Matthew Hunter Millsaps, 18, Jonesborough, TN, left his earthly home and walked into the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at Wellmont Hospice House, Bristol, TN.
Matthew was a native of Jonesborough, and the beloved, precious son of Douglas C. Millsaps and Sharon Bennett Millsaps, of the home.
Matthew was diagnosed with Philadelphia Chromosome Positive Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia October 29, 2014, at 14 years of age. He was a patient of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, and the St. Jude Tri-Cities Affiliate Clinic, Johnson City.
He was a former student of Lamar School, Jonesborough, where he was on the basketball and track teams for three years. He was a prankster and worked so hard to complete “the 8th grade prank” on his last day of middle school by blowing up truck loads of balloons and distributing them inside his teacher’s classroom.
Upon the onset of his illness, he had just begun his freshman year at David Crockett High School. He excelled in all his classes. Due to the side effects of chemotherapy, he was unable to return to the public-school setting. In August 2017, he began attending classes at Northeast State Community College, to obtain his high school equivalency diploma, and met all the requirements in October 2017. In the presence of his family and friends, he was able to wear his cap and walk across the stage with the Northeast State Adult Education program on June 14, 2018.
Matthew was a son who loved to hunt and fish with his daddy and drive his 1985 Camaro IROC Z-28 and blast 80s music. On a dirt bike he was fearless and looked forward to obtaining his motorcycle license, so he could ride with his dad. He loved to mow and took pride in caring for his Mamaw’s yard, making every line perfectly straight. Matthew also loved his mama fiercely, and he was the light of her life. Every day he was reminded that he was her sweet, sweet boy. Matthew had a love for his sister that was undeniable, and told everyone he met all about his sister, and how proud he was of her, how pretty she was, and how much he loved her. He called her his “little, big sister.” He was a grandson who was adored and brought so much joy to his grandparents anytime he was near. As a nephew, Matthew liked to take trips to Bass Pro, ride dirt bikes or four wheelers and spend time together. Matthew looked forward to the day he would meet a special young lady, marry and become a daddy. He loved children so. He aspired to be an airplane mechanic. For those fortunate enough to meet Matthew, his constant smile, sense of humor, and firm handshake left an impression that will not be easily forgotten.
Matthew was a member of Cherry Grove Baptist Church, Jonesborough, and had asked Jesus into his heart at the age of 7.
Because of his illness, Matthew lived the last two years of his life with many adventures that would have never happened, had he not been sick. His family has been so blessed with hunting expeditions from Sky High Adventures and Trinity Oaks in San Antonio, TX. He also saw his favorite band, Def Leppard, in San Antonio, August 31, 2018. The memories and friendships made during his trips will last a lifetime.
Matthew was preceded in death by his Dadaw, Bobby Jack Bennett, August 23, 2016; his Granny, Imogene Millsaps, December 6, 2017; and his Aunt Jewel Cooper, June 9, 2009.
In addition to his parents, Matthew is survived by his sister, Sara Elizabeth Millsaps, Cleveland, TN; his Mamaw, Kathy Cooper Bennett, Jonesborough, his Pa, Raymond Millsaps, Elizabethton; uncles, David Millsaps, Elizabethton, and David Cooper, Jonesborough; and cousin Davis Webb. He is also survived by special friends: Barbara Allen; Bill Bartlett; Richie Bartosh; Carlos, Patsy, Travis, Faith, and Sadie Campbell; Ed Cobb; Philip, Brandi and Peyton Cornell; David Good; Zach Shell; and Judy and Gerald Webb (aka Meme and Papa); aunt, Doris A. Harry and numerous cousins.
The outpouring of support for the family since his diagnosis has been unfathomable and very appreciated. They would like to offer special thanks to Ballad Health Strategic Planning, Service Line Management, Alan Levine and Corporate Administration, as well as, his parents fellow team members; Wellmont Hospice House, Ballad Health Hospice, the St. Jude Tri-Cities Affiliate Clinic, especially Melissa Sifford and Summer Dinnes, for their exceptional compassion, love and care for Matthew; Cherry Grove Baptist Church faithful prayer warriors and Pastor Tommy Clark; Drs. Kathy Klopfenstein, Marcela Popescu, Jeffrey Towbin, Jean Ballweg, John Eshun, Catherine Habashy and Angela Snyder, NP.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, October 13, 2018, at 3:00 pm. at Cherry Grove Baptist Church, 104 Cherry Grove Road, Jonesborough. The family will receive friends at the church from 12 pm until the service time. Pastor Tommy Clark will be officiating, with musical arrangements by Vince Walters, and Matthew’s Story and Memories by Barbara Allen. Matthew will be laid in his earthly resting place next to his Dadaw, in the Cherry Grove-Keplinger Cemetery, immediately following the service. Pallbearers will be: Bill Bartlett, Richie Bartosh, Carlos Campbell, Ed Cobb, David Good, David Millsaps, Zach Shell and Davis Webb. The family will also receive friends at the home of his Mamaw, Kathy Bennett, Jonesborough.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the following:
Ronald McDonald House, 535 Alabama Ave. Memphis TN, 38105;
Sky High for Kids, 9800 Richmond Ave., Ste 335, Houston TX 77042;
Trinity Oaks, 9385 Miller Lane, San Antonio TX 78266.
