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Public Notices

April 23, 2014

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Robie Theodore Hensley

Published: 06/27/2013

Robie Theodore Hensley

Died: June 25, 2013

Robie T. Hensley Sr., age 90, of Chuckey, passed away Tuesday evening at his home. He was surrounded by his loving family.

Robie Hensley was a faithful Christian and an active member of Chuckey United Methodist Church, participating in many leadership roles including church historian.

He was a very loving and devoted father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle.

He was a fisherman, hunter, hiker, gardener, farmer, pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, storyteller, and world traveler.

Robie was born in 1922 in his home in the Philadelphia community, near Limestone, and started school at the age of three.

In 1937, when he was just 15 years old, he began working for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Unicoi County.

During World War II, he married Zetta Estepp of Limestone, and both worked for Douglas Aircraft in Chicago, Ill., building C-54s. It was there that their first son, Steve, was born.

After the war, Robie and Zetta returned to the area. He obtained a position with the Chuckey Post Office with Zetta bearing another son and a daughter while working in the garment industry locally.

Robie was a distinguished civil servant, who retired after 35 years as postmaster for the Chuckey Post Office in 1985.

He spent his retirement years hiking the Appalachian Trail twice, the Pacific Crest Trail, and trails in Hawaii, Alaska, and Poland.

He wrote and published a journal about hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1986.

As he had parachuted onto the top of Springer Mountain in Georgia to begin his first hike, he took the trail name of "Jumpstart." He made more than 400 jumps as a skydiver and was a member of the Leaping Lizards group which was later known as the Falling Stars.

He experienced his dream of flying an airplane, skydiving, and hiking the mountain ridgelines on both coasts of the United States. He said that his journey was more fun than he ever imagined it could or would be.

Robie was a lifelong learner and enjoyed the challenge of a new subject, including learning common phrases in dozens of languages and spending time with new technologies, including his many Facebook friends over the past several years.

He was always encouraging others to follow their own dreams.

Survivors include his devoted children, a son: Ted Hensley and his wife, Linda, of Chuckey; a daughter: Sherry Hensley of Chuckey; and a daughter-in-law: Julie Hensley of Chuckey; four grandchildren: Atticus Hensley and wife, Caroline, of Murfreesboro, Ben Hensley and wife, Amanda, of Camus, Wash., Erin Schultz and husband, Steve, of Chuckey, and Theo Hensley and wife, Cori, of Bristol; two stepgrandchildren, Eric Price and wife, Rachel, of Chuckey, and Carrie Riley and husband, Shone, of Piney Flats; 10 great-grandchildren: Stephanie Hensley of Murfreesboro, Sam and Zetta Schultz of Chuckey, Silas Hensley of Bristol, Mason Price, Cameron Waller, and Madison and Courtney Price of Chuckey, and Carson and Kelsey Riley of Bristol; one brother and sister-in-law: Andy and Eva Hensley of Chuckey; sisters-in-law: Mamie Estepp Hensley of Limestone, and Joyce Estepp Broyles Hartman of Tusculum, and numerous loving nieces and nephews. He had a special relationship with Andy Ziehmer of Greeneville, who lived with him as a youth for many years.

He was the son of the late Silas Hensley and Louie Miller Hensley Durham.

He was preceded in death by his wife and mother of his children, Zetta Estepp Hensley; a son: Steve Hensley; a sister: Bertie Hensley Bailey; and two brothers: Clifford Hensley of Limestone and Ray Hensley of Chuckey.

He spent his last year and final days in the home that he had built some 60 years before for his family on the Nolichuckey River in Chuckey, surrounded by those who cherished and loved him.

The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday at Jeffers Funeral & Cremation Service, Afton Chapel.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Horse Creek Church of God. The Rev. Randall Emmett will officiate. The body will lie in state 30 minutes preceding the service.

Interment will follow the service in Horse Creek Church of God Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be his grandsons and the husbands of his granddaughters: Atticus Hensley, Ben Hensley, Theo Hensley, Eric Price, Shone Riley, and Steve Schultz.

Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Joe Austin and his many loving nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the Greeneville-Greene County Library, 210 N. Main St., Greeneville, TN 37745.

An online register is available at

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