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Monday, November 22, 2021

Rodney K. Bly remembrance


Rodney K. Bly was born on November 6, 1964 to his mother Judy Bly Phillips, and father Douglas S. Releford.

He attended the Kingsport public schools and Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.  Rodney was a contractor and would find a job even if he had to make it himself.  He was a hard worker.

If you knew Rodney, you know that he talked to any and everybody.  He never met a stranger, but when he did, they would soon become his new friend.  His dad used to say that Rodney would put a spotlight on you.  He loved everybody.  If you could hear him and Randal Releford talk about DB Coach Walter "Buck" Van Huss, you would be sore from laughing.  It was such good comedy they could take the show on the road.  He had so much love and joy to spread.

To cherish his memory, he leaves behind his sons, Seraja Hodges of Roy, Utah and Roderick Melton of Jackson, TN.... two grandchildren, Jordan Melton and Camden Melton, both of Jackson, TN.... siblings, Sharnita B. Freeman, whom he affectionally referred to as the 'warden'.... Marcus (Tonya) Bly of Knoxville, TN.... Brent Bly of Kingsport, TN.... Carlton (Carla) Bly of Knoxville, TN.... step-mother Vivian Releford, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins and his KAPPA ALPHA PSI brothers whom he loved dearly!

We will miss and mourn him, but just remember all the love and laughter he left behind.

The family will receive friends at 12 Noon on Saturday, November 27, 2021 at the Shiloh Baptist Church, Kingsport.  Funeral services will begin at 1 PM at the church.

Care of Mr. Rodney K. Bly and family is entrusted to the Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service, Inc., Kingsport.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Note to Riverview Motorists


Passing along a note to folks who drive in an out of Riverview on Martin Luther King Drive during the week.....

The crosswalk warning lights on MLK going in and out of Riverview between the railroad parking lot and the Eastman headquarters close to Wilcox Drive are now working again.  

A Public Works crew has trimmed the overhanging tree branches circled in red in the picture above, that blocked sunlight from reaching the solar panels that power the flashing lights.

But please remember to watch out anyway for pedestrians in that crosswalk when the lights are, or not flashing.  State law is on their side:  

"In Tennessee, pedestrians have the right of way over vehicles in any marked crosswalk," according to TCA 59-835(a).

Now if a pedestrian is crossing the roadway OUTSIDE a crosswalk, he or she must yield the right of way to motorists, according to the same law.  But if they are inside the crosswalk, whether the lights are flashing or not, THEY have the right of way and you must stop for them until they cross the street, road or highway.

Please be careful.  The fines for violations of that law are not pretty.

Note from the Brady family

    To our Douglass Alumni and Riverview 

         Friends  and Neighbors:

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Billboard in Kingsport causes a stir; take down spurs apology

This article courtesy the Kingsport Times-News

KINGSPORT — A City of Kingsport billboard has been taken down due to its “offensive” arrangement of graphics.

The city issued a statement via social media on Monday regarding the billboard, which was set to draw attention to the city’s promotional website for This is Kingsport.

“The City of Kingsport regrets the offensive arrangement of the graphics on a recent billboard promoting its leisure website, This is Kingsport, which is intended to be an uplifting and positive representation and resource for our city’s residents and visitors,” the statement on the This is Kingsport Facebook page said. “The billboard has been removed. Going forward, the city’s communications department will use a more stringent review process for such materials.

“The city apologizes for the error. The unintentional presentation of the site’s logo does not reflect the views of city government.”

The city declined further comment on the billboard.

The billboard included three This is Kingsport “K” logos. The three-K graphic on the electronic billboard sparked discussion on the city’s Facebook page from citizens.

“You really think that a city government would intentionally post a racist billboard to just stir the pot?” one comment read. “Why would they want all this negativity on purpose? Oh yeah, they wouldn’t, because it wasn’t on purpose. I know there is racism in this town and this country, but this isn’t an intentional example of that.”

