Joe Crumley


Mr. Joe Crumley, age 59, Jonesborough, passed away Monday, April 9, 2012 at his residence.

Mr. Crumley was a native of Johnson City and son of the late Joe Cecil, Sr. & Alma Hart Crumley.

He served as District Attorney General for the First Judicial District for Washington, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson County from 1998-2006. He served eight years as Defense Attorney and helped establish public defenders system in Washington County. Mr. Crumley also prosecuted in Sullivan, Greene and Hawkins County. In 2006 he served as Cocke County Assistant District Attorney.

He was a 10th Degree Blackbelt and had been involved for 32 years in Japanese Bujinkan Budotaijutsu and Okinkanjudo. He was a CASA Volunteer and Eagle Scout in the Sequoia Council.

Joe was also an accomplished woodworker and made a majority of his own furniture.

Survivors include his wife, Brenda Sue Crumley, Jonesborough; sons, Eric Crumley and Chris Crumley, both of Johnson City;

Funeral services will be conducted 4:00 pm Saturday, April 14, 2012 at Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Carter officiating. The family will receive friends from 2:00 -4:00 pm Saturday prior to the service. Cremation will follow the services as Joe had requested.

Memorial donations may be made to Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter 525 Sells Ave. Johnson City, Tennessee 37604.

Would you like to leave an eulogy or condolence for Joe Crumley? If so, simply click HERE

