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Melanie Cooke Smith Hartley, age 60, of Johnson City, passed away unexpectedly at the Johnson City Medical Center Hospital on Sunday, March 17, 2013. She was born on June 10, 1952 in Johnson City, TN and was preceded in death by her first husband, Melvin Smith and her father, Dr. Carter Gale Cooke.
She was a graduate of ETSU with a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Nursing. Mrs. Hartley served as a team leader and worked as a nurse practitioner in the Spinal Cord Injury Clinic at the VA Center in Johnson City, prior to working in the Domiciliary Clinic, also at the VA, where she had been for almost twenty years. She had also worked as a nursing instructor in the Science Hill Vocational Center of Practical Nursing, and as a nurse in the OB-GYN unit at the Johnson City Medical Center. In Spartanburg, SC, she worked in the hospice unit of Spartanburg Regional Hospital, and she served for two years as a midwife in the Southern Baptist missionary journeyman program in Zimbabwe. She was a member of the American Association of Spinal Cord Nurses and American Nurses Association. She also served as an adjunct Professor/ Instructor for ETSU School of Nursing. She was licensed/ credentialed by the American Nurse’s Credentialing Center. She was adored by her patients and staff in each of her positions because of her gentle, loving, Christ-like manner in her treatment and care.
She faithfully served with her God-given voice in the choirs of her former church, Central Baptist Church, in Johnson City, and at her current church, Immanuel Baptist Church in Elizabethton. Her love of God and His Kingdom, shone through both her voice and her countenance as she sang. We know that her voice will be a lovely addition to the heavenly choruses above!
She took special pride in “her flowers” at home, planning for them each spring, and tending to them all through the summer. She learned the art of flower arranging from her maternal grandmother, and loved sharing those flower arrangements with her mother, for whom she provided care-giving in the evenings and weekends with her sister.
She is survived by her husband, Billy J. Hartley, of the home; a son, Bradley F. Smith, of Washington, DC; a daughter, Courtney B. Smith, of Nashville; two step-sons, J. Brian Hartley and wife, Melanie, of Elizabethton; and T. Joe Hartley and wife, Nikki, of Elizabethton; her mother, Betty F. Cooke, of Johnson City (formerly of Mountain City), two sisters, Glenda C. Gray and husband, Carroll, of Johnson City; and Barbara C. Shelton, of New Market, TN; and a niece, RebaAnn Gray, of Chico, CA. Several cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, and a host of loving friends also survive.
The funeral service for Mrs. Hartley were conducted at 2:30 PM on Saturday, March 23, 2013 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Elizabethton, with Rev. Travis Biller, officiating. Music was under the direction of Jerry Barnett, soloist and Mary Lou O’Quinn, pianist. The family received friends from 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM at the church, prior to the service on Saturday, or at the residence at anytime.
The graveside service followed in the Sunset Memorial Park in Mountain City. Active pallbearers were her nephews.
Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers, may make donations to Paralyzed Veterans of America, or, 1-800-555-9140.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting and signing the guest book. Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton is serving the Hartley family. Office 423 542-2232, Obituary line 543-4917.