be established in his name.Reece Funeral Home in Charge of arrangements 423-869-3651 or

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