December 6, 1925 – November 11, 2017
Rance Pless, 91, of Greeneville, passed away on Veteran’s Day, Saturday, November 11, 2017, at Laughlin Healthcare Center.
Rance grew up on his family’s farm in the Cedar Creek community of southern Greene County. He served in the Navy during World War II, assigned to a Landing Craft Infantry ship (LCI-696) in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, from 1944 to 1946. He was a professional baseball player from 1947 to 1960, and made it to the majors in 1956 with the Kansas City Athletics. He was a baseball scout for the Atlanta Braves for 25 years and worked at The Magnavox Company as security captain when it didn’t interfere with baseball or farming, from 1947 to 1987.
Rance is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Lucille Pless; a son and daughter-in-law: Randy and Kathy Pless; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws, friends, and neighbors.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Garfield and Sally Kate (Waddle) Pless.
Lucille, Randy, and Kathy send a heartfelt thank you to the employees and volunteers of Laughlin Healthcare Center and Smoky Mountain Home Health and Hospice. A special tip of the baseball cap to Carla Nickle, Ken Nickle, and Craig Rhyne.
The family will receive friends from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home in Greeneville.
The funeral service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday in the funeral home chapel with Rev. Melinda Sturm officiating.
Interment will be at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in GreeneLawn Memory Gardens. The Greene County Honor Guard and the U.S. Navy Military Honors Team will conduct a military graveside service. Family and friends are asked to meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home to go in procession to the cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Kenneth DeWitt, Terry Rader, Ronnie Wilhoit, Eugene Broyles, Jerry Hoyle, and Randy Pless.
Memorial donations may be made to: River Hill United Methodist Church, c/o Wayne Phillips, 145 Rolling Hills Road, Greeneville, TN 37743.
- Visitation Tuesday, November 14, 2017
- Funeral Service Tuesday, November 14, 2017
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November 14, 2017
What a wonderful, full life this man lived. He touched so many lives and contributed in so many ways to his family, community and country. It was a honor and a pleasure to know such a fine gentleman. I am grateful for the memories our family has of our times with Rance and Lucille. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy to be cherished by all that knew him. I'll remember him walking in the garden with my 2yr old showing her his tomatoes. Talking about his years in baseball and showing us "the ring". Asking about our snowy winters up here in the north. Lucille, Randy and Kathy may your memories and love for each other help you through this time. Love you all.
November 13, 2017
Lucille, Randy and Kathy. Sorry for your loss. We will always be thankful for Rance taking time to talk baseball with my son and for all of you for the good times we had growing up there.
November 12, 2017
Randy and Kathy, so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kathy (Wiles) Moody
November 12, 2017
I'M EMAILING FROM CANADA TO SAY THAT ANOTHER OF MY BASEBALL CARD HEROES HAS PASSED AWAY.I CONTACTED RANCE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO AND AT THAT TIME HE SIGNED A BASEBALL CARD AND ANSWERED THE QUESTIONNAIRE. HE ALSO INCLUDED A NICE AUTOGRPAHED PHOTO. I WON'T FORGET THAT. HE ENDED UP WITH A CAREER MINOR LEAGUE AVERAGE OF .303 WITH 153 HOMERUNS. I'M WONDERING WHAT KEPT HIM OUT OF THE BIG LEAGUES?