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• RHEA, Jan Steven,
age 60, of Lenoir City, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2007, at Baptist Hospital West. Steve is preceded in death by his father, J.B. Rhea. He is survived by his wife, Linda Rhea; sons and daughter-in-law, Brian and Amy Neilsen, Travis Rhea; mother, Vera Rhea; brothers and sister-in-law, Grant and Shenna Rhea, Michael Rhea. Steve will be sadly missed by his immediate family and a host of friends and relatives. Family and friends met Friday at Highland Memorial Cemetery West for a graveside service with the Rev. Jim Clayton officiating. The family received friends Thursday at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.

• ERPENBACH, Jerome Joseph,
age 89, of Knoxville, died Monday, Oct. 1, 2007. He was the son of the late William Winand and Ida Jesse Erpenbach and was born May 2, 1918, in Eau Claire, Wis. He attended the University of Wisconsin, Menomonie, and in his last year was chairman of the student government organization. At graduation in 1940 he was employed as an instructor in the engineering faculty of Georgia Tech in Atlanta. He later changed employment to the Tennessee Valley Authority in Chattanooga. He volunteered for military service during World War II. As an aviation cadet he received a military commission at Yale University and served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. After separation from the military he returned to TVA and worked in personnel development and management, including head of the training staff for the TVA Office of Power. In 1967 he transferred to the Division of Personnel in Knoxville as an assistant manager. Later he managed the TVA staff for education and manpower development until his retirement in 1983. He was a member of the American Society for Engineering Education, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Engineers Council for Professional Development and the American Society of Training Directors. He was involved in many community activities. For more than 15 years, he was in adult leadership positions on the district and council levels of the Cherokee Area Council of the Boy Scouts in Chattanooga. He was the chairman of the building committee for the establishment of St. John Neumann Catholic Church in West Knoxville and served for the first two years as the Parish Council Chairman. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus and of the Bearden Lions Club. After retirement, he and his wife became members of Friendship Force International. They participated in a number of home-to-home exchange visits with people in other countries, resulting in lasting friendships. Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Lloyd William; and sister-in-law, Lorraine (Hehli) Erpenbach; his sister, Marie Elizabeth; and brother-in-law, Ernest William Brickner; and brother-in-law, Lawrence Braaten. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Dorothy (Faltesek) Erpenbach; and their three sons, Jerome Joseph Jr. and wife, Suzanne, Dr. John Ernest and wife, Natasha, and Dr. James David. Other survivors include his seven grandchildren, Dr. Jonathan David, Michael Joseph, David Charles, Alexandra Victoria, Katherine Nicole, Christopher Joseph and Michael Alexander, with his sister, Doris Jesse Braaten of Orlando, Fla.; two nieces and five nephews. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Brakebill Nursing Home, in particular Kelley, for their kindness and loving care. A funeral mass was Friday at All Saints Catholic Church, where he was a parishioner, with the Rev. Chris Michelson officiating. A graveside service followed Friday at Highland Memorial Cemetery with Military Honors presented by The Tennessee National Guard. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Knoxville Catholic High School Building Fund, 9245 Fox Lonas Road, Knoxville TN 37923 or the Alzheimer’s Association of Knoxville, 2200 Sutherland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37919). The family received friends Thursday with a scripture service at Rose Mortuary Mann Heritage Chapel.

• THORNTON, Robert L. (Bob),
age 75, Knoxville, formerly of Charleston, W.Va., passed away peacefully at Parkwest Medical Center in Knoxville Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2007. Bob was a loving father, husband and mentor. He will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by all. Bob was a founder of MDS, a Knoxville based distribution company. He served with the 555 Field Artillery Battalion during the Korean Conflict. Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Hoyt and Mary Thornton, who were from Charleston. He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Jan Watson Thornton; his children, Elizabeth Janklow of Jacksonville, Fla., Dr. Rebecca Jackson of Knoxville, James Thornton of Knoxville and John Thornton of Knoxville; five grandchildren. The family received friends Saturday at Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel followed by a Celebration of Life with Deacon Ken Long officiating. Family and friends gathered Saturday at Spring City Cemetery for graveside services. The family requests that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made in Bob’s name to Disabled American Veterans, or a similar charity. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel, 11915 Kingston Pike, served the Thornton family.