Others said the billboard proved the “micro-aggressive, racist attitudes of non-people of color in Kingsport.” Another commented, “Great, you fixed the aesthetics. Now fix the system.”

Other Facebook users argued that the city’s workforce should be more diverse.

“I would like to see more diversity and inclusivity in these departments!” one comment said. “It will greatly reduce the chance that these things can slip by and diversity should be commonplace anyways.

“Maybe there should be more diversity in the building to help with this process. Just a thought.” The commenter continued, “... A panel of all different races that could be as simple as an email chain.”

The This is Kingsport Campaign is designed to support Kingsport as a whole, including the resources regarding arts, entertainment, education, events, businesses and more.

For more information, go to

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Decked out in Douglass Blue and Gold: Order Your Apparel Right Now for the Tribute Game from the Douglass Apparel Store!


The Douglass High School Apparel Store is open for business right now!

If you want to dress up in the Blue and Gold of the Douglass Tigers, the Dobyns-Bennett Athletic Department has set up an online store at Action Apparel in Kingsport, to offer long-sleeve and short-sleeve cotton tee-shirts, and long-sleeve fleece sweatshirts in two styles (one with a hoodie) all emblazoned with the Douglass Tiger on the front, as pictured above.

Here's the web address to order:

Click here to order your Douglass apparel!

The pictures above are what you'll see when you go to the website (click on the pictures to bring the images up to full size), but go to the website link to order.

NOTE:  The DB - Science Hill home game in Kingsport is about a month away.  That means if you want your items shipped to you after ordering, they may not arrive at your house in time for the home game on December 17th.

If you are coming to the home game at the Buck Van Huss Gym at D-B on December 17th, IT IS IMPERATIVE that you order first, THEN PICK UP YOUR ITEMS FROM ACTION APPAREL.  You have to "opt in" for pickup at the store when you checkout on Action's website after placing your order.  All apparel will be ready for pickup the week of December 13th.

For pickup, Action Athletics is located at 889 West Center Street, Kingsport, phone number 423-246-8326.  The business is west of downtown just past the Center Street-Lynn Garden Drive "T" intersection, down on the left just past the old Scott Adams Skateboard Park.

If you're not coming to the home game in Kingsport on December 17th, but you want some Douglass shirts, you can have them shipped to you and they'll arrive in time to wear to the  DB - Science Hill away game in Johnson City on February 4th.  That game is going to be a big deal, too because there will be more of them Langston people there, running their mouths about who's best.

Your Douglass apparel will match the uniforms of the D-B Indians, who will be wearing the Douglass Tiger Blue and Gold colors for both games (again, Science Hill will be wearing the colors of the Langston Golden Tigers and as usual, them (Golden) Tiger imitators are coming into our house on December 17th, and will then be in full force at whatever they call that place in Johnson City on February 4th to try and show us up---we'll show them we've got more school spirit than they have, or ever will have).

Douglass-Langston in basketball and football was always the biggest games in the Tri-State Conference and for good reason... we always won (when they weren't trying to jealously beat us up).

We'll see you dressed in your Douglass Tigers apparel on December 17th.  I'll also be modeling the apparel at the Douglass Alumni Board meeting on November 13th, so you'll know what you're getting.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Call to Arms: Upcoming Planning Meeting for DB's Tribute to the Douglass Tigers and Tigerettes


Note from President Douglas Releford:

The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association will have a meeting on Saturday, November 13, 2021.  

Please try to attend and help spread the word about the meeting and what we're meeting about.

Probably the biggest rivalry in the Tri-State Conference back in the day was between the Douglass Tigers and the Langston Golden Tigers of Johnson City.  

On Friday, December 17, 2021,the Dobyns-Bennett Indians will dress in the gold and blue uniforms of Douglass, when they take on the Science Hill Hilltoppers, who will be dressed in the uniforms of Langston.

We need to have your thoughts on the things we need to do for December 17th.  Part of that is welcoming in the visiting alumni.

