Forestry Aide I James W. White, age 38, of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Division of Forestry died on February 19, 1992, from complications of a stroke that he suffered while on duty at the Waldens Ridge Firetower.
Jerry was born December 20, 1952, at home in Grassy Fork to Dallas and Ruby Campbell. He was one of six children. He had an older brother, JH, and four sisters, Grace, Zanna, Elouise, and Estalee. He had a special bond with his sisters, but he and his older brother developed an inseparable bond which endured throughout their lives. He grew up in the Edwina community, where he helped to raise his sisters and spent much of his time in the mountains.
Jerry worked in manufacturing for many years. He was considered a dedicated, dependable, honest team member and earned the respect of his supervisors and his coworkers. His heart, however, always remained in the outdoors and the mountains.
He was a senior member of the Poor Boys Bear Club, a hunting club in the Edwina community that works to preserve hunters’ rights, ensure a strong and healthy animal population, teach the next generation respect, ethics, and outdoor skills for the mountains and hunting, and assists those in the community that need help. He loved them all as brothers and enjoyed every moment of his time with them.
In 2010, Jerry joined the Forestry Service as a seasonal wildland firefighter at the Cocke County Work Center. There he worked on crews that suppressed numerous wildland fires in the East Tennessee District and earned the respect and admiration of his crew. He was dedicated and committed to protecting life, property, and the forest resources that he loved. There he added another chapter to his family.
Jerry was a quiet man who loved the outdoors and enjoyed the simple things in life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, and playing with and teaching his nephews. He had a quiet strength and was always ready to lend a hand. He had a relationship with God that glowed in his face. Jerry left a lasting impression on those he knew and loved and will always be in our hearts.
Mansell Lee ‘ML’ Hopper died August 23‚ 2007‚ while working on a crew clearing a fire trail in preparation for fire season.
He was born October 2‚ 1932‚ in Ripley‚ Mississippi‚ to the late John Dalton Hopper and Emmie Swinford Hopper.
In addition to his work with the Division of Forestry‚ he was a cattle farmer. He was a member of Natchez Trace Baptist Church.
He was survived by his wife of 50 years‚ Excelle Jowers Hopper‚ of Lexington‚ who died January 1‚ 2010; his brother‚ B.T. Hopper‚ of Lawrenceburg; and many nephews and nieces.
Mark Allen Stanley originally from Brownsville, Tennessee was born March 20, 1957 to Mr. and Mrs. Earl Stanley. He had three brothers, Anthony Earl Stanley, Sammy Stanley and Paul Stanley, and one sister: Carolyn Stanley.
Mr. Stanley was accidentally killed on the job Thursday April 13,, 2006 when he was struck by a falling tree. At the time of the accident local forestry personnel were conducting a “prescribed burn” on private land approximately 7.5 miles south of Bolivar.
Mr. Stanley was a 28-year veteran of the Division of Forestry, which is administered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. He began his state forestry service in 1978. In 1997 he transferred to Hardeman County where he served as Forestry Technician, supervising wildfire suppression and forest management activities in the area.
Mark enjoyed acorn collecting. He collected acorns to sell to nurseries to grow more trees.
Submitted by his Family
Jerry Wayne Hopper (10/02/1943-1/11/2005) Beloved Husband‚ Father‚ Grandfather and Friend was born on October 2‚ 1943 near the Cabo Community where he lived his entire life. He was the son of the late Otis L. Hopper and the late Elsie Connor Hopper Gray. He attended schools in Chester County. In his earlier years he worked at Bailey Brothers Trucking‚ Chester County Sheriff’s Department as a Deputy and the State of Tennessee. He was an active member of the Masons‚ Initiated February 8‚ 1968‚ Passed March 2‚ 1968 and Raised April 25‚ 1988 and had served as Master Mason.
Jerry was a Forestry Technician with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture‚ Department of Forestry. He had served the Dept. of Forestry for 28 years. He loved his job and devoted countless hours to serving his position from building roads to fighting forest fires. He always participated in the annual Christmas Parade where he proudly escorted ‘Smokey the Bear.’
Jerry was a very respected and revered member of the community‚ having served in various capacities. Jerry was member of the Election Commission. In 1976‚ he served as security and assisted with many aspects of the filming of the first series of ‘Walking Tall’ movies which were filmed in Chester County. He also had a small part in the actual movie itself.
Jerry never knew a stranger‚ finding a friend in everyone he met. In crowds‚ he always managed to meet someone new and enjoyed getting to know them. He thrived on telling and listening to stories of old times (especially those told by family members) and putting a smile on the face of everyone he met. He was a wonderful listener and an avid peacemaker. A simple man‚ he never wanted great riches‚ considering himself a wealthy man with all his beloved family and friends.
He grew up in the Pentecostal Faith and was a member of the Stone Hill Pentecostal Church.
He married Emmadean Hatch in 1976‚ and they made their home near his home place‚ near Sand Mountain. They have two children‚ Misti Michelle Hopper Ellis (Jeremy) and Mark Rowland (Martha). He found in Emma his soul mate‚ eternal love and best friend. He loved her special cooking and offered his undying love to her throughout their 28 years together. He loved her family as though they were his own. He always supported Emma in her care and love of her parents (Ulyss G. Hatch (deceased) and Frances Beshires Hatch)‚ attending to many of their needs himself.
His family was the most important addition to his life. His 16 month old granddaughter‚ Braelyn Keira Ellis‚ was the joy of his heart and the apple of his eye. ‘Papa Jerry’ was her constant companion and her biggest cheerleader in all the things she did‚ including all her little beauty pageants. He took such pride showing her off to others in person and in photos. He loved snugging with her and getting and giving hugs and kisses. He believed he was blessed with the opportunity to relive his daughter’s life with him as a child through his granddaughter.
His daughter Misti Hopper Ellis (‘Michelle’ to him) was his pride and joy and he adored her from the bottom of his heart. She was a very vital part of his life and the ‘Light of his Life’.
His son‚ Mark Rowland‚ whom he loved dearly‚ brought much joy to his life and was his devoted son and treasured friend. They shared many interests including gardening and fishing.
He was also ‘Papaw Jerry’ to his ‘adopted’ grandchildren‚ James and Andrew Graves of Jackson‚ TN. He spent much time on countless outings with these treasured little boys.
Other special people in his life were: Judge Howard Bailey (deceased)‚ Billy Coatney (deceased)‚ Jonathan Kelley-dear little neighbor Friend‚ Aunt Oda Connor of Lexington‚ TN‚ Aunt Polly Daily of Decaturville.
He was an avid gardener and loved to share with his neighbors and friends. He loved the beaches of Destin‚ Florida‚ where he had spent numerous vacations.
Forestry Technician/Firefighter Wilson was assisting with the suppression of a 4-acre fire near Greenbrier, TN, while walking the line to ensure the fire was out, Ronnie became ill and nauseous. After releasing all resources from the fire, Ronnie and his crew were refilling the pumper with water. His arms hurt and he called his wife and asked her to come drive him home. Upon reaching his residence Ronnie got out of the truck and laid down on the ground and passed away. He had worked to suppress 99 fires in the previous 49 days.
On January 24, 1995, Forestry Technician Henry Frizzell of the Tennessee Division of Forestry suffered a fatal heart attack while returning from a fire.
On March, 28 1986, Robert Kenneth Bell died of a massive myocardial infarction while plowing fireline.
There is no profile listed for this fallen firefighter.