Obit: Sarah Walls

Obit: Sarah Walls

July 12th, 2018 in Obituaries
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KNOXVILLE — Sarah S. Walls, 91, passed away Wednesday, July 11, 2018, at Little Creek Sanitarium. "When you're a nurse you know that every day you will touch a life or a life will touch yours" is the story of Sarah's life. After her husband died of cancer in 1970, she went back to school and obtained her nursing degree from ETSU. It all started in 1926, in Fall Branch, Tenn. Sarah was born to Albert and Ida Depew Smith, a struggling farming family. She was the youngest child of four, and before she was fifteen had lost her brother and sister. For the last two years of high school, her parents arranged for her to live in Kingsport, Tenn., and attend Sullivan High School. During this time she lived with and worked for a local family that operated a store, and during her last year lived with a lady who taught her secretarial skills in her business classes. After graduating from high school, her dad took her to catch a bus to the Secret City - Oak Ridge, Tenn., where she went to work, and was later transferred to Washington DC working for the Atomic Energy Commission. Later she transferred back to Oak Ridge where she met her future husband, Warren, on a blind date. Warren and Sarah married and moved to Bristol, Tenn., where Warren went to work for his uncle at Big Jack Manufacturing Company. They knew they wanted a family, so in the coming years brought Elaine and Richard into this world. Warren and Sarah became active members of First Baptist Church and were there whenever the doors were open and chaperoned many children and youth activities. While Elaine was in college and Richard still in high school, Warren was diagnosed with cancer. Sarah was always at his side through his diagnosis and treatment. After only four months, Warren passed away. Within a month, Elaine returned to college and Richard started college. Sarah was now alone for the first time in over 20 years. This began a new chapter in Sarah's life. She went back to school and became a nurse. She worked in hospitals in Bristol and Chattanooga, Tenn., and retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield as a nurse consultant. Also, during this time she welcomed five grandchildren into the world. Over the years there has also been seven great-grandchildren added to the family. Sarah truly enjoyed this time of her life, as she remarried and, was able to travel and play golf. Just as her life began, the last chapter of Sarah's life was a struggle. She suffered from Alzheimer's the last years of her life, but remained happy and actually carried on a good conversation for quite some time. Up until the end, she always responded to "I love you" with "I love you more". She is survived by her daughter, Elaine (Ed) and son, Richard (Glenda); by her grandchildren, Joy (Jamie), Richie, Brent (Cherie), Alex (Ashley) and Whitney; and by her great-grandchildren Sarah, Hannah, Ellie, Avannah, Brodie, Lainey Claire and Emmaline. She is also survived by her niece, Cheryl Kohlreiser and nephew, Jim Webster. The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for her during her last years, including Asbury Place, Arbor Terrance, West Hills and Little Creek. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Sarah will be buried beside her husband, Warren, in Glenwood Cemetery, Bristol, Tenn. In lieu of flowers the family request memorial contributions to your local Hospice or Alzheimer's organization. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.


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