Please see the flyer above.  We also need help in distributing the flyers as well.  On that day, the Douglass High School Basketball Tigers and Tigerettes, along with the Douglass alumni faithful will once again be honored in a tribute to those glorious days when the Douglass Tigers reigned supreme over all opponents.

This is a DB home game.... on February 4th, D-B will travel to Johnson City, where Langston's alumni will try to outdo us (can't blame them for trying as they always have) to honor the Golden Tigers.

Of course, we want our Douglass time on December 17th in the spotlight to be the best.  That's why we need your input and your help.

Please mark your calendars.  The Saturday, November 13th meeting time is 1:00 PM on the second floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex tower, 301 Louis Street.  As soon as you get off the elevator, turn to the right and the Eastman Conference Room is on the left.

See you there and please bring your helpful ideas, suggestions and what you can do to help us make this a memorable event.

Douglas Releford, president

Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Inc

A 501 (c) 3 Nonprofit Tennessee Corporation

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Carolyn Brady remembrance


Carolyn Brady age 92 passed away peacefully at home, on October 28, 2021.

Carolyn was the daughter of John Bristol and Annie Mosley. She was married to George Brady for 26 years, until his passing in 1988.

Carolyn was a faithful member of the Thankful Baptist Church and diligently helped her church community.  She sang in the choir and was an Usher.  She enjoyed working at the Johnson City Medical Center for 32 years and for the City of Johnson City as the first Black female Bus Driver for 35 years, for which she was honored by the City.

She was preceded in death by her son, Michael Bristol.. brothers, Dirl, Johnnie, Edward, George, Lester, and Azell Bristol... sisters, Pearl Royster, Sarah Camp, Geraldine Westmoreland, Belle Dulaney, Wanda Bristol, Jennie Hughes and Hattie Bristol... and two Great Grandchildren children, Jessica Flack and Tristan Pace.

She is survived by her children, Fredia Talley (Robert), Patricia Bristol, Steve Bristol, George Bristol (Patricia), Justine White, and Aunya Latham...  a brother, James Bristol and sister Edith Brown... and a host of Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren, Great Great Grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and her beloved friend Elva Morrison.

Funeral services will be held at 11:30 AM Saturday November 6, 2021 at Thankful Baptist Church. 

The family will receive friends from 10:30 AM until 11:30 AM at the church prior to the service.  

Interment will be held at 1:00 PM at the Washington County Memory Gardens in Johnson City.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

James Albert Leeper remembrance


Obituary of James Albert Leeper

“To everything there is a Season, And a time to every purpose under the Heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1


            “A time to be born”

            James Albert was born to Albert F. And Myrtle Leeper.


            “A time to die”

            James A. Leeper departed this life on October 29, 2021 at the NHC Health Care Rehabilitation Center, Kingsport TN.


            “A time to plant”

            James A. Leeper graduated from Swift High School in Rogersville, TN and was a retiree of Tennessee Eastman Company Chemical Division of Kingsport, TN.


            “A time to laugh”

            James had a comical sense of humor, he enjoyed making people laugh.


            “A time to dance”

            James enjoyed living a good life.


            “A time to love”

            James loved life and living in the now.


            “A time to mourn”

            James was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Helen Leeper; mother and father, Albert Franklin and Myrtle Leeper; and sisters, Estella Leeper and Cecil Leeper.

 James leaves to share his memories his daughter, Alana Denise Leeper of Church Hill, TN and Angela Leeper Waller of Little Elm, TX; brother, William Clifford Leeper of Church Hill, TN; nephews, Reggie Leeper and Billy Leeper; and niece, Tonya Leeper Johnson.


 The family would like to send a special thanks to the service and care provided to James from special friends and family, and especially cousins, Kathy Robinson Jones and Tosha Leeper.


 A graveside service will be held at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, November 2, 2021 at Church Hill Memory Gardens with Rev. Kenneth Calvert and Minister James W. Leeper officiating. 

All those wishing to attend are asked to meet at Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Church Hill at 2:15pm and are asked to please wear a mask.


