T. Claude Hensley


T. Claude Hensley, age 85, Jonesborough, went home to be with the Lord on Saturday, April 27 after a brief battle with cancer.

The following preceded him in death: parents Elmer F. Hensley and Cora Barlow Hensley of Limestone, TN; and brother J.R. Hensley and wife Dorothy Rader Gosnell of Greeneville, TN.

As a class of 1952 graduate of Washington College Academy, he religiously went to their yearly alumni banquets except the last one held on the same day he passed away. He attended East Tennessee State University where he met his loving and devoted wife Betty Jo.

He was a veteran in the United States Army. After receiving his basic infantry training at Ft. Benning, KY, he was stationed to post war South Korea. While there, he was a clerk with the 54th Engineering Company. He was honorably discharged at age 24 in 1958 and returned home to Limestone, TN after serving two years.

Claude was a lifelong resident and local historian of Washington County. He was saved as a young man in the Limestone United Methodist Church. He worked in farming with his father and brother growing up in Limestone. At age 25 in 1959, he took over as the operator of the old Jonesborough Shell Service Station. At age 32 in 1966, he started working at Eastman Chemical Company in the yarn plant and a short time later transferred to Tenite plastics division as a roll machine operator until retirement in 1994. Now deceased co-worker and artist Charlie Bell summed up Claude in a simple color caricature that read, “Now that I’m retired, I can spend more time doing some photo work of the old places and listen to the old timers in Jonesborough”. In a time of social media, negativity, and lack of moral fiber, Claude was the exact opposite by engaging others with good witted humor and stories, and exemplifying clean honest living. He will be truly missed by the many fine folks and families he came to know throughout his lifetime of work and travels throughout the beautiful Appalachian foothills of Washington, Greene, and Sullivan counties.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years Betty McAninch Hensley of Jonesborough, TN; son Alan K. Hensley of Jonesborough, TN; daughter Deborah Hensley Parker, husband Carroll “Tuffy” Parker, and granddog Gigi of Jonesborough, TN; grandson Greg L. Hensley and wife Rachel Miller Hensley of Nashville, TN; grandson Kyle A. Hensley and fiancée Shaina Jordan of Holden Beach, NC; double first cousin Wilma Hensley Mongold and husband Bill F. Mongold of Limestone, TN; double first cousin Glen A. Hensley and wife Charlotte Jones Hensley of Kingsport, TN; cousin Vicki Hensley Sparks and husband Jeff Sparks of Fall Branch, TN; cousin Sharon Mongold Faircloth, husband Mike Faircloth, and children Tyler and Calah of Hickory, NC; and other special cousins and family.

A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, April 30th 9:00 am at Maple Lawn Cemetery in Jonesborough. Pastor Jeremy Dykes will officiate. Pall bearers will include Greg L. Hensley, Kyle A. Hensley, Carroll “Tuffy” Parker, Glen A. Hensley, Bill F. Mongold, and Eldridge E. Shelton (honorary).

Special thanks to Dr. Andy Delwadia; Dr. Devapiran Jaishankar; the Johnson City Medical Center, Franklin Woods Community Hospital, and Ballad Health Hospice facilities and staff for their excellent level of care and support during this difficult time; Pastor Rip Noble at Hope Church; Mike Bruce at Hope Helps; and Regina Black France.

Special friends include brothers Caroll and Roger Rhea, Sam and Linda Sutphin, Joe Joyner, Donny and Linda Foster, Carl and Carolyn Slagle, Sam and Ruth Ann Snapp, Martha Swift, Bill Barkley family, Shirley Palmer family, Luann and David Ratliff, and others too many to name.

Memorial donations may be made to the Washington College Academy Alumni Association, Attention: Carl Daniels – President, 116 Doak Lane, Washington College, TN 37681.

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05-11-2019 Margaret Bennett Horner (Bouncer
So sorry to hear of Claude's passing. Another good Washington College friend is gone. Prayers to all of his family and especially Betty Jo.
04-30-2019 Patsy Pugh Denton
Deborah and family, So sorry for your loss, you all will be in my prayers. TAKE CARE
04-29-2019 Lisa Hodge
Alan, Sherrill and I are sorry for your loss. I so enjoyed seeing your FB posts adventures with your dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
04-29-2019 Daniel H. Dewald Jr. Family
Deepest sympathies to your family. Dad always thought a lot of Claude
04-29-2019 Daryl Loyd
Only made one Claude Hensley, a Truly wonderful man. Always the same no matter where you saw him. Will miss seeing an talking to him.
04-28-2019 Shirley palmer
Claude was family to me. We had several talks on hill when we both were mowing our yards. I truly will miss Claude. Love you all.
04-28-2019 Luann Miller Ratliff
The Hensley family are my second family. I have known them for 46 years and there is not a finer family. My Dad and Mother thought of them as family also. I will always remember Mr. Hensley taking pictures through the years and making sure they were just right. He was one of the kindest men I know. He will be greatly missed.


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