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Bettye Jean Buckles

• Nov 11, 2017 at 3:13 PM

Bettye Jean Buckles, 85, passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017 at the Center on Aging and Health in Erwin with her family at her side.

She was born in Johnson City, a daughter of the late Ratha MacDonald McKinney and Margaret Pauline McKinney. She was a member of the First Christian Church of Elizabethton.

She was a 1950 graduate of Science Hill High School where she was elected president of her senior class and voted the superlative - friendliest girl. She was a graduate of Steed College where she was crowned queen of the graduating class, having made her own evening gown for the competition. She retired from the Johnson City Press after serving almost 50 years in various roles in publishing a daily newspaper working alongside colleagues she considered lifetime friends.

She ran her own ceramic business for a number of years where she taught classes to many friends. She was very creative and artistically skilled. She created a unique ceramic newspaper delivery boy that contained a major announcement in newsprint such as a marriage, birth of a child or a birthday.

Survivors include her brothers -- Jack (Kathy) McKinney, Ed (Ginny) McKinney and Earl (Susan) McKinney; sisters-in-law Merla McKinney and Jan McKinney; nieces Lisa (Chris) Freels, Beth Inaco, Sarah (Matt) Dressler, Karen Francis, Sharon McKinney; nephews Larry, David, Robert, Todd (Dawn) and Brad McKinney. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, John Buckles, a stepson, Gary Buckles, a sister, Helen Sue, brothers, Jim and Bill and a nephew, Mark. She had numerous cousins with whom she loved.

A Graveside Service will be conducted at 1:45 p.m., Wednesday, November 15, 2017, at the Mountain Home National Cemetery. Active pallbearers will be selected from family and friends. Those who wish to attend the graveside service are asked to meet at the cemetery at 1:35 P.M.

Memories and condolences may be sent to the family via www.appfh.net. Appalachian Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 800 W. Watauga Ave., Johnson City, is honored to serve the Buckles family. (423) 928-6111