Josephine Miller Kerley

Published 12:16 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Josephine Miller Kerley, 86, passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 31, 2023.
A native of Hampton, Tenn., she was the daughter of Will M. and Ivory Lee Street Miller. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sisters and their spouses, Herman and Ruth Miller Hughes, Paul and Imogene Miller Davis, and infant brother, William Taylor Miller.
Mrs. Kerley grew up in the Tiger Valley Presbyterian Church where she accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior. She was Salutatorian of the 1954 graduating class of Hampton High School and a 1958 graduate of East Tennessee State University.
Josephine married Harry Hugh Kerley of Roan Mountain, Tenn., on December 21, 1962. They made their first home in Tiger Valley and moved to Mountain City in 1968. They were baptized in 1977 and became members of the First Baptist Church of Mountain City.
Mrs. Kerley’s 37 year teaching career in music education began in Knoxville, Tenn., and led to positions in Carter, Sullivan, and Johnson counties. She organized and directed the Johnson County Middle School Singers from 1977 until her retirement in 1998. This award winning choral group performed locally as well as in Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, DC. She served as president of the Johnson County Education Association and was selected Teacher of the Year for JCMS in 1990.
During the early ’70s, Mrs. Kerley served as pianist/organist at the Mountain City Presbyterian Church. Later, she served as choir director at First Baptist Church for 18 years directing the Johnson County Living Christmas Tree, children’s choirs, and the handbell choir. She also directed the choir for Johnson County’s observance of Tennessee’s Bicentennial in 1996.
Those left to cherish her memory include her five children and their spouses, Kathy and Dan Osking, Annette and Donald Greer, Brenda and David Arnold, Tom and Donna Kerley, and Don and Heidi Kerley. She is survived by ten grandchildren, Ian Osking (Ihla), Justin Osking (Gabrielle), Ashley Casaday (David), Warren Kerley (Bailey), Jake Greer (Montgomery), Will Kerley (Callie), Nathan Arnold, Sam Kerley, Shane Greer, and Stacy Greer. She was blessed with seven great-grandchildren, Finn and Reaney Osking, Carl Ben and Allen Osking, Grant and Mylah Kerley, and Tatum Casaday. She is also survived by her brother, Bill Miller; her nephew, Paul Davis Jr.; and her nieces, Lisa Davis and Joy Reeser.
The family received friends on Sunday, September 3, at First Baptist Church, Mountain City, from 2 until 4 p.m. The funeral service followed with Pastor Richard Stout officiating. The graveside service and interment was at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 5, at Happy Valley Memorial Park, 2708 Elizabethton Highway, Johnson City, Tenn. Pallbearers were her grandsons. Honorary pallbearers were her nephews, Paul Davis Jr., Floyd Reeser, Larry Clark, Kenny Clark, Michael Clark, and Clinton Reeser. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Samaritan’s Purse, 801 Bamboo Road, Boone, NC 28607. Condolences may be sent to the family through our website at
The family of Josephine Miller Kerley has entrusted her services to Mountain City Funeral Home, 224 S. Church Street, Mountain City, TN 37683.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox