Ethel Virgie Julian

May 3, 1911April 13, 2018

Ethel Kelly Julian, oldest member of Smithwood Baptist Church and oldest patient at Holston Health and Rehab passed away Friday, April 13, 2018 at the age of 106. She was the mother of Harold Julian (Ada), C. Lynn Julian (Laura), and the late Joyce Whaley, all of Knoxville. Mrs. Julian was employed by Appalachian Mills, Sanitary Laundry and Dry Cleaning and the Foster Grandparent Program. She also volunteered as a "Pink Lady" at Baptist Hospital. For many years she lived in the New Hopewell community, then in the South Heights community, and finally in the West Haven community. Before joining Smithwood Baptist Church she was a member of New Hopewell Baptist Church, West Haven Baptist Church, and Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church. Ethel was preceded in death by her husband Morris H. Julian, daughter, Joyce J. Whaley and son-in-law Glenn Whaley. She is survived by her two sons and their wives; seven grandchildren: fifteen great-grandchildren; and nine great-great-grandchildren. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Holston Health and Rehab, Caris Hospice, and special nephew Mike Kelly and Kay for their daily visits. Family will receive friends on Sunday, April 15, 2018 from 1:00 pm until 3:00 pm in the chapel of Berry Funeral Home, 3704 Chapman Highway with the funeral service to follw at 3:00 pm, Rev. Connie Mack (Cotton) Kelly and Rev. Brock Webster officiating. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. Pallbearers will be great-grandchildren Blake Johnson, Logan Johnson, Caleb Whaley, Cameron Whaley, Max McCoig, Christian Nave, and her nephew, Mike Kelly. Honorary pallbearers will be David Roberts, David Ellis, Travis Parker, Ben Burnett, Jim Tipton, Phil Johnson, and Timothy Nave. Condolences may be offered at


  • Visitation Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Funeral Service Sunday, April 15, 2018
  • Interment Sunday, April 15, 2018

Ethel Virgie Julian

have a memory or condolence to add?

Beverly Clark

April 16, 2018

Lynn (Lisa & Stacy)
I am so sorry for your loss, I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time.
Beverly Clark

Stacey lyn Julian

April 16, 2018

We are so sorry for your loss .

Buddy and Peggy Clark

April 15, 2018


We are so sorry for your loss. We will be praying for you and your family.

Buddy & Peggy Cupp

Thomas & Libby Widgeon

April 15, 2018

Sorry For Your Loss!

Shirley Metcalf

April 14, 2018

Harold and Ada, so sorry for your loss.
Your mother was a fine lady and lived a
Good life. God Bless You both .

Shirley Metcalf

Margaret Stamey

April 14, 2018

Our thoughts and eaters are with your family.

Lois Thomas

April 14, 2018

Harold and Ada - I recall some of our conversations about Mrs. Julian, and I just wanted you all to know you are in my thoughts. Harold, you have good genes!

Sandra J Hinsdale

April 14, 2018

Wishing Mr. and Mrs. Harold Julian and families my condolences. Sandra Hinsdale

Rita Neubert

April 14, 2018

We are very sorry to hear of the loss of your dear Mother.
Bill and Rita Neubert



      If anyone ever cared, really cared for someone else it would have to be Ethel Virgie Julian who at the age of 106, held the distinction of being the oldest living citizen in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was a warm hearted and well liked individual, and these wonderful traits came easily to her because she was such a sociable and amiable person, someone who was always making certain that those around her had whatever they needed. Ethel was a talkative person who was tactful at all times but typically said what she meant.

       She was the daughter of Wesley and Rebecca Kelley. Ethel was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. During her childhood she learned to be reliable and respectful. Ethel was an obedient child who wanted to win the favor of others. She found it easy to show sympathy and to perform kind acts for others. These admirable qualities would become a part of Ethel's personality throughout her life.

      Ethel was a faithful and loving person. Some would even call her sentimental and a romantic at heart. Her kindness and consideration radiated an aura of warmth to those around her. Ethel cared for what others thought and carried that into her marriage. On November 6, 1926 Ethel married Morris H. Julian in Knoxville, Tennessee. Compassionate and devoted, Ethel worked hard to make her new life partner happy.

      Harmony was important to Ethel and she made every effort to maintain it with her family. Ethel was blessed with three children: Harold, Lynn, and Joyce. They were also blessed with seven grandchildren: Karen Roberts, Katrina Ellis, Lisa Lawson, Stacy Nave, Sylvia Whaley, Beverly Johnson, and Emily McPherson. They were doubly blessed with fifteen great-grandchildren and nine great-great-grandchildren. Ethel was always conscious of the feelings others had. She was reasonable and understanding. As a result, Ethel was quick to solve disputes and did so without much fuss. Her secret of success in this area was simple: Ethel would listen before she would act.

      Taking her work seriously came naturally to Ethel, and she expected the same from those around her. Ethel was a good team player, someone who was born to cooperate with others. She was what some would call a “people person” and it was demonstrated in her good communication skills. Ethel was a steady worker, one who was realistic about schedules. The kind of details that would give family members and work colleagues fits were situations that Ethel handled well. She could understand the details without getting lost in the broad “big picture.” Her primary occupation was a seamstress at Appalachian Mills and later as an office worker at Sanitary Laundry and Dry Cleaners. She brought harmony to her work environment, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done, while always maintaining respect for her colleagues.

       Her favorite pursuits were volunteering at Baptist Hospital as a Pink Lady.

     Her high moral standards and traditional values served Ethel well with her faith. Religion and faith were important to her. She was the oldest member of Smithwood Baptist Church. Prior to joining Smithwood she was a member of New Hopewell Baptist Church where she was a faithful Sunday School teacher. After New Hopwell, she was a member of West Haven Baptist Church and Chilhowee Hills Baptist Church. She was well respected because she was such an outgoing individual who sought to help in any manner she could.

      Ethel's favorite vacations were in Florida where she and Morris joined friends. She also seemed to enjoy planning all of those vacations. She was a facilitator who could easily make up a near perfect schedule of all of the things to do and see. She rarely tired of going back and revisiting her favorite places.

      Ethel loved her bulldog Sheba who was a best friend for 11 + years.

      Since it was easy for Ethel to meet and get to know new people, she quickly made friends, even in retirement. Once she met those new friends, she loved sharing stories and talking about the good old days. Since she was practical and cost effective, Ethel was not ready when that day to retire finally came in 1985. In retirement, she found new pleasure in foster grandparenting. This brought her a sense of fulfillment during her retirement

      Ethel passed away on April 13, 2018 at Holston Health and Rehab of heart failure. Her services were held at Berry Funeral Home in Knoxville, Tennessee on April 15, 2018. Ethel was laid to rest in Woodlawn Cemetery in Knoxville, Tennessee.

      Ethel was a fantastic conversationalist who could engage just about anyone in a discussion. And whenever she said something, she meant it. Ethel was a down to earth person, outgoing and gregarious. She was without question the type of person who enjoyed experiencing things first hand. She was practical and sensible, but what friends and family will remember her for most is the fact that she was so understanding and kind. Everyone whose life she touched will miss Ethel Virgie Julian.