06-19-2012 Robert Stallard
My sincere condolence, Joe was a great inspiration to me both as my martial arts teacher and a friend. His wisdom and his genuine love for others will not be forgotten. I miss you my friend.
06-03-2012 brenda sue crumleyforfo
for richer,for poorer.for better or worse, in sickness and in health till death do us part. wait for me baby i'll see you again one day. love your grieving widow
05-01-2012 Dr. Jill Gallo
I will miss you Joe. You are still a good friend and always will be. You are at peace my brother and you will be missed. I look forward to a reunion with you and other friends and family some day. God bless your family and I will continue to keep them in my prayers. Until we meet again.....
04-18-2012 Karen McConnell
I have not lived in Johnson City for many years, but it broke my heart when I saw Joe's obituary. He was a good and kind person when I knew him many years ago. Please accept my condolences and prayers for the family.
04-18-2012 Larry Turner
Out of the hundreds of people I've met in the Bujinkan, very few have held a place in my heart like Joe did. I have fond memories of Joe and I at the early Festivals staying up all night talking, then trying to grab an hours worth of sleep before starting the process all over again. I considered him part of my extended family and my world was better for having known him. My thoughts and prayers goes out to his family for their loss.
04-14-2012 Bud Malmstrom
Joe was a warrior...a modern day warrior, a student and friend. I will miss his wit which off just a bit and his tenacity. You will be rememberd.
04-14-2012 Bob Nickell
Joe was my best friend growing up. I still remember sitting in his bedroom listening to the first Allman Brothers album. I remember his mother and his grandmother. Joe was one of a kind. It doesn't surprise me to hear that Joe helped establish the Public Defenders system there. That's the kind of guy he was.
04-13-2012 David Eldridge
Dear Crumley Family: I am a defense attorney in Knoxville and knew Joe as a colleague at the bar. I enjoyed my dealings with Joe. He was pleasant, professional, and always prepared. In addition, he had a wonderful sense of humor. I am very sorry for your loss. May God's Peace provide you comfort. David Eldridge
04-13-2012 Marykay Mentzer
I met Joe in the mid-80's by way of my training at the Atlanta Dojo. For being so skilled in martial arts, Joe was an incredibly welcoming and gentle soul. My memories of spending time with Joe and his equally welcoming wife, Brenda, are warm, happy, and cherished. The heavens are very fortunate to have such an angel as Joe in their ranks. Sending love, prayers and a warm and healing embrace to Joe's family.
04-13-2012 John Stevens
Joe was a very good and humble person and friend. I worked closely with him for many years. He was always a good family man and dedicated to his work. My thoughts and prayers will be with you and may God bless each of you
04-13-2012 L.A. Crumley
I have read the kind thoughts and condolences so many of you have shared about Joe with his greiving family. He would be so pleased to know how well you thought of him. Joe was not a man with high self esteem, and he would be even more humbled by your kind words. Joe always had a yearning to do something positive for mankind, and he chose the pursuit of justice as his goal. He truly loved being an attorney but his true passion was being a prosecutor. He considered the role of a prosecutor as being a "defender for the victims". He was truly touched by so many of the victims and their families, and I can attest to the many hours he spent thinking about all of you. I can also say I heard the quite tears he shed for you. I know without a doubt you never left his thoughts, even after the cases were over. I'd like to say thank you to all the victims and their families for the love and respect you showed him. It pulled him through many difficult times and gave meaning to his life. Contrary to recent attention, Joe never viewed himself as a priviledged human being. If you knew him as a person, a father, a husband, or a friend, you knew that was the last opinion Joe Crumley had of himself. A special thank you needs to be sent to all of those in Joe's martial arts "family", Bud Malmstrom and his late wife Bonnie, Jeff Duncan, Chris Bevins, Bobby Eaton, Michael Templeton, Jack Hoban, Roy Wilkenson and of course, Stephen Hayes and to all the countless others. Thank you for giving him some of the best times in his life. Also special mention needs to be given to three attorney's who Joe credited for making him thrive to be a better attorney, Jim Bowman, Judge Robert Cupp and the late William Mooney. Thank you Pat Story for your dedicated friendship and loyalty to Joe. He always said you were a great guy. Thank you Sue Tester for your many years of devotion as Joe's friend. Also thank you Art Cooper for never giving up on him. Harold and Lois Styles you were a true blessing to Joe and his family. Brenda I know the burden of care was great and heartbreaking and I commend you. To Anita and Matt Gross, Joe loved you dearly. Anita you were his rock at work and the one person he could always count on to have his back. I can't imagine how he could have endured those long hard days without your support. Last, but most important let me remind his sons, Eric and Chris how much their dad loved them. He often felt he failed you as a father and that you deserved so much more, but never forget he loved you and was proud of you. You were the best part of Joe. Rest in peace dear Joe and give all the pugs my love.
04-13-2012 Mathew and Anita Gross
This world will never be the same without Joe in it, that's for sure! What a Blessing it was to Matthew and me in having Joe as a close friend of ours. He was such a kind, thoughtful and generous person. He was always, and I mean always, putting the needs of others in front of his own. It was a true Blessing to have the privilege to have worked for Joe for the eight years he was the District Attorney. He was a true advocate for the victims. He was so dedicated and loyal to them and their families. He truly hurt when they hurt and I watched many times Joe cry with and for those victims and their families. Joe became friends with most of the victims and their families that he helped and that speaks volumes about his character. He was a man with integrity and honesty. He was fearless when it came to doing the right thing. It made his life hard sometimes, but he did it anyway. Some didn't appreciate his honesty, but being honest isn't always easy and Joe never took the easy route. I will certainly miss his sense of humor. Joe loved to make people laugh and he made us laugh often. The last time I visted Joe before he passed, he had me laughing so hard that we both had tears streaming down our faces. Joe truly loved his sons, Eric and Chris. He was so very proud of them. Our hearts hurt for them and for Lee Ann. Joe, Matthew and I will forever miss you and we love you dearly. Rest in Peace our loyal and faithful friend!
