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Hugh Collie Jr.

• Updated Aug 1, 2019 at 4:31 PM

JOHNSON CITY - Hugh Collie Jr., 94, 314 West Eighth Ave., Johnson City, passed away Monday, July 29, 2019 at his residence following a brief illness surrounded by his family.

He was born Aug. 23, 1924 in Montgomery, Alabama to the late Hugh Collie and Rev. Edna Bell Eatman Collie. He, along with his parents and younger brother, the late Fred M. Collie, moved to Johnson City in the mid- 1930s.

Hugh was educated in the Johnson City School System where he was a proud member of the Langston High School community and the last surviving member of the graduating class of 1943.

Following his graduation, he served from 1943-1946 in the United States Army during WWII and part of his duties involved mortuary affairs on the battlefields.

He returned to Johnson City upon being honorably discharged where he partnered with his father as a proprietor of the Collie Dry Cleaners Company and remained there until 1950 until he married the late Shirley Jane Rhea Collie and they moved to Dayton, Ohio where he accepted an employment opportunity. He later returned to Johnson City and accepted employment with Inter Mountain Telephone Company from which he retired after 32 years of service.

Hugh joined Thankful Baptist Church in his youth and remained a member of the congregation for 85 years. He served as a Deacon, Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, and member of the Men’s Choir.

He was very active in local civic and community affairs which led him to be the founding member of the Progress Together Club (Pro-To Club) in 1952 along with four other leaders in the black community with a focus on education and community servitude as segregation limited opportunities for many people of color during this era. He was most proud of the monetary growth of the annual scholarship award that began in 1957 and grew from one recipient to that of two as well as the vocational apprenticeship training program that was improvised by the club.

In addition to his beloved wife of 67 years, parents, brother, sister –cousin, Wilhamenia “Me-Me” Jackson, a great-grandson, Jared Isom who predeceased Hugh in death; he leaves to mourn, one son, Christopher Collie (Kim), three daughters, Huetta Isom, Ovetta Thomas (Charles), Lisa Sanders (Allen) all of Johnson City; 9 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; special friends, John and Margaret Smith and prayer partner, Rev. Dr. C. H. Charlton.

The family requests that those who choose may donate to the Pro-To Club, Inc. Scholarship Fund or Thankful Baptist Church in memory of Hugh Collie Jr.

Funeral services will be held Friday August 2, 2019 at Thankful Baptist Church in Johnson CIty, the family will receive friends from 11:30pm until 12:30pm at the church prior to the service. Interment will be held at the Mountain Home National Cemetery in Johnson CIty.

Professional services provided by Birchette Mortuary Inc. 219 E. Millard St. Johnson City, TN. 423-926-6013 http://www.birchettemortuary.com 

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