Pallbearers will be Reggie Leeper, Kris Cantu, Kenny Martin, Jason Huff and Randy Leeper.


Online condolences may be sent to the family at


Carter-Trent Funeral Home in Church Hill is proudly serving the Leeper family.

Graveside Service3:00 pm - 3:30 pmTuesday, November 2, 2021Church Hill Memory Gardens 208 Lane StreetChurch Hill, Tennessee

Friday, October 29, 2021

Note from the Sons and Daughters Board of Directors


Now is the time to come to the aid of your Alumni Association.

The Douglass Board is seeking volunteers to help us in the planning process for the "DB Tribute to the Douglass Tigers" program on December 17, 2021.

This includes any alumni activities and events in the morning, in the afternoon, the alumni tribute program during the game, and also any alumni activities that follow the game.

If you have ideas and suggestions and want to volunteer to help out, you're asked to come to the Sons and Daughters of Douglass meeting on Saturday, November 13th at 1 PM.

Of course, we want our alumni tribute program to be better than the one that Langston is planning when DB comes to visit Science Hill dressed in the Douglass Gold and Blue on February 4th.  We can only do that, with your help.

Please RSVP your meeting attendance on November 13th  to:
Also, please pass this note around to make sure everybody gets it.

Right now, the meeting is scheduled for the Eastman Conference Room on the second floor of the V.O. Dobbins, Sr. Complex tower, but if we have a lot of alumni, we'll move the meeting to a larger room. 


Douglas Releford, President
Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association, Inc.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

The Douglass Tigers Tribute Game is Back!


Flyer from 2020 Tribute Game

It's now official.

Dobyns-Bennett High School will pay tribute to the Douglass High School Tigers in the DB Buck Van Huss Dome on Friday, December 17, 2021.  The Tribe will once again be dressed in the gold and blue uniforms of our beloved Tigers on that night.

The opposing team will be none other than Science Hill of Johnson City, who will be dressed in the uniforms of the Langston High School Golden Tigers!

Talk about a game that we Douglass Tiger alumni all need to attend.....

Because of Science Hill's schedule, the game on the 17th is a men's varsity game only... the girls' teams will not compete on that night.

But while you're planning, pencil in Friday, February 4th, 2022... that's the night when DB goes to Johnson City to play Science Hill, with both teams in the uniforms of Douglass and Langston.  And both the Douglass Tigers and Tigerettes  and the Langston Golden Tigers and Tigerettes will be honored that night.

Your Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Association is planning a program on December 17th that commemorates the biggest rivalry in the old Tri-State Athletic Conference.  We want our program to be bigger than the one that Langston alumni will have planned for February 4th.

The planning for our program begins on Saturday, November 13th, at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Douglass Alumni board.  That meeting will be at 1 PM in the Eastman Conference Room of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex on the second floor.  Everyone with ideas and suggestions is urged to attend that meeting and future meetings to share any ideas.


Now is also a good time to start planning on getting our former Tigers basketball players ready to come and be honored on the 17th.  We lost two of our oldest players, William "Bud" Hickman and Richard Sensabaugh since the last program two years ago and we will be honoring them that night.  For the players who could not attend two years ago, now would be a good time to come back home.  They don't have to speak on the program unless they've got something to say.... just having them in the house sends a strong message of Douglass family.

Here are the dates again:

Saturday, November 13th:  Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board and planning meeting (other Saturday planning sessions up to game night will be set at the end of the meetings).

Friday, December 17th:  DB (Douglass) vs. Science Hill (Langston) basketball game in the Buck Van Huss Dome, varsity boys' game time and Douglass alumni program tba.

Friday, February 4th:  Science Hill (Langston) vs. DB (Douglass) in the Science Hilltopper Palace, Johnson City, both varsity boys and girls games' time and Langston alumni program tba).

Please spread the word.  We need an overflow of Douglass High School alumni on hand and ready to greet the Langston visitors on Friday, December 17th.  We are planning another reception for everybody before the game, and hopefully an alumni gathering afterwards at V.O. Dobbins.

