A Life Lived: Juanita Pansock was the ‘Declared Queen of Blackbottom’

Published 1:41 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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Juanita Pansock – this woman was feisty and determined, and at times a force to be reckoned with. Yet, she was fiercely protective, especially of her children and friends, and was one of the kindest people you would ever meet. It was a trait she also instilled in her children.

Juanita died March 18 at the age of 94. She was the seventh child of twelve of the late Fred and Susan Holtsclaw. One friend described Juanita as one of the Holsclaw “dirty dozen.” 

She was a life-long resident of Blackbottom and was recently named the “Queen of Blackbottom.”

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Several years ago I enjoyed a chair aerobics class with Juanita at the Elizabethton Senior Center. She was very witty and had the uncanny ability to make people laugh. There was a time to talk and socialize before the class began…and then there was aerobics, when all attention was to be focused on aerobics and the instructor. Not Juanita, she made aerobics fun.

Juanita’s daughter, Susie Johns, described her mother as a person that could do it all. “She kept a clean house, worked outside the home, was a good cook, and supported her children in all of their activities. If any of her five children had a school activity, she attended,” Susie shared.

Juanita’s first job was at Yates Remnant Shop, helping her sister, Pauline. Later she went to work at Texas Instruments and worked there until she retired.

Susie described her mother as a strong person, who instilled good values in her children. “She was a hard worker, sensible person, and very frugal. She was very supportive of her children. I can remember when I was going to college at ETSU, she would drop me off close to the university on her way to work. I would walk the rest of the way to school, and usually catch a ride home with a friend,” said Susie. “She wanted us to get an education, get a good job and do the best we could.

“She was a very active person. She ate healthy, and loved fruits, and kept moving,” added Susie.

Juanita was a very active member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church – up until she was no longer physically able to go. She then watched Dr. David Jeremiah and Dr. Charles Stanley on television.

Susie shared that her mother was a fan of Elvis Presley, and on Sundays, she played his tape of religious music. One of her favorite memories was attending the Elvis concert at Freedom Hall many years ago.

“Mom was very talented. She could sew, cook…could do just about anything she set her mind to. She made my wedding dress. We still eat together as a family every Sunday. A couple of her favorite things to make were chicken and dumplings and country biscuits and gravy,” Susie shared.

All who knew Juanita were familiar with her sense of humor, and her habit of using a few curse words ever now and then. But, that was just Juanita and her way of making conversation colorful. “And, she was a spitfire,” declared Susie, who shared the story of an encounter she had with a referee at one of her brother’s ball games. “Of course, the referee won. She went to a lot of ball games and she didn’t hesitate to speak out, if she thought a player was wronged, or if the call by the referee was wrong,” Susie shared with a laugh.

Juanita was kind and helpful to those around her and reached out to those in need of a helping hand or a friend. Juanita’s kind spirit, love, and laughter are lasting memories to those whose lives she touched.

Juanita was married to Mike Pansock, and in addition to Susie, she was the mother of Anne Pansock, Teresa Robinson, and Michael and John Pansock. She also had several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

For sure, Juanita Pansock made life adventuresome and she was not afraid to get out of her comfort zone if it was to help a friend.

Helen Keller said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” I think Juanita Pansock would agree.

Blackbottom will not be the same without her.