04-13-2012 Jack Hoban
I will miss you, my brother.
04-12-2012 April Collins
Joe and I met 10 years ago while he was prosecuting my moms murder case. He and I became great friends throughout that time sharing many precious and memorable times that I will never forget. He not only done his job well as District Attorney but he put his heart and soul in every case he ever prosecuted not to glorify himself but for the families and the victims. Joe, you will forever hold a speical place in my heart. I am blessed and honored to be able to call you my dear sweet Joe, my friend. I will miss him dearly! The Crumley family will be in my constant prayers for strength and peace during and after this time of great loss.
04-12-2012 Steve Smoot, Wake Forest, NC
I am saddened to have just learned of Joe’s passing, and send my deepest sympathies. I reflect back on fond memories of close friendship with Joe as backyard neighbors, sharing experiences in the same grade at Fairmont, Munsey Church, Cub and Boy Scouts, swimming lessons and swim team, and numerous other experiences growing up in Johnson City. While we lost touch over the years, I always felt proud as I followed Joe’s accomplishments in the legal profession and his contribution to public service. Joe, may you rest in peace.
04-12-2012 James B. Dunn
Joe Crumley was my friend. We talked on the phone numerous times before he was the DA, while he was the DA, and when he came to Newport to work for me. He spoke often of his boys and what they were doing. Joe could try a case. One involved a cigarette with dna in it He won it at trial; it was reversed on appeal; and the Supreme Court reinstated the conviction. He was not afraid to try something novel. I will miss him. My sympathy goes out to Joe's wife and his boys.
04-12-2012 Vicky Farmer
There are individuals that never leave us..... even through death. A friend, a confidant, a soul- mate. Joe was a dear friend of mine for 24 years. I worked with him and was proud to consider him one of my closest and trusted friends. For those of us that knew Joe in his private life we will remember him for his kindness, his heart of gold and and his compassion for others. In his profession Joe was a passionate man and would fight for justice until the bitter end. Please know that he was always concerned about the impact of his legal decisions on all individuals and their families. He shed many tears for them. Joe will be deeply missed by those that had the pleasure and honor of knowing him. REST IN PEACE now my dear friend. And know that even death will never part us.
04-12-2012 Lynn Taylor and family
Our family would like to express our condolences upon the passing of Joe Crumley. Joe will be missed by family and friends. Joe led a very colorful life. Lynn Taylor and family.
04-12-2012 Steve Meroney
Joe & I knew each other for over 40 years. We became good friends, I feel, during the campaign. I enjoyed helping him get into office.I think he did that job to his best with which he had deal. (A corrupt judge) This community has lost a good man. I got to know his boys & it was a pleasure. I will miss him very much. I have lost a good friend & I am sad about that. He was a part of the "Great Class Of 1971" of Science Hill High School. My sincere best to all of the family. He will always be with you. Sincerely, Steve Meroney
04-12-2012 Pat, Adam & Alex Collins Family
We are truly saddened to hear of your recent loss and would like to express our sincere condolences to the family of Joe Crumley. Pat served on the Washington County Commission when Joe was District Attorney - he was always well respected and trustworthy as a true public servant.Adam & Alex have been friends of his son Chris since their teen years and now at ETSU. Joe Crumley's career touched the lives of many and the community has lost an advocate for justice.
04-12-2012 Tripp Hunt
Joe often called me for advice and assistance. We came to be good friends. He will be sorely missed.
04-11-2012 Teresa Murray Smith
Joe was such a good and valued friend. We worked on the same side and on opposite sides of the courtroom but never lost that friendship, nor the the respect for each others abilities. We are all diminished by the loss of his wit, his experience, his caring, and most of all his wonderful self. I shall miss him.
04-11-2012 V. Moody
you will be missed, never forgotten, never replaced...
04-11-2012 James & Margarett Coggins
Joe was more than a friend to our family. He was there when we needed him and his support never got weak. Joe came to our home and his visits were always welcomed. He spent hours griving over one of our loved ones who left this world in a very uncalled for way. Joe will be missed by many, and many have given up a good friend. Family you will miss him, but there are many memories from a man who loved his family. I ask God's blessing on each one of you. Best Regards,
04-11-2012 BR Livingston
I worked with Lee Ann for many years and Joe was always such a nice person when I came in contact with him. He will be sorely missed. Everyone has our sympathy and prayers. Thanks
04-11-2012 Becky L Smith
I had the privilege to work with Joe in the court system from 1997-2005. He loved his job and was fun to be around. I will never forget him calling me "Becky Bob" and I will always cherish those memories. I hope and pray that God will be with Eric and Chris during this difficult time.
04-11-2012 Lorrie Goff
What a sad time. Professionally, I found Joe to be concerned for the victims of crimes. He was passionate about justice as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney. Personally, I found Joe to show concern for his friends. His home was always open. He always had a word of encouragement. He loved his sons and spoke about them often to me. He expected a lot of them but he wished them the best life has to offer. Rest in peace Joe. Thanks for everything.


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