In Loving Memory Of
Greeneville Antique Market Co-Owner, 2008-2021
Vickie Gregory, of Franklin Street in Greeneville, passed peacefully at her home early June 24, 2021.
She was a retired school teacher and co-owner of Greeneville Antique Market on West Depot Street.
She is survived by her husband of almost 50 years, Jimmy Gregory; first-born daughter, Hayley Gregory, and her husband, Guthrie Ensor; youngest daughter, Sarah Gregory; sister, Rebecca Wolfe, and her husband, Pat Wolfe, daughters, Kenda-Lee Hice and Brooke Hice, and grandchildren, Orson Leonard and Mikenzie Lappas; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Eddie and Linda Gregory, and their children and grandchildren; many cousins and other extended family; and longtime, cherished friends, neighbors and colleagues that number too many to list.
A memorial service was 3 p.m. June 27, 2021, at Kiser-Rose Hill Chapel. The Rev. Allen Huff officiated, and eulogies were delivered by longtime friends Artie Wehenkel and Donna Shannon. Visitation preceded the service in the funeral home chapel.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Cancer Research Institute, cancerresearch.org, to fund clinical research for therapies and cures for all cancers.
Born Vickie Youlanda Tarlton on Nov. 7, 1951, in Greeneville, she was the youngest daughter of the late Rev. Kenneth and Faye Tarlton. She accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior at an early age and was baptized by her father at Pine Springs Missionary Baptist Church, where he was then serving as pastor.
On Sept. 4, 1971, she married her high-school sweetheart, Jimmy Gregory. They met at Forest Park Pool in summer 1965, when friends encouraged him to “go after the pretty blonde” during a game of tag. The pair remained inseparable from that day, except during his active duty deployment to Vietnam in 1969, during which time Vickie wrote letters daily. Their wedding took place the day after his discharge from the U.S. Marine Corps, with the late Rev. Lawrence Pack officiating at Greenlawn Baptist Church, where her parents were charter members and her father served as its first pastor.
Growing up, she went to Midway, Rickers, DeBusk, St. James and Greeneville Middle schools before graduating South Greene High School in 1969. Always friendly and popular, she was a cheerleading captain, member of the SGHS band and a class officer, among other extracurricular endeavors.
After high school, she worked a variety of jobs — at Revco, Sky City, Wilson’s Fabric Shop, American Handicraft Arts & Crafts, Honda Wheels and Doak Elementary School as a teaching assistant — before completing her undergraduate degree in education at East Tennessee State University in 1979. In 1990, she completed her master’s degree in education, also at ETSU.
In 1980, she began her 31-year teaching career in Greene County Schools at Camp Creek Elementary. She also taught at Glenwood Elementary, Chuckey Elementary and Chuckey-Doak Middle School. Her preferred subjects were sixth-grade language arts and social studies, and she was an exceptional educator, as her kind, caring nature and intelligence, quick wit and creativity carried into her classroom.
Even after retirement, many former students remained in touch and were grateful for the lessons she taught, particularly those beyond academics, like honesty, hard work and perseverance. She was known for tasking almost all of her students with memorizing Lewis Carroll’s nonsense poem, “Jabberwocky” — an assignment designed to instill confidence and a sense of accomplishment after succeeding at a seemingly impossible task. She never forgot it, herself. She retired in 2011, but missed teaching and working with students through the remainder of her life.
Influenced by their parents, Vickie and her sister, Becky, became dedicated antique collectors, spending many days searching for treasures. Successful ventures on eBay and in area antique markets led “The Preacher’s Daughters” to Greeneville Antique Market, which they purchased in 2008. She had a wide-ranging knowledge of antiques, specializing in crockery and signage, and particularly loved working with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in a variety of applications and styles.
Vickie was, in the words of family and friends, a wonderful wife and perfect mother; a true lady; sweet and special; a kind and generous friend; quick-witted; intelligent; humble; a practitioner of The Golden Rule; and otherwise beautiful in every way, inside and out. Her sweet smile and infectious laugh will forever be missed.
The family extends special thanks to doctors and staff of Tennessee Cancer Specialists, Greeneville Community Hospital East, Dr. Elisa LaFountain, Heather Sprinkle, Huisu, and all 5400 wing nurses of Johnson City Medical Center, and Ballad Hospice nurses Sara, Sara and Angie for the exceptional care.