More news to come!

Support the Local Children against Drug, Alcohol and Violence


Note:  Johnnie Mae's number is 423-429-7553.

Monday, October 25, 2021

‘We’re more than just a business:’ Uptown family bakery with a Douglass influence cooks for the Kingsport community

Amy Ferguson, Jacqueline Wood Ross and Lynette Reese and their bakery, the Uptown Family Bakery and ready to serve the people of Kingsport.  Jackie Ross is a Douglass Elementary School graduate and her daughter Lynette is a Douglass descendant.

By Marina Waters - courtesy the Kingsport Times-News

KINGSPORT — The owners of Uptown Family Bakery have overcome typical new business woes such as fixing plumbing issues, establishing the store set up and forming the bakery menu. But lately, their biggest task has been keeping up with the community’s appetite.

“We are learning to keep up with the rate at which things are selling,’ said Jacqueline Ross, the co-owner of Uptown Family Bakery. “The support has been overwhelming.”

The bakery has seen a steady flow of customers stopping by for cream cheese rolls, cinnamon rolls, Oreo whoopie pies, cupcakes and more.

The bakery opened last month at 129 E. New St. in Kingsport and has seen a steady flow of customers stopping by for lemon cookies, pumpkin rolls, cupcakes and more. Ross said last week a woman sat in her car just before 7:30 a.m. when the bakery opened hoping to snag cupcakes and cinnamon rolls just before another customer came in that morning, buying the rest of the batch of cinnamon rolls.

If you were to ask Ross what the bakery’s secret is, she’d likely say it comes down to three words she repeated multiple times while talking with the Times-News: made from scratch.

“We have old-fashioned baked goods that people are running after,” Ross said. “We have a cream cheese roll and a cinnamon roll that is made from scratch. People run after those. We bake a couple of pans a day, but we’re about to advance to three or four pans a day.

"We also make the old fashioned, made-from-scratch, homemade cakes, too. We do yellow cakes and vanilla buttermilk cakes with caramel icing. We can’t keep them.”

Ross manages the bakery while her daughter, Lynette Reese, puts her baking skills to the test. Reese honed her cooking experience while raising nine kids and taking a few notes when she worked at Rose Cottage Bakery, which once resided on Market Street in Downtown Kingsport.

Reese made everything from fresh bread to cookies at the former bakery, which left a spot in the community Ross and Reese hope to fill.

“Ever since they left we have had a desire to revive a bakery,” Ross said. “(Reese) worked there, and I bought a lot of stuff there. The owner used to joke and say I was one of the reasons she made it when she started out because I bought so much from her. Like people load up here, I used to load up on stuff there.”

Reese puts her own spin on a Rose Cottage classic, the cream cheese roll, which has been a best seller for Uptown Bakery.

“She’s got a little bit of a different recipe that’s a little more rich,” Ross said. “People love those cream cheese rolls.”

The bakery also offers gooey cinnamon rolls, lemon cookies, chess bars, pumpkin rolls, cupcakes, Oreo whoopie pies, brownies and cakes, which Ross and Reese both said are the most popular, next to the cinnamon rolls and cream cheese rolls.

The focus remains on old-fashioned desserts, but the family also strives to provide community members with what they’ve been waiting for — a community bakery.

“A man came in who lives downtown and said he passes here all the time and was waiting for us to open,” Ross said. “We’re surprised at the number of people who come in and have seen us working on things and say, ‘We’ve been waiting.’ They come in and they say, “we’ve been waiting.’ It’s been an outpouring of support.”

Ross and Reese might be surprised at how many batches of cream cheese rolls and cakes they’ve churned out since the bakery’s opening. But Ross likely isn’t surprised their family dream has worked as it has after envisioning the downtown storefront for many years.

“It just felt like the right time,” Ross said about opening the bakery. “I believe there is a time for everything. This was just a step of faith. It’s something we’ve had in our heart, to provide a community bakery.”

