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David Kenneth ‘Ken’ Kitchell, Jr., age 84, of Mountain City, Tennessee, passed away on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at the Johnson City Medical Center following a courageous struggle of ten years with the after effects of a stroke. He was born in Miami, Florida on February 17, 1927 to the late David Kenneth Kitchell, Sr. and Callie Belle Carpenter Kitchell. Ken was a military man, having served 27 years in the Army Airborne and earning the rank of CSM (Command Sgt. Major). Following his military career, Ken was a corporate officer for Wackenhut Securities in Miami, Florida. He and his family moved to Mountain City, Tennessee in 1978. Ken served as City Manager of Mountain City from April 1981 to April 1983. Retirement did not suit him, so Ken proceeded to serve as his own contractor building his own home and four town houses on the golf course in Mountain City.
Though Ken could not speak during the last years of his life, friends will remember he always had a beautiful smile.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Frances Snyder Kitchell; three children, Glen David Kitchell and wife, Sue, of Farmington, NM; Kenneth Brooks Kitchell of Mountain City, TN and Karen Yarber and husband, Steve, of Wake Forest, NC; sister, Donna Layton of Tallahassee, FL; brother, Dale Kitchell of Homestead, FL; grandchildren, Christian Kitchell of Nashville, TN; Erin Kitchell of Clarksville , TN; Tyler Kitchell of Glenrock, NJ, Haley and Wesley Yarber of Wake Forest, NC; sisters-in-law, Eleanor Carrier Vannoy and husband, Fred, of Mountain City Care Center and Bristol, VA, Vida Bunting and husband, Doran, Norma Ransom and husband Frank, all of Mountain City, TN and Wilma Bunting of Kingsport, TN and several nieces and nephews.
The family received friends from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at First Baptist Church.
A Celebration of Life Service followed at 4:00 p.m with Pastor Ricky Campbell, Rev. Norman Reece and Rev. Frank Ransom officiating.
Pallbearers were Bill Grant, Bill Brookshire, Harvey Burniston Sr., Vance Greer, Howard Moon, Dr. Don Tarr and John Muse.
Military honors followed the funeral service at the church and were conducted by the Johnson County Honor Guard.
Ken will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Ken’s memory to the Johnson County Rescue Squad, 203 Vandilla Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.
At other times, the family will receive friends at the home, 1093 Sage Valley Circle, Mountain City, TN 37683.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at
The family of David Kenneth Kitchell, Jr. has entrusted his services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church St., Mountain City, TN 37683.