Leland Alvin Talkington Jr.

Published 4:37 pm Thursday, February 23, 2017

Leland Alvin Talkington Jr., 70, of Smyrna, Tenn., formerly of Elizabethton, went home to be with his Lord, on Monday, February 20, 2017, at Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna. He was born in Morganville, Ky., a son of the late Helen Calvert Talkington and Leland Alvin Talkington Sr. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-mother, Ruth Talkington; a brother, Ronny Talkington; his father-in-law, Paul Fulwiler; his mother-in-law, Audrey Jones Fulwiler; and a nephew, James Paul Fulwiler III.
As a young boy, Lee and his family lived in South America. Following the death of his mother when he was six years old, he and his father, his step-mother, two brothers and a sister lived in Lakeland, Fla. In 1965 he graduated from Lakeland High School and following graduation he joined the United States Air Force, serving during the Korean Conflict. Following his stint in the military, he went on to become a commercial airline pilot and flew for a San Juan, Puerto Rico based airline from 1970-1972. Also in the ’70s, he was a private pilot for Lamar Alexander during Mr. Alexander’s campaign for governor of Tennessee. He worked for Opryland in Nashville flying singers, actors and other performers to the hotel. He often spoke of the people he had met, including Burt Reynolds, Alice Cooper, George Jones, Lee Greenwood and many other entertainers. His favorite lady singer was Brenda Lee, whom he praised for her politeness. In 1977 Lee flew a TV reporter to Tupelo, Miss., to do a story about the late Elvis Presley at the home where Elvis was born. Lee worked for Ben McKinnon Bridge in Knoxville, Tenn., as Ben’s private pilot. He retired from the Tennessee Department of Transportation in Nashville where he flew politicians to state capitals and other destinations in the United States.
Lee liked the music of the Beach Boys, fishing, Cowboy-Sass (cowboy action shooting), turkey shooting and was a member of the NRA. He was a member of the Rutherford County Baptist Church where he was baptized.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife of 44 years, whom he married in 1972 in Elizabethton, Tenn., Audrey Virginia Fulwiler, whom he met on November 27, 1970 in San Juan, Puerto Rico where Virginia was working for the FBI in Hato Rey, San Juan, Puerto Rico; a daughter, Andrea Lee Talkington and son-in-law, Jerry Talkington, who are deputies in Rutherford County, Tenn.; two joyful, God-given granddaughters, Josie Lee Talkington (Lee spent time taking her to school activities, movies and church), and baby Andrea Virginia Talkington (a sweet little angel), Smyrna, Tenn.; a brother-in-law, Jimmy Fulwiler, Elizabethton; a sister-in-law, Patsy Lee Fulwiler Schuppan and her husband, Walter E., Elizabethton; his best friend, Ray Hamilton, Nashville, Tenn.; and many nieces and nephews from Elizabethton, Johnson City, California and England.
A service to honor the life of Mr. Talkington will be conducted on Sunday, February 26, at 2 p.m. in the Tetrick Funeral Home, Chapel of Peace, Elizabethton, with Rev. Darrell Holly officiating. The Eulogy will be delivered by his daughter, Andrea Talkington; scripture will be read by his granddaughter, Josie Lee Talkington; and music will be under the direction of his grand-nephew, Dane Schuppan. The family will receive friends in the funeral home chapel from 1 until 2 p.m. Sunday, prior to the service. Interment will follow the funeral service on Sunday at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Active pallbearers will be selected from family and friends. Jerry Talkington will be honorary pallbearer. Online condolences may be shared with the family at our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Mr. Talkington and his family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton. Office: (423) 542-2232. Obituary Line: (423) 543-4917.

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