More than providing deserts and future lunch items and fresh-baked bread, Ross said what means the most is providing old-fashioned food and a comforting place for the community.

“It’s a connection to the community,” Ross said. “It’s not just a business. A lady came in the other day and said this has become one of my favorite places. She brought all of us to tears. She said, ‘It’s kind of like my refuge.’ It’s more than just buying stuff — she’s bought like three pumpkin rolls.

“It’s more than just coming to a business. We’re more than just a business.”

Uptown Family Bakery is open Tuesday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call (423) 765-0379 or go to

Riverview resident reflects on time with Gen. Powell


By Matthew Lane - courtesy the Kingsport Times-News

KINGSPORT — Longtime Kingsport resident Orvel Bond remembers Gen. Colin Powell as a good man, a smart officer and one who was fair to the enlisted men.

Bond, 95, served in the Army during the time Powell served, and they both were stationed in Germany in the early 1960s. In light of Powell’s passing earlier this week, Bond sat down with the Times News to talk about his time in the military and his memories of the famous general.

Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state whose leadership in several Republican administrations helped shape American foreign policy in the last years of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st, died Oct. 18 from complications from COVID-19, his family said on Facebook.

Powell broke many barriers during his professional career. Under Ronald Reagan, Powell became the nation’s first Black national security adviser. Under George H.W. Bush, Powell became not only the first Black chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but also the youngest person to hold the position.

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Powell rose to the rank of four-star general and in 1989 was named chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In that role he oversaw the U.S. invasion of Panama and later the U.S. invasion of Kuwait to oust the Iraqi army in 1991.

“I was in Germany when I met him, and he was about 25 years old,” Bond said. “This would have been in the late 1950s or early 1960s. He was in the headquarters and not allowed to associate with the enlisted men.”

Bond said he was stationed in Germany and France for about 13 years, rising to the rank of sergeant first class. Ultimately, Bond spent 22 years in the Army, then worked for Holston Defense for 27 years and finally the Times News for 20.

Over the years, Bond said he kept up with Powell’s career, watching him rise through the ranks while serving in several Republican administrations through the 80s, 90s and 2000s.

“I remember him for sure. He was a good solider, a good man and a smart man, and all the people close to him liked him,” Bond said. “I know Colin died not knowing my real name, and after I left France I never had contact with him again. I just wish his family well.”

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Calvin Simon remembrance


                      Calvin Edward Simon

       May 16, 1952 - October 5, 2021

With heavy hearts, the Simon family regrets announcing the passing of our beloved Calvin Simon.

Born in Kingsport, Tennessee to Henry “Buddy" Simon, Sr. and Pauline Shade Simon (both deceased).

His spouse Peggy Porter Simon of Texas preceded him in death on September 26, 2021.

Survived by two daughters: Shantell Simon Wade (David -TN), Shammara Simon Eppenger (TX), and mother of his daughters, Brenda Lyons Simon (NV); Four stepchildren: Gary Porter (TX), Vickie Porter Jackson (Marcus - TX), Calvin Porter (deceased - TX), Tammy Porter (TX); Three grandchildren, Mykhah Calvin Simon (TN), Marley Smith (TX), Gabriel Wade (TN), and ten step grandchildren (TX).

Siblings, Victor “Vic Danger" Simon (deceased) (survived by wife Gretta),  Danny “Pete” Simon (deceased) (survived by wife Jennifer), Spencer “Tootsie" Simon of Georgia, Earl “Peanut" Simon (survived by wife Lakitha of Texas)

Also survived by half-sister and brothers Nate Thurman (Deborah) of Alabama,  Linda Merriweather (Ned) of Alabama,  Henry “Buddy" Blackman Simon, Jr. (Michelle) of Ohio,  Jackie Simon Jackson (John) of California,  Terrence Lynn Simon of Ohio, a host of relatives including nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Calvin was a resident of Kingsport, Tennessee from 1952 to 1976, and Dallas, Texas from 1976 to 2021.