• NORTON, Trevor Thomas,
90, of Lenoir City, passed away peacefully Friday morning, Oct. 5, 2007, at the Hillcrest Nursing Home where he was under hospice care following a year of declining health and a little over a year after the death of his beloved wife, Betty. A native of Birmingham, England, where he was born in 1917, he immigrated with his wife and two children, Glyn and Jill, to the United States in 1951. Trevor was the son of Amy and Edmund Norton. He attended the elite King Edward’s Grammar School founded in 1552 by King Edward VI where he was a champion track star. He also excelled in the game of rugby, which he played semi-professionally for nearly five years. An accomplished jazz pianist and organist, he studied and mastered the pipe organ under the tutelage of the distinguished organist Arthur Brueton. During World War II, he was a decorated captain in the British Army and participated in the occupation of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in the final days of the war. He went on to earn a university degree in industrial engineering at Birmingham University. After immigrating to the United States, he accepted a position in production planning and control with the Ford Motor Co. in Kansas City, Mo. Shortly after, he was transferred to Detroit, Mich., to continue a successful career at the central headquarters of Ford. His career took him back to Europe and to the Middle East. From this experience in Egypt and Iran, he grew to become an astute interpreter of Middle Eastern business culture. His career in the automotive industry culminated when he was appointed vice president and managing director for the operations of American Motors in Costa Rica. For his entire life, Trevor Norton was a devout member and spiritual leader of his church, The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (in more recent years called The Community of Christ). He gave years of service to various Rotary Clubs and was past president of the Tellico Lenoir City Rotary club. In more recent years, he was ardently committed to advancing the cause of adult literacy. He was president of the Loudon County Literacy Council for eight years. During this time, Trevor brought vision and changes to the council and its mission to enhance the Lenoir City-Loudon County Adult Education Program. The Tennessee Historical Commission presented the Sequoyah Literacy Award to Trevor in recognition of his contributions to eradicate illiteracy in Loudon County. His vision led to the establishment of a scholarship program for GED recipients who are pursuing post-secondary education. In order to fund this program he conceived the Adult Spelling Bee, which is now in its eighth year under the sponsorship of the Lenoir City Rotary Club. His legacy will continue to change lives and families in his community. He leaves behind a son, Glyn P. Norton, and daughter-in-law, Victoria, of Albany, N.Y.; a daughter, Jill Hoyles, and son-in-law, Jeffrey, of Knoxville and Paducah, Ky.; his grandchildren, Alexandra Haner (Mark) of Westfield, N.J., Leslie Norton of New York City, Erin Hoyles of Tampa, Fla., Trevor Hoyles (Michelle) of Portland, Ore., his step-grandchildren, Vivian Garcia (Dennis) and Jose de Venecia III, both of Manila, Philippines; and his great-grandchildren, Matthew Haner, Alison Haner and Dylan Hoyles; and step-great-grandchildren, Jaime de Venecia, David Garcia, Katharine Garcia and Noah Garcia. Like his father and grandfather before him, Trevor remained an active and skillful gardener for most of his life. The gardens he helped his wife, Betty, to establish over the years at their homes in England and the United States are a legacy that will long outlive him and burnish his memory. His ashes, along with those of his wife, Betty, will be returned to the land of their birth where his children will scatter them in a grove of trees that he planted in the far corner of his garden at “Platsdown,” their beloved home in the Devonshire countryside. Memorial contributions may be sent in the name of Trevor T. Norton to the Loudon County Literacy Council, 2145 Harrison Ave, Lenoir City, TN 37771. Click Funeral Home Farragut Chapel, 11915 Kingston Pike, is serving the Norton family.

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