James (Jim) Jerome Hutton, a life-long Anderson County resident, passed away at the age of 87 on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at his home following a wonderful Thanksgiving celebration with beloved family and friends. He was born on July 20, 1930, to I.T. and Lena Belle Reesa Hutton at the onset of the Great Depression, and was the sixth of seven children. He spent his childhood days attending school and hunting and fishing for food for his family. Like many children of his era, this served to shape young Jimmy into the hard-working, strong-principled man he was so fondly known for being. He attended Clinton High School, where he played the clarinet and served as drum major for its marching band. He was also active in the Boy Scouts of America.
Following high school, Jim worked for TVA and subsequently joined the U. S. Army. Corporal James Hutton spent two years stationed in Alaska, and served as a radio operator with the 147th Field Artillery Unit in the Korean War. Upon honorable discharge, he returned to his home in East Tennessee and worked for about ten years at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant before discovering he had contracted tuberculosis. He spent three years at the VA hospital in Oteen, North Carolina, and upon his release in 1958, attended East Tennessee State University, where he met his wife of 27 years, Gerre Leirose White. They moved back to Oak Ridge, and together built a family, having three daughters – Jenny, Amy, and Beth.
In 1961, Jim graduated from the University of Tennessee and became a science teacher at Robertsville Junior High School. He went on to obtain his Master’s Degree in Administration and Supervision from UT in 1972, and thereafter, served as Principal at Elm Grove Elementary School, Vice Principal at Jefferson Junior High School, and Principal at Cedar Hill Elementary school. After 17 years with the school system, Jim opened Buck Stove of Oak Ridge which he owned and operated until his retirement, nearly thirty years later. During this time, he forged countless long-lasting friendships around the region. While Jim took great pride in his business, his greatest joys came from the simpler, more personal things in life, such as coaching his daughters’ softball teams, fishing, spending time with loved ones, and singing in the church choir. He loved caring for horses, working, and tinkering on the farm. Each year he spent countless hours planting, nurturing, harvesting, and preserving his bountiful vegetable garden. Jim was a consummate story-teller and natural historian. Those closest to him will remember his wit, his grit, and his selflessness. These things, as well as his life-long love for music, are left as a legacy to all who loved him.
Jim was preceded in death by parents I.T. and Lena Belle Reesa Hutton; sisters Ella Rhea Juanita Harvey, Louise Turner, Volita Mann, Faye Tinner, Janice Carver, and brother Daniel Thomas Hutton; and, special friend Jolene Reed. He is survived by his ex-wife Gerre W. Hutton; daughter Jenny Holmberg, son-in-law Eric Holmberg, and their children Isabella Holmberg, Henry Holmberg, and Clay Holmberg; daughter Amy Hutton Loposser; and daughter Beth Ann Leamon, son-in-law Michael Leamon, and children James “Jeb” Bennett, Ashton Leamon and Raven Leamon; niece Bobbi Jean Harmon and her husband Bruce Harmon, and their son Billy Harmon; niece Jo Turner and sons Michael Padgett and Tim Padgett; and Linda Reed.
The family will have a celebration of Jim’s life on Saturday, December 16, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Holley Gamble Funeral Home, in Clinton, TN. In lieu of flowers and in alignment with Jim’s passions, the family requests that memorials be made to one of the following: Heritage High School Marching Band, 960 Poplar Springs, Road, Ringgold, GA 30736; Hilton Head Jazz Camp, 5 Hollowtail Drive, Bluffton, SC, 29910; or Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee, P.O. Box 22482, Knoxville, TN 37933.
Holley-Gamble Funeral Home of Clinton in charge of arrangements.