Dr. Truett Hayes Pierce, age 94, left his earthly body and arrived at his heavenly home on September 7, 2021. He was born on July 22, 1927 in Mountain City, TN, and spent his adult life serving the community and people of Sneedville, TN. He joined the Navy at the age of 17 during World War II and served on the USS Alabama; he was honorably discharged in 1946 and enrolled in ETSU, where he majored in chemistry and physics, and played the tuba in the marching band. It was here that he met his life-long love, Wanda, while she was on a trip with the Knoxville High School Orchestra. They continued dating by writing letters while he was in medical school at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. They were married June 20, 1953, the same week that he graduated from medical school. He then spent one year completing an internship at Knoxville General Hospital.
In 1954, Dr. Pierce moved to Sneedville with Wanda to help start the first Hancock County Hospital. He had originally planned to stay only temporarily, but soon fell in love with the people and community. Here he was instrumental in expanding the hospital to 60 beds with the help of his wife who served as nursing supervisor. He took pride in being a “country doctor,” often making house calls and working all hours of the night. He strived to be a living embodiment of Wanda’s favorite Bible verse, Luke 12:48: To whom much is given, much more is required.
During his 94 years, Dr. Pierce served many roles. He was a physician, hospital administrator, mayor of Sneedville, school board chairman, Shriner, member of Lions Club and Jaycees, board of directors for Farm Bureau, and the board of directors for Walters State Community College where he established two scholarships, and for Carson Newman where he established one. He was a devout Christian, first committing his life to Jesus as a child at Bethel Baptist Church in Mountain City and later as a member of First Baptist Church in Sneedville where he served as a deacon for over 5 decades. However, of all the hats he wore, he was proudest to be called the many titles he was called by his family; son, brother, uncle, husband, father, papaw, and great-papaw.
Dr. Pierce was preceded in death by his parents, David and Dora; brothers, Warren and Teddy; sister, Lenore; niece, Lisa; and beloved wife, Wanda. He leaves his memory and legacy to be carried on by his brother, Benny; daughters, Patricia, Nancy (Donnie Seal), and Janie (LJ Elliott); grandchildren, Brad (Mandy) Seal, Kim Seal, Tara Marion(Kenny), Ross Hopkins (Becky), Amanda Wray (Matt), and Drew Elliott; great-grandchildren Maylyn, Barrett, Allison, and Dane Seal; Brynlee and Paxton Marion; Dawn and Levi Hopkins; and Keaton, Hailey, and Greeah Wray; dear companion Bella the cat; and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family, church family, friends, and community.
Graveside service was held on Monday, September 13, 2021 at 2 P.M. in Butler, TN at Butler Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers: Donnie Seal, Brad Seal, Ross Hopkins, Kenny Marion, Lynn Greever, and LJ Elliott. Dr. Pierce dedicated his life to the health of the community and would want nothing more than for that to be protected; due to the current pandemic, Memorial Services will be held at a later date.
Online condolences can be made at on our website. McNeil Funeral Home in Sneedville in charge of arrangements.