John L. Needy

September 21, 1940 ~ February 20, 2021 (age 80)


- John was reunited with his heavenly Father on February 20, 2021. He was a native of Louisville, KY, but called the East Tennessee Valley his home for the last 55 years.


John obtained his bachelor’s degree in Forest Management from West Virginia University, a master’s degree in Resource Management from Michigan State University and then moved to TN with his new bride Karen to take a position with TVA for 29 years of dedicated service.  During this time, he also took time to serve his country as a navigator with the 134th Air Refueling Group, Tennessee Air National Guard. In his retirement John followed his faith as Director of Congregational Care at Colonial Heights United Methodist Church, later returning to his home church, Fountain City United Methodist Church, where he joyfully served for 12 years under three different pastors until 2008.


John was a devout Christian and known for his humble smile, gentle words, and caring concern for others. His strong faith in God, compassion for people, love of the outdoors and all God’s creatures brought him happiness, and his giving-spirit inspired all those around him.  


John was preceded in death by his parents, Charles Needy and Mabel Delapp. He is survived by his loving wife, Karen, after 55 years of adoring marriage.  He was the beloved father of his two sons, Matt (Shawna) and Eric, and the proud Papa of two grandsons, Conner and Caleb, and dearly loved all his nieces, nephews, and extended family.


There will be a Call at Convenience on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 from 10am-4pm at Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel. A private family service will be held at Greenwood Cemetery.   In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Fountain City United Methodist Church or The Parkinson’s Foundation. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Needy family and invites you to view and sign the online registry.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John L. Needy, please visit our floral store.


Calling Hours
March 3, 2021

10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel & Crematory
5301 Fountain Rd, Knoxville, TN 37918
Knoxville, TN 37918

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