William Hearshel Childers

June 13, 1945July 28, 2018
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William “Hearshel” Childers, age 73, of Bulls Gap, went to be with the Lord after a long, courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, July 28, 2018 at Laughlin Memorial Hospital. He was a faithful member and deacon of Oak Grove Primitive Baptist Church. Hearshel was a great provider for his family and a loving daddy. He had a love of farming and was well known for his “tater onions.” Many will miss Hearshel, but one thing is for sure, he is in no more pain. Preceding him in death were his parents, Howard and Vildia Childers; and special friend, Fred Terry. Survivors include his loving wife of 52 years, Rosalie Bailey Childers; sons, Nathan and Jamie Childers; daughter and special son-in-law, Betsy and Clinton Rutherford Jr; special sister and brother-in-law, Shirley and Clifton Bennett; special niece, Heather (Bill) Ables and their three sons; several close friends and church family. The family will receive friends in the Chapel of Stubblefield Funeral Home on Wednesday, August 1, 2018 from 6 – 8:00 p.m. Funeral services will follow with Rev. Jimmy Jarnigan and Rev. Robert Jarnigan officiating. Family and friends will meet in Hamblen Memory Gardens on Thursday at 1:45 p.m. for a 2:00 p.m. graveside service. Pallbearers will be Paul Qualls, Daniel Janeway, Don Holmes, Clinton Rutherford Sr, Steven Goodson, Michael Gordon and Homer Tackett. Arrangements by Stubblefield Funeral Home


  • Rosalie Childers, Wife
  • Nathan Childers, Son
  • Jamie Childers, Son
  • Betsy Rutherford, Daughter
  • Clinton Rutherford Jr, Son-in-law
  • Shirley Bennett, Sister
  • Clifton Bennett, Brother-in-law
  • Heather Ables, Niece
  • Bill Ables, Nephew-in-law
  • Howard Childers, Father
  • Sarah Vildia Childers, Mother
  • Fred Terry, Special friend
  • Hearshel also leaves behind Heather and Bill's three sons, several close friends and his church family.

  • Paul Qualls, Pallbearer
  • Daniel Janeway, Pallbearer
  • Don Holmes, Pallbearer
  • Clinton Rutherford Sr., Pallbearer
  • Steven Goodson, Pallbearer
  • Michael Gordon, Pallbearer
  • Homer Tackett, Pallbearer


  • Visitation Wednesday, August 1, 2018
  • Funeral service Wednesday, August 1, 2018
  • Interment Thursday, August 2, 2018

William Hearshel Childers

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July 31, 2018

We are sorry for your loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. May God give you peace and comfort in knowing that Hearshel is not suffering any more. I used to work with Hearshel at TRW for several years. We know that he will be sadly missed by all who knew him. God bless you all.


July 31, 2018

We are so sorry for your loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. May God bless you and comfort you as only He can do during your time of sorrow. Hearshel is at peace now and not in any more pain he is at home with his Heavenly Father now. I used to work with Hearshel at TRW for several years. We are sorry for your loss and God bless you all.



      When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits William Hearshel Childers who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, William was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with William knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

       His parents were Howard and Vildia Childers. William was raised in Tennessee. Even as a youngster, William learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

      As a young boy, William was able to put his natural abilities to work. He was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, he liked to organize and direct. William was raised with one. He had a sister, Shirley Bennett. William had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For William, this was a natural order of life, one he gladly embraced.

      William's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, William enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. He was a poor boy and had to work. In his spare time he liked working.

      In school, William was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and often put in extra study time when he felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, William was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. William’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” He graduated from Whitesburg High School in 1963. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was the FFA. The teacher he enjoyed learning from the most was Ms. Barlow. He was proud of the medals he won from the FFA.

      An objective and conscientious individual, William reveled in the security of his family. On July 31, 1965 William exchanged wedding vows with Frances Rosalie Bailey at the Henry Wheeler's home of Whitesburg, Tennessee. One of William’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends.

      William was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. William would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. William was blessed with hree, two sons, nathan and Jamie, and one daughter, Betsy. They were also blessed with four grand fur-babies, Odie, Sarah, Little Bit, toy poodles and Taz.

      William approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were fishing, hunting, canning and gardening. William was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

      Being generous with his time and energy, William liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. In high school, William was a member of the FFA.

      A civic-minded person, William was usually ready to jump in and help with community activities. He was the type of person who could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run in an efficient and timely manner. William was a member of several community groups, including serving on committees for the Farmers Market. During these years, William applied his analytical intellect to problem solving and so was an asset on most committees.

      Faith was important to William. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a member of Oak Grove Primitive Church for 55 years. During that time, he was a Deacon.

      When it came time to travel or take a vacation, William used his scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that he made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. William had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included Indianapolis, Indiana.

      William was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of William’s favorites was Kiki, a cat. They were best friends for six years. His family was rounded out by his toy poodle, Little Bit.

      When William’s retirement finally arrived in 2000 from TRW in Rogersville, he was well prepared. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. His new life involved retiring to to his home in Bulls Gap Tennessee. In retirement, he found new pleasure in raising a garden, raising "tater" onions. He also enjoyed road exploring, and hanging out with his friends. In many ways, William loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

      William passed away on July 28, 2018 at Laughlin Memorial Hospital, in Greeneville, Tennessee. He fought a brave battle against cancer and cancer treatment. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Rosalie, his sons, Nathan and Jamie, and a daughter Betsy. Services were held at Stubblefield Funeral Home on August 1, 2018. William was laid to rest in Hamblen Memory Gardens on August 2, 2018.

      All who knew him would agree that William was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. William Hearshel Childers did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.