Mary Ellen Walsh Peters
Mrs. Mary Ellen Walsh Peters, 94, formerly of Cherokee Street and now known as Arrow Drive, Elizabethton, went to heaven on Saturday, August 1, 2020, from the loving care of her children and the extended family of Ivy Hall Nursing Home in Elizabethton after a lengthy illness. A mountain girl from Beech Mountain, N.C., she was the daughter of the late Jud and Flora Cook Walsh. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. H. Brooks Peters Sr.; four brothers, Lester, Amos, Bert and Glenn Walsh; and a son-in-law, Jimmy Hawkins.
Mary was a member of Stoney Creek Baptist Church and served alongside her husband for many years with churches in Carter, Johnson, and Washington counties in Northeast Tennessee as well as churches in Western North Carolina. Mary had many nicknames given to her by family and friends including Tursh, Verlee, Big Sis, Mabel, Mom, Mamaw, Grandmaw and Paddlefoot. She achieved local television celebrity status for sharing her story of heart health for the Center for Cardiovascular Health at Johnson City Medical Center Hospital.
She loved her farm girl Beech Mountain heritage and the simple life that she and her father, mother and siblings lived growing up. Being the oldest daughter, she took care of her younger siblings while her father and mother worked in the fields of their family farm. Music was a huge influence in her life and in the Walsh family. Evenings were often filled with singing from the front porch, and she loved the annual Walsh family reunions where she would join her brothers and sister singing old gospel hymns. Throughout her life she led several church choirs and sang alto in quartets. She used the wisdom learned on the farm to grow her own beautiful flowers and tend to her garden on Stoney Creek and Hunter communities until her health prevented her from doing so. Mary was a wonderful cook who often fed every child in the neighborhood, and during the mid to late 1970’s she effortlessly would prepare a “country breakfast” for members of the Elizabethton Cyclones Football Team. She was also an excellent seamstress who made many of her own clothes. She never quit, and her perseverance was truly amazing.
Survivors include two daughters, Nona and husband Charles Steagall of Jonesborough and Karen Hawkins of Lenoir City, Tenn.; one son, H. Brooks “Bucky” Peters Jr. and wife Rhonda of Johnson City; one sister, Kate Braswell of Essex, Md.; three brothers, J.D. “Jake” Walsh and wife Rose of Elizabethton, Royce Walsh and wife Ellen of Pickens, S.C., and Phil Walsh and wife Jane of Kingston, Tenn.; two granddaughters, Melanie and husband Dave Stanton, and Melissa and husband Jeff Jones, all of Johnson City; three grandsons, Timothy Grindstaff of Lenoir City, Jordan Peters of Bozeman, Mont., and Justin Peters of Douglasville, Ga.; two great granddaughters, Lydia Jones and Audrey Stanton of Johnson City; two great-grandsons, Austin Stanton and Evan Jones of Johnson City; two sisters-in-law, Brenda Walsh of Beech Mountain, N.C., and Dorothy Walsh of Kingston, Tenn.; a former daughter-in-law, Kimberly Wilson McCurry; and several nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be conducted at 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 5, in the Chapel of Peace at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, with Rev. Chris Hughes and Mr. Gary Pate officiating. Music will be selections of Mary Ellen’s favorite hymns led by Mr. Gene Church. Committal services and interment will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday, August 6, at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Active pallbearers will be Timothy Grindstaff, Jordan Peters, Justin Peters, Austin Stanton, Evan Jones, Jeff Jones and Dave Stanton. Honorary pallbearers will be the staff and residents of Ivy Hall Nursing Home, Stoney Creek Baptist Church, friends and neighbors of Dark Ridge on Beech Mountain and Cherokee Street in the Hunter community. In honoring CDC guidelines, there will be no formal visitation, but friends may visit and register at the funeral home after 10 a.m. Wednesday until the service hour. The family will go in procession to the cemetery from the funeral home and friends are requested to meet at the cemetery at 9:50 a.m. Those who prefer may make donations to their favorite charity in lieu of flowers in her honor. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Carter County is mandating that all citizens who live in or visit Carter County wear masks in public. In keeping in accordance with this mandate, all visitors to the visitation / funeral service are required to wear a mask / and or facial covering. Also, social distancing recommendations will be observed. The service will be live streamed on Tetrick Funeral Home Facebook page. To access, please log on to Tetrick Funeral Home of Elizabethton’s Facebook page, like the page and scroll down to videos. The current service will be the first video, just click on the video and watch the livestream. Online condolences may be shared with the family on our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Mary and her family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton. Office: (423) 542-2232. Service Information Line: (423) 543-4917.