Frank (Doc) H. Maples Jr.

Published 8:54 am Thursday, July 21, 2016

Frank (Doc) H. Maples Jr., 90, Elizabethton, Tenn., passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2016, at his residence. A native of Knox County he had lived in Carter County since 1935.
Mr. Maples was the son of the late Frank H. and Grace Mayes Maples. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Geneva Mae Wieburg; three brothers, Paul E., Theodore R. and Cecil H.; and by favorite brothers-in-law, William E. Bristol Sr. and William Van Huss.
Mr. Maples was a 1944 graduate of Elizabethton High School and a 1950 graduate of Samford University, earning a Bachelor’s Degree with a double major of Biology and Chemistry. He received his Master’s Degree from E.T.S.U. in 1953. He studied Radiation Biology at Duke University and Sports Medicine at U.T. Medical School Memphis, receiving certificates in both. He was a veteran of World War II, having served in the U.S. Army.
He was a member of East Side Baptist Church where he taught the Young Adult Class and D.V.B.S. for several years, also serving as organist and clerk. He enjoyed, for ten years, going with the Tennessee High School Basketball Team to the Tabernacle Baptist Academy Basketball Tournament in the Bahamas. Mr. Maples served as a trainer for the football teams at Tennessee High from 1956 – 1982 as well as cooking pre-game meals for the teams. During the Arby’s Christmas Basketball Tournament, he served as Hospitality Director, cooking, directing and serving meals for as many as 400 twice a day.
Mr. Maples was the principal-teacher at Burbank Elementary School, Roan Mountain, during the 1950 and 1951 school sessions. Receiving a “Dear John Letter” from the Carter County Board of Education that his service was no longer wanted for the 1952 school session, he was finishing his studies for his Master’s Degree at E.T.S.U. In 1952, while attending graduate school and working as a graduate assistant in the Psychology Department, Mr. Maples applied for and was hired by the Bristol Tennessee City Schools where he taught students Biology and Chemistry until his retirement in 2004. When Mr. Maples retired, the superintendent said he would outfit an office at THS for him and he could come and go as he pleased. Doc, as he was called, still came and went as he pleased, not only cooking some pregame meals for the athletic teams but he also acted as archivist for the school.
Among high honors he received during his 52 years at Tennessee High School were students building Doc Maples’ Court Yard where students and teachers could go, relax, study and fellowship in a beautiful spot on the campus. Other highs in his teaching career were 1961 state science teacher of the year, working with an outstanding band-chorus director, Dr. Howard Nicar, in producing all of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operettas, riding in dog sleds with the boy’s basketball team across a frozen lake which was part of the Iditarod Race, the Doc Maples’ Girls Basketball Tournament, Doc Maples’ Athletic Scholarship and young coaches driving him to football games in his old age. He only missed two THS football games in 60 years, one when he was with the basketball team in the Bahamas and one recuperating from bypass surgery. Another honor was a Certificate of Appreciation from TSSAA for helping and caring for the school athletes. One of his favorite hobbies besides music, art, gardening and quilt making was making baby quilts for young married couples’ first baby.
Those left to cherish his memory include one sister, Wanda M. Bristol; two nieces, Rena Kirkman and Sherry Wolford Maples; two nephews, William E. Bristol Jr. and his wife Mary and Richard E. Maples; a special quilting friend, Mrs. Andy Arnet and husband; special friends, Sam and Mable Rogers and their grandson Hunter Nelson; Carol Davis, who has given help so graciously; Bill and Betty Bingham, who were like a brother and a sister; Randy and the young coaches who drove him to football games; many great-nieces and great-nephews; and so many good friends who have looked after him in his old age.
A service to honor the life of Frank (Doc) H. Maples Jr. will be conducted at 7 p.m. Sunday, July 24, at East Side Baptist Church, Elizabethton, with Rev. Gayle Hartley officiating. Music will be under the direction of June Oakes. The family will receive friends at the church from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, prior to the service, or at the residence at anytime. The graveside service and interment will be conducted at 1 p.m. Monday, July 25, in the Lynnhurst Cemetery, Knoxville, Tenn. Active pallbearers will be Sam Rogers, Hunter Nelson, John Brookshire, Jerry Bowling, Bill Miller and Steve Cornett. Honorary pallbearers will be Brad Deal, Bill Bingham, Randy Irvin, Bob Zeiger, Dale Burns and John Cropp. Those attending the graveside service are asked to meet at the cemetery at 12:50 p.m. Monday. Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers, as per his last living request, may make donations to the Doc Maples’ Scholarship Fund at Tennessee High School, 1112 Edgemont Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620. Online condolences may be sent to the family and viewed by visiting our website at
Hathaway-Percy Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the Maples family. Office (423) 543-5544.

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