School 09
Official Obituary of

James Marvis Lee

October 20, 1933 ~ February 2, 2024 (age 90) 90 Years Old

James Marvis Lee Obituary

James Marvis Lee, 90, passed away at Sacred Ground Hospice House in Knoxville on February 2, 2024. Born on October 20,1933 in Thomasville, Tennessee to James Russell Lee and Bernice Arvilla Hunt Lee, he was the second of five brothers and one sister. Raised on a farm, he later shared his knowledge of farming with his five children on a farm in Dandridge, Tennessee.  

After high school, James attended Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN, participating in the speech and debate teams. He later transferred to Peabody College in Nashville where he graduated in 1958. While attending college, he sang in a gospel quartet that traveled around Tennessee. He also worked the night shift at the Peabody Hotel where he met many upcoming and famous musicians who played at the Ryman Auditorium, including Bill Monroe.

He met his bride, Del, at Peabody College; they married on December 18, 1955. His work in pharmaceutical sales and later as an entrepreneur, IRS Enrolled Agent, and ChFC meshed well with his love of travel. He and Del often loaded their five children into the car at midnight, then traveled nonstop to the destination while the kids slept (hopefully). They went to many family reunions, parks, and historic battlefields this way.

James believed in community service and was a member of the Ruritan and Lions Clubs and the Toastmasters. As a Boy Scout leader, he led the troop, including his two sons, on many outdoor adventures. One involved telling the scouts a wild boar roamed the area where they were camping so the boys wouldn’t sneak away at night.

He and his wife attended Fountain City Presbyterian Church where they made many friends and attended the Goodnews Sunday School class for over 28 years.They moved into Parkview Senior Living in North Knoxville where he loved playing the card game Rook nightly and even teaching the game to enthusiastic UT undergraduates! Jim and Del enjoyed their new engaging environment, surrounded by new friends. He entered Sacred Ground Hospice in North Knoxville where he received wonderful and compassionate care until his death.

Preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Delano Jean Hatcher Lee, he leaves behind his brother David Lee (Carlotta) and sister Ruth Grubbs (Steve); his five children Dail Lee (Teresa), Dawn Headrick (Tony), Doug Lee, Diette Crockett (Mark) and Doe Crocker (Glenn); his grandchildren Adam Lee (Alison), Aaron Lee (Nikki), Anthony Lee Headrick, Kaila Lee (Kyle Coulam), Caroline Lee, Sam Crockett (Tessa), Nathan Crockett, Rachel Crocker, and Kira Crocker; and three great grandchildren Parker and Owen Lee, and Finneas Crockett. 

Visitation will be Saturday February 24th from 1-2 pm with the service, officiated by Dr. Carl Grosse, to follow at 2 pm at Fountain City Presbyterian Church, 500 Hotel Road, Fountain City, TN. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to The Davis Child Development Center, 500 Hotel Street, Fountain City, TN or Sacred Ground Hospice House, 1120 Dry Gap Pike, Knoxville TN.

Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory is honored to serve the Lee family and invites you to sign the online registry at

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February 24, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Fountain City Presbyterian Church
500 Hotel Road
Knoxville, TN 37918

February 24, 2024

2:00 PM
Fountain City Presbyterian Church
500 Hotel Road
Knoxville, TN 37918


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