Michael Leland Pierce

Published 4:45 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On Tuesday, October 10, 2017, my father, Michael Leland Pierce, passed away into the loving arms of his personal Lord and Saviour. Mike had just celebrated his 69th birthday. He transitioned peacefully, surrounded and comforted by Zach, his son, and his lovingly devoted wife of 49 years, Kathy Jessee Pierce. Mike, born September 17, 1948, was preceded in death by his mother, Harriett Pierce, in 1984, and his father, Mack Pierce, in 1988.
Mike worked as an educator, owned and operated the Jiffy Drive-In Cleaners, and worked as a probation officer for the First Tennessee Human Resource Agency in Johnson City. After graduating EHS in 1966, he enrolled in Carson-Newman College, where in 1967 he met his future wife and lifelong companion, Kathy Jessee of Bristol. They were married on March 9, 1968, at Anderson Street Methodist Church. They remained together, in holy matrimony until his passing. Mike enlisted in the USAF, serving his country and settling in Tampa, Fla. In 1978, Mike became a father to a baby boy, Zach, his only child.
In 1981, Mike graduated from ETSU with a BS in Education, teaching history at T.A. Dugger. Mike was a devoted family man, a devout follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ, a skilled firearms technician, a loyal and lifelong Democrat and an advocate for the less fortunate. Blessed with an undeniable likeability, endless charm, wit and a sublime sense of humor, he was a sunny optimist and a pragmatic realist. As a UT parent, he celebrated and suffered with UT Vols athletics for 60 years. Mike found solace and joy in fishing and golfing.
Mike demonstrated his faith, as a deacon at First Baptist Church, Elizabethton, and found true spiritual fulfillment at First United Methodist Church, Elizabethton, where he served as an usher, was a member of the Believers Sunday School Class and sang with the choir.
He is survived by his loving brother, Patrick Pierce, and sister-in-law, Karen Pierce, both of Richmond, Va., as well as a brother-in-law, Cecil ���Budge” Jessee, of Ft. Worth, Texas.
A service to honor and celebrate the life of Michael Leland Pierce will be conducted at 7 p.m. Saturday, October 14, at First United Methodist Church of Elizabethton with Reverend Raymond Amos Sr. delivering the message. Music will be under the direction of Mr. Tyler Fleming and the Chancel Choir of First United Methodist Church and Mr. David Arney, organist. The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the church, prior to the service on Saturday, or at the residence at other times. A private disposition will be held at a later time. Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations to First United Methodist Church Food Pantry, 325 East E Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Mr. Pierce 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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