Jamie Whaley Coy Vaughn and Madison Vaughn
We wish that we could change the events that have
taken place since 2014. We all have loved Matthew
from day one. I especially have always had a
special place for Matthew in my heart, he has
always been such a wonderful young man. He always
had me laughing and he was always smiling. I
remember asking him how to play basketball when I
was coaching the girls...what was some good plays
I needed to know some, he would look at me like
why are you coaching...i really don't know, no one
else would do it, now give me some of your
moves..haha. he would laugh. I would ask coy ty
tell all of them. I wish I had a magic button that
could just change events and things from ever
happening, but then I would be cheating God from
having a jewel, one of his most awesome beings he
has created so far, and I would be cheated Matthew
from being with the greatest being ever! Can you
imagine what he is doing right now with Jesus by
his side? I bet he is telling him all about his
car...and deer hunting...lol the smile he must
have on his face while talking to God, it must be
a mile long right now. His eyes filled full of
life and happiness no more pain or sickness and
his heart full of love as always and joy just over
flowing from his body. I can see him sitting there
telling him all about his moma, sister and
everyone who means the world to him because he is
so excited to be there. One day we will be there
too and when we get there, you best believe he
will be the first one to greet us with that
contagious smile of his holding his arms wide open
and so excited to give all that love he has out to
others as he has all of his life. You raised a
fine young man, one that every mother wants and
you did a wonderful job. You did what God gave you
to do and now God is going to take care of him and
you during this most difficult time in your life.
I am here for you, when you feel like you need to
scream cry or just vent or need a shoulder, I am
here. Call me let me know come by whatever it may
be I don't care what time it is, I am here for
you. My love, my heart goes out to all of you.
Coy and Madison wants to say that they are sorry
and can not believe this is happening and they
loved Matthew very much.sarah they said if you
need them please contact them. GOD BLESS YOU ALL
Kruisin For Kids
We are deeply saddened to hear of Matthews passing. He was
a true inspiration and we were so blessed to have been able to
meet and see him at car shows with his beautiful 1985
Camero Iroc Z-28. Our thoughts and prayers are with the
Doug and Sharon, so sorry to hear of the loss of
Matthew. I will have you all in my prayers.
Jennifer and Steve Henley
Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. So sorry we will not
be able to attend the Celebration of Life for Matthew because
we are out of town. I know that Matthew is in the loving arms
of God and his family members that has gone on before.
Sharon & Kathy- I cannot begin to imagine your pain
with this loss. You all are in my prayers.
Phil & Doris Jordan
Doug, we are so sad to learn of your unimaginable
loss. Our hearts go out to your family and Uncle
Raymond. You are in our thoughts and prayers.
Billy B Stoots
DID NOT KNOW MATTHEW BUT I DID KNOW HIS MAMAW AND UNCLE. WHAT A LOSS BUT HEAVEN GAIN. GOD COMFORT AND CONTINUE TO BLESS THIS PRECIOUS FAMILY.
Joel, Connie, & Tyler Paden
We are so deeply sorrowful for the loss of
Matthew. He was a true inspiration to everyone who
knew him. Our thought and prayers go out to all
members of the family. We know that Matthew is now
in the absolute very best place he possibly can
be. May God Bless each and every family member and
Please accept my sympathy for your terrible loss. My broken
heart aches with yours.
We have never met but I felt led to send you my condolences. What a bright young man who obviously had a big heart. I pray for comfort for all.
Peace of Christ,
I didn’t know your beautiful son but I read this obituary and he
sounds like a wonderful young man who lived life to the fullest
and was loved by so many. Prayers for your family
My heart goes out to the entire
family...I can see so much of his mom
in him,at that age.Our Faith teaches
us to hold tight to the Lord..I
learned alot of my faith with his
mom,from her mom...I remember well
those Cherry Grove days..Thoughts and
Doug, Sharon, and family,
I was very saddened to hear about the passing of
Matthew. On behalf of myself, the supervisors, and
the JCMC Central Supply team, please know that we
are praying for each of you during this very
difficult time. I know God is holding on tight to
each of you.
We are so sorry for you loss! I only met him once but he was so sweet. Your family is in our prayers!
I never met Matthew, but I have kept him and your
family in my prayers for the last few years. Such
a nice looking young man. Praying that you feel
the love of God through your friends and family at
Although I do not know you and your family
personally I am heartbroken for you all. I have
never heard a bad word spoken about your sweet
family. Prayers to you
Summer Hughes and Family
Doug, Sharon, Sara and the rest of the family we are so sorry
for the loss of Sweet Matthew. He was a little fighter and never
gave up. Our family will continue to pray for your family during
this difficult time and pray that God comforts you all. If you all
need anything please don’t hesitate. We love you all.