He was an alumnus of the Douglass Elementary School, and Dobyns-Bennett High School, both Kingsport, TN, graduating high school in 1970.

He served in the U. S. Army from 1973 to 1975 in Military Intelligence, 36 years as an electrician (member of the IBEW) and Dallas Convention Center in Dallas, Texas.

Calvin was passionate about football, basketball, golf, chess, playing his guitar and especially “shooting the breeze" with his buddies.

No deliberate intent to leave anyone out, but please know that he had a long list of family and friends whom he cherished dearly.

Although recently his health began failing, he often spoke of having lived a full life and made his peace with Our Savior, requesting that little tears fall, and much laughter would fill the room and hearts of those he leaves behind.

As per his request, no funeral services will be held. A commemorative memorial will be held in Kingsport, Tennessee at a future date. Notice will be given in advance.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Meeting Postponed

The Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board meeting scheduled for Saturday, October 16th has been postponed to Saturday, November 13th.

Please watch for a reminder.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Meeting Notice: Sons and Daughters of Douglass Alumni Board


The Sons and Daughters of  Douglass Alumni Board will have its re-scheduled monthly meeting this coming Saturday, October 16, 2021.

The meeting will be at 1 PM in the Eastman Conference Room on the second floor of the V.O. Dobbins Sr. Complex, 301 Louis Street, Kingsport. 

Monday, October 11, 2021

Marilyn Cox Underwood remembrance


CHURCH HILL – Marilyn Cox Underwood, 70, fell asleep quietly, peacefully at Holston Valley Medical Center on October 7, 2021 (heart complications) with her loving family by her side.

Marilyn was born on March 17, 1951, along with her twin sister Carolyn to Mr. and Mrs. Homer S. Cox. She was married to Charles R. Underwood, Sr. and had one son, Charles R. Underwood, Jr.

Marilyn was a faithful member of her church, the Lyons Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, Church Hill, TN.  Some of her positions held included President of the Homecoming Board, member of the Missionary Society Board, the Deaconess Board, the Junior and Senior Choir, Church Delegates and Usher.  She passionately loved preparing and assuring in serving Holy Communion and believed the accomplishments of her Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Marilyn was employed several years by the Kingsport Press and was personally recognized by the president of the company as an outstanding employee.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Charles R. Underwood, Sr.; her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Homer S. Cox; her grandparents, George and Sallie Price; uncles and aunts, and a brother Sammie Cox.

Those left to cherish her memory, a son, Charles R. Underwood, Jr.;  her twin sister, Carolyn Harris (Tony); grandchildren, Tyreke and Tia Underwood;  brothers, Robert, Ronnie (Joyce), and Edward (Anita) Cox;  her sister, Alberta Haley;  an aunt, Elsie Mae Horn; and several nieces and nephews.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the family requests Marilyn to lie in repose on Monday, October 11, 2021 from 12:00 – 5:00 PM. 

Anyone who wishes may pay their final respects during that time frame.  Marilyn will be laid to rest at the Church Hill Memory Gardens alongside her dear beloved husband, Charles Reginald Underwood. 

A private graveside will be held at a later date, with Pastor Pamela Hoard officiating.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Work Opportunities and Job Preparedness in Riverview: Upcoming Chance to Better Your Life


Introductory sessions for  the WorkKeys Boot Camp will be conducted Thursday night.  

Two 30-minute workshops are scheduled for 6:00 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. at the Riverview Community Center, 285 Louis Street, entrance off Wheatley Street across from the tennis courts. 

This first session will focus on how to prepare for  the WorkKeys exam and how to use study materials.  Representatives from Eastman Chemical will also discuss employment opportunities and the WorkKeys requirement. Tutoring and assistance with applied math will be on tap for October 14th and 21st.  Each session is limited to 20 attendees, due to social distancing.  Major industries in Kingsport (Eastman) require a score of Gold or Platinum.

