OBITUARY

Lena "Ethel" (Neal) Dees

August 4, 1931April 7, 2019
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Ethel Neal Dees, age 87, of Mooresburg, went home to her Lord and family on Sunday, April 7, 2019. Preceding her in death was her husband, Mutt Dees; son, Billy Dees; parents, Marshel and Lillie Crawford Neal; and siblings, Ernest Neal and Edith Holton. Survivors include her children, Marsha (Bobby) Russell and Tinker Dees; granddaughter, Summer (Jayro) Silva; great-grandsons, Malachi and Dominique Silva; special friend, Lisa Brooks; and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, April 10, 2019 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Stubblefield Funeral Home with the funeral service at 3:30 p.m. Allen Stroud will officiate. Entombment will follow in Hamblen Memory Gardens. The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the angelic staff of Hawkins County Memorial Hospital and Amedisys Hospice. Arrangements by Stubblefield Funeral Home, Morristown, TN

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • Entombment Wednesday, April 10, 2019
REMEMBERING

Lena "Ethel" (Neal) Dees

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Virginia McCarter

April 9, 2019

Marsha, I am so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. I pray that the precious memories you have of her will comfort and sustain you and your family.
Virgie and Sharen

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Biography

Ethel Dees was a modest woman, quiet and observant in her ways. She was trustworthy and traditional in her approach to her life and in her relationships. She was tough-minded with the kind of “stick to it” attitude that earned the respect of all who knew her. She was also a woman who was meticulous, carefully disciplined, and orderly in virtually everything she undertook. Realistic about life, she was always at the ready, prepared to take on responsibility.

Ethel was born on August 4, 1931 at home. In Stanford, Kentucky. Her parents were Marshel and Lillie Crawford Neal. Ethel was raised in Mt. Salem, Kentucky. She was brought up to be self-confident and dependable. These were traits that would serve her well throughout her life.

Growing up in the Dees household was a bit different than most homes. There were good times to be had, but just as often there was a fair share of challenges as well. However, Ethel was able to work through the usual family problems when they appeared, and she was the one person in the family who seemed able to keep the stress at bay. Ethel was raised with two siblings. She had one older brother, Ernest and one older sister, Edith. Ethel was constantly involved in activities with her brothers and sisters. Ethel and her siblings may have had the typical rivalries while growing up but Ethel was always consistently loyal to her family.

As a young child, Ethel was never someone who needed to be the center of attention. She wasn’t pushy and never forced her way into games or other activities. Ethel developed a variety of interests, though, and the things she enjoyed doing she did well. She was always curious about the world around her and was often eager to explore it. In her spare time she liked to read and to play normal childhood games. Ethel's memorable achievements included she could shoot the head off of a match with a .22 rifle. However, what Ethel enjoyed most was simply playing and spending time with her many friends.

Always considered to be a solid friend, Ethel was fortunate to have numerous acquaintances and several very close friends during her life. Since she disliked making generalizations about people and preferred to draw her own conclusions based on direct observation, Ethel was able to see beneath the surface of relationships and became a true friend to those who knew her. She was committed to her friends and valued the trust she placed in them. It was not uncommon for Ethel to go beyond the call of duty for others, and friends frequently sought her out for advice because she had a knack for coming up with practical solutions to any type of dilemma. While growing up, her best friend was Ruth Pitman. Later in life, she became friends with Geraldine Jinks, Mary Lovin and Bobbie Pagett.

On February 26, 1952, Ethel exchanged wedding vows with Charles William "Mutt" Dees at the courthouse in Junction City, Kentucky. Compassionate and devoted to Mutt, Ethel held endearing, traditional values about marriage and family life. She took the responsibility of marriage to heart, giving it her total commitment. She was a source of strength to Mutt and using her gifts at nurturing one-on-one relationships, she worked hard to make her new family happy.

Ethel brought the same traditional values in her marriage to bear on how she raised her children. She was a good parent to them, always firm yet fair in her dealings. She would always listen carefully and think things through before she acted, even when it was an adverse situation. Ethel was also a walking schedule, always seeming to know what everyone in the family needed to do, where they needed to be and when they needed to be there. Ethel was blessed with three children, one daughter, Marsha, two sons, Billy and Tinker. They were also blessed with one granddaughter, Summer, and two great-grandsons, Malachi and Dominique.

Ethel greatly enjoyed what she did for a living. She was a hard worker who expected the same in return from her co-workers. She was skilled at working effectively in small groups and in one-on-one situations as well as handling solo assignments efficiently. Ethel enjoyed dealing with concrete ideas and could penetrate any amount of fuzzy information to reach the essential facts. Always able to attend to the task at hand, Ethel was excellent at meeting deadlines. She was an efficient worker, one who paid careful attention to detail, allowing sufficient time to complete one task before moving on to the next. Her primary occupation was as a Mother and Grandmother. Ethel worked hard to be a team player, doing what was necessary in order to get the job done.

Ethel liked to experience things first-hand as well as learn about them. This trait carried over into her hobbies, where she was very methodical in how she organized her activities and categorized things. Since she enjoyed her private time, Ethel always tried to allocate a specific time for working on her hobbies. Her favorite pursuits were reading and gardening. Ethel was content to enjoy her hobbies alone but was also willing to share her interests with others.

Ethel enjoyed traveling and taking vacations. Since she was an early starter and had a knack for planning everything, traveling with Ethel appeared effortless. She enjoyed researching all of her examined options and applying cost-effective planning techniques. Plus, no matter where she traveled, Ethel always had a backup plan at the ready, just in case. Favorite vacations included drives thru the mountains and visits to her family.

Ethel was a lover of animals and cherished her pets. One of Ethel’s favorites was Samantha, a Dachshund. They were best friends for 13 years. Her family was rounded out by her two cats, Kitty Baby and Jingles.

Ethel Dees passed away on April 7, 2019 at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital, Rogersville, Tennessee. She fought a brave battle against cancer. She is survived by son, Tinker, daughter, Marsha, granddaughter, Summer and great-grandsons, Malachi and Dominique. Services were held at Stubblefield Funeral Home. Ethel was laid to rest in Hamblen Memory Gardens in Morristown, Tennessee.

Commitment is a key word that can be used to describe the life of Ethel Dees. She was committed to living the life of a good woman who was both practical and trustworthy. She was committed to the traditional values that she upheld her entire life. She committed herself to being a hard worker who expected the same effort in return from those around her. Most of all, she was committed to those she knew and loved.