Elsie Monteza Lee

Smalling, 91, of Maryville, TN, died peacefully at Brookdale Assisted Senior Living Solutions in Greeneville, Tennessee, September 2, 2021. She was affectionately known as Momma, Ms. Elsie, Granna and Mrs. Smalling by those who loved and respected her. Born and raised in McMinn County, TN, Elsie attended a one room schoolhouse for primary school and after transferring from Carson-Newman College, she graduated with a B.S. in Home Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 1951. When an Extension Agent for 4-H in Sullivan County she met Vocational Agriculture Teacher, John David Smalling, Sr. of Piney Flats, TN. Elsie and John married in Bristol, TN and celebrated 54 years of marriage. Elsie tirelessly supported John D. in his professional successes, lovingly reared together their three children J. David Smalling, Jr., Margaret Jane Smalling Lane and Miriam Elsilee Smalling Frazier, and then added an elementary education teaching certification from UT in 1972. She taught Kindergarten at Eagleton Elementary School for 20 years. Elsie was an elegant hostess for parties of 4 to 100+, preparing and serving the tastiest homegrown garden vegetables and farm raised Certified Angus Beef to family, extended family reunions, youth groups, collegiate clubs, the frequent college student visitors, families of coworkers and church groups. She was patient, soft-spoken, always appreciative, and grateful for her many blessings. Remembered as an elegant, southern lady, Elsie had a special touch for making everyone, including the unexpected guest, feel welcomed in their home with aromas from her kitchen, beautiful floral arrangements from her flower gardens, and a house full of antiques that she refinished. She was an active and devoted member of New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville, Tennessee for over 50 years. She was preceded in death by her husband of 54 yrs, John David Smalling, Sr.; her parents, Hugh Joines Lee and Maggie Annabel Wright Lee; sister, Zoe Della Heifner Hatchett; brothers, Carl Wright Lee and Clyde Amos Lee; Sisters-in-laws: Jane Smalling Crussell, Phyllis Smalling Holloway, and Anne Smalling Frazier. Those left to cherish the memories of her love are her 3 children and their spouses: David and Cindy (Mount Pleasant, SC), Margaret and Paul (Lascassas, TN) and Miriam and Fred (Afton, TN); grandchildren, their spouses and great grandsons: Anna Smalling, Sarah Smalling; Matthew (Lauren) Lane and Thomas Baird Lane; Thomas (Kelsey) Lane and Henry Kirg Lane; Andrew (Melissa) Lane, and Emilee Frazier. Many beloved nieces and nephews. Special, life-long friends: Alma and Joe Hall and Emmit and Betty Rawls. The family extends sincere gratitude to Elsie’s devoted and loving, personal sitters: Sylvia Barham, Ryanne Kilday, Marion Ford and Angie Cutshall who hold a special place in the hearts of Elsie’s daughters. Appreciation is given to the staff at Brookdale Greeneville, Amedisys Hospice and especially the CARIS Hospice staff Zonya, Alexis, Jessica, Barbara and Barb and members of Mt Zion UMC, Afton. A celebration of life service and burial will be held at a later date at New Bethel Presbyterian Church in Piney Flats, TN. Those who wish to do so may make memorial contributions in Elsie’s name to New Providence Presbyterian Church’s Welcome Table or Children’s Ministries , 703 W Broadway Ave, Maryville, TN 37801 or to the UT Extension Blount County- 4-H Youth Developement Fund -1219 McArthur Road, Maryville, TN 37804.

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