See the flyer above for additional information about the workshops.  For registration information, text contact information to 423-534-7626.

Workshops are sponsored by South Central Kingsport Community Development, in partnership with Eastman, Regional Center for Applied Manufacturing, Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority,  CONNECT - Eastman Resource Group, and Apprenticeship Tennessee.

What is WorkKeys?

National Career Readiness Certificate
Individuals who successfully complete the three WorkKeys assessments—Applied Math, Graphic Literacy, and Workplace Documents—earn the WorkKeys National Career Readiness Certificate® (WorkKeysNCRC®), a valuable credential for students and job seekers seeking to verify foundational workplace skills. 

ACT WorkKeys also offers additional assessments to measure interests, values, and behaviors that can lead to greater job satisfaction.

Assessments - Scores range from 3 - 6 or Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum
Applied Math - Required for the NCRC

The Applied Math assessment measures critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and problem solving techniques for situations that actually occur in today’s workplace.  While individuals may use calculators and conversion tables to help with the problems on the assessment, math skills are still needed to think them through.

Graphic Literacy - Required for the NCRC

Workplace graphics come in a variety of formats, but all communicate a level of information. From charts to graphs, diagrams to floor plans, identifying what information is being presented and understanding how to use it are critical to success.

The Graphic Literacy assessment measures the skill needed to locate, synthesize, and use information from workplace graphics. 

Workplace Documents - Required for the NCRC

Employees need to be able to understand written text to do a job. The Workplace Documents assessment measures the skills people use when they read and use written text such as memos, letters, directions, signs, notices, bulletins, policies, and regulations on the job.

For more information, call (423) 534-7626.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Charles "Chuck" Lollar remembrance


Charles “Chuck” Lollar passed away on September 25, 2021, at the age of 64.

He was born on February 14, 1957, in Kingsport, TN. We will always remember him for his unique sense of humor, kindness, and smiling face. He will be greatly missed.

Chuck is preceded in death by his parents Charles Alfred Lollar, II and Lorraine Lollar.

He is survived by his aunt Sylvia (Thomas) Bond, and uncle Johnny (Donna) Cartwright, several cousins, numerous friends and a host of Riverview and Kingsport friends and neighbors.

Chuck will be memorialized at a service to be held at the Central Baptist Church on Saturday, October 9th at 2 PM.

Clark Funeral Chapel and Cremation Service. Inc. of Kingsport is serving the Chuck Lollar family.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Body of Black Male Discovered in Maple Oak Apartments in Kingsport


Kingsport police released this statement on Saturday.  Right now, the name of the person has not been released until the next of kin is notified.  Your Douglass website editor does not spread rumor or speculation, so while a name is floating around the neighborhood, no name will be published until the police release identity.  Other details will follow.

On September 25, 2021 at approximately 10:30 AM, Kingsport Police Department Patrol Officers and Detectives were dispatched to an unattended death (a death that occurred outside of the confines of professional medical care) at Maple Oak Apartments, located at 818 Oak Street in Kingsport. 

Responding Officers located a deceased 64 year old black male adult inside an apartment.

The deceased individual has been sent to the E.T.S.U. James H. Quillen College of Medicine for autopsy. 

As with any unattended death, this incident will be thoroughly investigated to rule out any possibility of foul play.  That investigation is currently underway. 

As such, no additional information, to include the identity of the decedent, can or will be released at this time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

James Herman Simonton, Jr. remembrance


James Herman Simonton, Jr. went to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 16, 2021.

He was preceded in death by his parents, James Herman Simonton, Sr. and Millie Hale Kirksey; and sister, Conchita Vaughn.

James is survived by his daughter, Michelle Simonton; three sons, James Simonton, Arthur Simonton, and Marcus Simonton and wife Tiffany; a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren, three brothers, Don Simonton and wife Nancy, William Simonton, and William Kyle and wife Dawn; and several nieces and nephews.

Graveside services will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at Holston View Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, 812 Maple Oak Ln, Kingsport, TN 37660.