E. Elmer Bain Jr.

Published 3:44 pm Thursday, January 4, 2024

E. Elmer Bain Jr., of Erwin, Tenn., passed away peacefully on December 26, 2023, at 93 years old. He was married to his beloved “Little Bride,” Martha Lou Gibbs, of Jackson, Tenn., since 1956.

He was born the third of six children of the late Eva Dell Kent Bain and Elzie Elmer Bain Sr. He was predeceased by his sisters, Eloise Clayton (Gene) of Johnson City, Margaret Bolus Meek (Cecil) of Knoxville, and Glenda Hall (John) of Elizabethton, and brothers, Richard Bain (Barbara) of St. Louis, Mo., and Don Bain (Roberta) of Spartanburg, S.C.

Elmer attended Science Hill and Happy Valley High Schools before graduating from Elizabethton High School. He was enrolled at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) when his National Guard unit was called up to serve in the Korean War. He fought on the front lines his entire time in Korea (1951-1952) earning the Combat Infantry Badge and eventual promotion to Sergeant, serving as a squad leader. After his military service ended, he completed his B.S. in Chemistry at ETSU in 1954.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Elmer started his career at Union Carbide’s Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Paducah, Ky., as a lab supervisor before moving his young family to Erwin when he began working for Nuclear Fuel Services (NFS). He started at NFS working in the lab, moved into sales, and eventually was plant manager (1967-1970). After his tenure with NFS, he moved to suburban Washington, D. C., where he worked as a nuclear consultant for E.R. Johnson and Associates. He became a Vice President for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in 1973 and created their Nuclear Quality Assurance and Quality Control Division. In 1985 he moved his SAIC division office to Erwin and retired in the early 1990s.

He was a member of Erwin Presbyterian Church and served as an Elder in the 1960s and again in the 1980s. Elmer served as an Executive Board member of the Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America during the 1960s and also served on the Board of Directors of the Unicoi County Family YMCA in the 1990s.

Elmer enjoyed renovating an old family home in his retirement, reading about great figures of American history, and visiting with his children and grandchildren. He loved spending time with his family, especially at their annual beach gathering, and loved being “Pop Pop” to his grandchildren.

Elmer is survived by his wife of 67 years, Martha Lou Gibbs Bain; his daughters, Melissa Lewis (Michael) of Erwin and Melinda Bain (Matthew Stintz) of Centreville, Md.; his son, E.E. “Tom” Bain III of Erwin; four grandchildren, Jessica Gallant (Jean-Nicolas) of Nashville, William Lewis (Robin) of Poolesville, Md., Emily Stintz of Washington, D.C., and Molly Bain of Erwin; and four great-grandchildren, Brigitte, Arthur and Marie Gallant of Nashville, and Reed Lewis of Poolesville, Md. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

The burial will be on Saturday, January 13, at 2 p.m. at Rocky Springs Cemetery in Jackson, Tenn. There will be a Celebration of Life Service on Saturday, February 24, at Erwin Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Visitation with the family will be held in the sanctuary from noon until 2 p.m. before the service and lunch in the Fellowship Hall will be immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Erwin Presbyterian Church (105 N. Elm Street, Erwin, TN 37650) and Unicoi County Family YMCA (601 Love Street, Erwin, TN 37650).
Robert Ledford Funeral Home, Erwin, 423-743-1380.