Wade, W4FYF / SK
Paul Wade, (W4FYF) of Decatur, passed away on Wednesday, March
26, 2014, surrounded by his children, only a few feet away from
where he was born 83 years ago.
A native and resident of Decatur for most of his life, he was a son
of the late Fred Silas and Maggie Lee Wattenbarger Wade, and
attended Tranquility Methodist Church. He was a great-great-grandson
of James Wade, Michael Wattenbarger, Jonathon Thomas, John Hart,
George P. Owen, Samuel McKeehan and Moses Snyder, all settlers of
northwest McMinn County. He was a former member of the Future
Farmers of America, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers,
the Instrument Society of America, the National Management
Association and the Electric Power Research Institute.
He was a career employee of the Tennessee Valley Authority, having
worked at Watts Bar, Widows Creek, Johnsonville, Shawnee and Bull
Run Fossil plants. In 1984, he left the position of plant
superintendent at Bull Run Steam Plant near Oak Ridge to become
manager of TVA's Fossil Operations in Chattanooga. He retired in
1988 as director of the Division of Fossil and Hydro Power with
responsibility for fossil operations, hydro operations, maintenance
and engineering and fossil fuels planning.
Although a mechanical engineer by profession, he was a mechanic by
nature in the true Wade tradition. His way of life reflected his
belief that an imperfect world with freedom to choose is preferable
to a perfect world without choice.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Bettye Jean Williams Wade of
Athens; one son, A.D. Wade and his girlfriend, Betty Jo Whitehead,
of Decatur; daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Mike Brooks of
Knoxville; and one granddaughter, Kari Nicole Brooks and her
boyfriend, Greg Culin, of Knoxville.
Graveside services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Thomas
Family Cemetery in the Rogers Creek community with the Rev. Bruce
The family will receive friends from noon to 1:30 p.m. at
Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home before the graveside service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Tranquility
Methodist Church, c/o Mary Ratledge, 433 County Rd. 218, Athens, TN
37303-7855; or through the office of Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home.
The family would like to express a special thanks to Caris
Healthcare for their sympathetic support and guidance.
Condolences may be sent to www.laycock-hobbs.com
Laycock-Hobbs Funeral Home of Athens is in charge of arrangements.
As I stand where the old church once stood and look out across the
valley I can still hear, "On Jordan's Stormy Banks I Stand And Cast
A Wishful Eye, Toward Canaan's Fair And Happy Land Where My
Remembering the feel of new shoes on my feet, in my mind it is once
again Homecoming Day at Rogers Creek."
With my eyes closed I look to my left and see my grandmother Gussie
coming up the dusty road and crossing the old wooden bridge over the
creek. She stops to rest in the shade of a large hickory tree beside
the road as she is tired after the long walk from her big white
house on top of the hill across the valley.
With my eyes still closed I look directly ahead and see the large
yellow banner advertising Nehi that has been nailed along the front
of Papa Wattenbarger's store porch. A dark skinned man from Athens
is selling soft drinks and ice cream to the children lined up in
front of the old porch.
I reach in my pocket and find the nickel that has been given to me
for the occasion and take my place in line behind Jimmy, Ralph and
Billie Rose. When the man hands me a cone of vanilla ice cream I
give him my nickel, letting the ice cream melt and run down over my
fingers before taking the first bite. I know the man will not be
back again until next year.
I hear a squeaking sound and turn around to see Papa Wattenbarger
sitting in his rocking chair on the front porch of his house just
across the road from the store. I then smell something cooking and
know Mama Wattenbarger is preparing dinner for all who will eat at
her table today.
Coming Back to reality I realize this was a six year old boy's
Canaan's Land, the best place on earth to be. I open my eyes hoping
to see it once more as it was, but only empty fields lie before me.
Where have all the people gone?
I search my fading memory and realize Gussie now lies on the hill
behind me and near great grandpa John Hart and not far from Barg,
Thelma and Agnes. Across the road at top of the hill to my right
lies Jonathan and Jane, Marshal and Caroline, Jacob and Louisa,
Grant and Lizzie, Maggie and Fred, Bobbye, Charlie and Aunt Dixie,
who lived to be the oldest of all. Memories spanning 200 years of
history they have taken to their graves.
I remember long ago when the church toll bell sounded across the
valley all would stop to listen and wonder, for whom does it toll.
Today I do not wonder. I know it tolls for me. "I Am Bound For The
Promised Land, O Who Will Come And Go With Me, I Am Bound For The
Promised Land." ------ "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,
Blessed be the name of the Lord."
To the family I leave behind I give my love and take pride in who
you are. And last I pray that future generations will know and honor
our family's history that has at times been written in blood mixed
PAUL WADE (December 12, 1930 - March 26, 2014)