Mildred Douglas Purgason obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Mildred Douglas Purgason

June 2, 1924 - September 13, 2017

Obituary


Mildred Douglas Purgason passed away Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Life Care Center of Greeneville. Mildred was born June 2nd, 1924 to the late Hugh Douglas and Reed Mysinger Alexander. Mildred, a lifelong Greeneville resident, attended Greeneville High School, then completed her secretarial training at the Greeneville School of Commerce. She was hired by Dr. C.B. Laughlin and worked at Laughlin Memorial Hospital for forty years.

Mildred was married to Joe Bob Easterly in 1945, having three children. Later, she was married to Francis Purgason until his death in 1976. Growing up in...

Mildred Douglas Purgason passed away Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at Life Care Center of Greeneville. Mildred was born June 2nd, 1924 to the late Hugh Douglas and Reed Mysinger Alexander. Mildred, a lifelong Greeneville resident, attended Greeneville High School, then completed her secretarial training at the Greeneville School of Commerce. She was hired by Dr. C.B. Laughlin and worked at Laughlin Memorial Hospital for forty years.

Mildred was married to Joe Bob Easterly in 1945, having three children. Later, she was married to Francis Purgason until his death in 1976. Growing up in the Glenwood community, Mildred attended Hunts Chapel, Mt. Pleasant, and Timber Ridge Churches. She was a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mildred was widely known in the community for her craftsmanship. Her vast artistic skillset included macramé, extensive needlecraft, floral arrangements, beaded flowers, quilting, and she was an extraordinary seamstress. Her love for nature and gardening was often expressed in her crafts. She was, however, best known for her handmade teddy bears. She made over 2,000 individual bears that have gone to reside across the United States and to numerous countries abroad. She was a vendor at the first Junior Women's Holiday Bazaar and continued to showcase her creations every year until 2008, where she became known as the "teddy bear lady".

She is survived by her three children and spouses, Doug and Charlotte Easterly, Ann and Jay Birdwell, and Janie and Jerry Strom, all of Greeneville, TN; three stepchildren, Bob Purgason, Lois Bradley, and Frankie Conduff, and their families; one brother-in-law, Don Miles. She is also survived by her eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a sister, Aldean Miles.

The family will receive friends 6-8 p.m. Friday at Kiser-Rose Hill Funeral Home.

The funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church.

Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Family and friends are asked to meet at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at the church for the service.

Pallbearers will be sons-in-law: Jay Birdwell and Jerry Strom; and grandsons: Jay Douglas Birdwell, George Birdwell, Bobby Easterly, and Joseph Birdwell.

Honorary pallbearers will be Ian Kilday, Matthew Easterly, Bryson Myers, Miles Kilday, Ryan Vaught, and Josh Vinson.

The family would like to acknowledge her special friend Tu Gregory and the employees of Morning Pointe Assisted Living, Life Care Center of Greeneville, and Smokey Mountain Home Health and Hospice.