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Dr. Donald Tarr

The man, not a myth, a true legend! AKA “Doc”, “World’s Fastest Physician” went home to be with his Lord and Savior on January 21, 2022 at the age of 92. Don was born on May 4, 1929 to the late Wilfred Tarr and Jewel Ward Tarr in Napa Valley, California. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sons, Jimmy Tarr and Gene Tarr; sisters, Elaine Dodd and Sylvia Shiftlet.


He became a member of First Baptist of Mountain City many years ago. In 2008, he became a member of God’s roll in The Lamb’s Book of Life as he received Jesus into his heart. These are just a few titles he held over his colorful life. He was the first race car driver to be sponsored by Coca-Cola, the first announcer from his car during a race on ABC, and the first chief of staff for Johnson County Memorial Hospital. He was also the original owner of Johnson County’s Days Inn Hotel. He generously poured his heart into our community. He donated to the imagination library to get it started here for our children. He also donated to the Niswonger’s Children Hospital and continued to be an active board member. He also faithfully donated his time and money to the Heritage Hall Theater. He will be remembered vividly by many for the comical characters he played. He was president of the Rotary Club and loved organizing events for the town. One of his favorites was the golf tournaments at Redtail Golf Course. Many of you grew up playing baseball and wore the Tarr name on your jerseys. He would give to many worthy causes, whether it be for children, animals, or just someone in need. He was a generous man and such the gentleman. He was a hopeless romantic and the florist knew him well. He would send flowers to his sweetheart, Carole, not just on special occasions. He had a goal for always saving the day! Although, do not let that steer you from his whirling dervish side, an adrenaline junky he had to be. He would race you in a car, motorcycle, plane, boat, water skiing or even on foot! Especially during his race car years he could never turn down a challenge or dare. Thankfully during those years he flew a plane to get to his races. To our benefit he fell in love with Mountain City flying over it. He did however get his last speeding ticket driving his motor home. As he told us, he was “just blowing the soot out of it”.


He previously was captain of his school days basketball team. Pappy still loved the game at 91 years old and was still shooting hoops with his favorite ol’ chap. He loved the Green Bay Packers and was a faithful fan. He was an amazing athlete himself, but always gave credit to others when due. Good sport and a good man has been quoted for decades. Remembered for many things, he would challenge us to be moral, honest and never give up. He took care of others and put their needs first. He believed you at your word with a hand shake only to seal the deal. He worked many jobs to put himself through medical school and tried to instill in the young lives he touched that education was important and worth the time. We benefited from his life well lived, as he practiced medicine for over sixty years. Remember “Doc” for his driving, for his goodness, his infectious laugh, and will to never give up. Use the talents God gave you, run or race with them!


Those left to cherish his memories include his wife of 35 years, Carole Tarr; daughter, Cara Lynn Tarr Sanderson; son, William Tarr and wife Connie; sister, Lorraine Dawson; grandchildren, Andrew Tarr, Jeffrey Tarr, Kathryn Tarr Schuessler, Evan Tarr, Erica Sanderson, Adam Sanderson; great grandchildren, Bryson, Caden, Nathan, Kendall, Bennett, Jackie, Evie, Kenny, Callie; several nieces, nephews, many special friends and his beloved cat, Zoe.


The family will receive friends from 1:00-2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022 at First Baptist Church (421 W Main St., Mountain City, TN 37683). The funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Ricky Campbell, Dr. Greg Thompson, and Brother Daniel Jones officiating. Entombment will follow the funeral at Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum (999 Honeysuckle St., Mountain City, TN 37683). Pallbearers will be Brad Wilson, Troy Wilson, Leo Melissaris, Tyler Fenner, Leon Henley, Josh Harmon, and English John.


Condolences may be sent to the family through our website at


The family of Dr. Donald Tarr has entrusted his services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, Tennessee 37683.