Joan was born in Norfolk, VA on Friday December 22, 1944 to the late Robert Taylor Hendrix and Glenn Ivey Hendrix. She moved with her parents to the family farm in Johnson City, TN in 1946. Joan was a 1962 graduate of the ETSU Training School (now University School) and a 1967 graduate of the UT College of Pharmacy, Memphis. While in Pharmacy School, Joan met the love of her life, Donald Wayne Tansil. They were married November 25, 1967 following her pharmacy graduation and his medical school graduation. After their marriage, they lived in Altus, OK, Blacksburg, VA, and Athens, GA before settling in Cookeville, where they raised their family and lived for over 40 years. Don preceded Joan in death on September 26, 2017.
Joan worked in a part-time capacity as a pharmacist at TN Tech University Student Health Services and the Upper Cumberland Regional Health Department.
Priorities in life for Joan were her Lord, her family, her country and her community. She was active in the First United Methodist Church of Cookeville, where she was a member and class teacher for the Forum Sunday School Class. Through the years Joan served in many church leadership positions, including Chairman of the Administrative Board, and delegate to the Tennessee Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. For many years she was a member of the Adult Handbell Choir and the Anna Rebecca Circle and the Quilt Ministry. She also started and taught a weekly ladies Bible Study, which has now been named “The Joan Tansil Bible Study.”
Joan treasured her immediate family as well as her many extended relatives. Involvement in her children’s school, church and extra-curricular activities was important to her. She continued to volunteer at Jere Whitson Elementary School in Cookeville until the time of her illness. She loved photography and was rarely seen without her camera.
Joan was a true American patriot. Often wearing red, white and blue and an American flag lapel pin, her love of country and community was evident in her life. She was proud of her East Tennessee and her Georgia heritage. Joan was a member of the “First Families of Tennessee,” “The First Families of Franklin,” and the Sarah Hawkins/John Sevier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her active role in the Cookeville community resulted in many, many close friendships. In the 1980’s she was elected to the Cookeville City Council, where she served for several years, including a two-year term as the vice-mayor of Cookeville. She was a gifted seamstress and loved smocking, and quilting. She blessed her children as well as her nieces and nephews with smocked clothes, quilts, and costumes. Joan and a group of friends were in the S & B Stitching group for many years. She was also a member of the Cookeville Crazy Quilters, the Tennessee Tech Women’s Club, and a creative writing group, “Mining Your Memories.”
Joan is survived by her two children, Tice Hendrix Tansil and Parish Ivey Tansil (Knoxville). She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Novice Hendrix Gross and Stephen Gross (Johnson City), a nephew, Taylor Stephen Gross and wife Amy (Washington, DC), and a niece, Mollie Gross Warren and husband Cooper (Chapel Hill, NC). She adored her great nephews and nieces, Taylor S. Gross, Jr., Hendrix Nelson Gross, Lillian Elaine Gross and Clare Elaine Warren. Additionally, she is survived by her brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Gerald and Faye Tansil Freeman (Cape Girardeau, MO), nephew, Mike Freeman (Cape Girardeau) and niece Mona Freeman Church (Kingsport). Joan also leaves behind a multitude of close friends and family who provided amazing support through prayers, visits, and overwhelming acts of kindness as she traveled this very difficult final journey. The family will remain forever grateful.
A Celebration of Life Service will be at 3:00 p.m., Saturday, May 19 at the First United Methodist Church of Cookeville with Dr. Martin Thielen officiating. Prior to the service, the family will receive friends at the church from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. (C.S.T.)
The service of Christian Committal will be conducted by the Reverend Jane Taylor on Sunday, May 20 at 1:00 p.m. (E.S.T.) in the Hendrix Family Cemetery, 2426 Elizabethton Hwy, Johnson City, TN 37601.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to:
First United Methodist Church, 165 East Broad Street Cookeville, TN 38501 OR The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke DUMC Box 3624 Durham, NC 27710
Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home (Cookeville, TN) in charge of arrangements (931) 526-6111.
You may share your thoughts and memories atwww.hhhfunerals.com.