UNICOI - Ralph “Richard” McKinley Tipton, age 76, of Unicoi, went to be with his loving Savior on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at Franklin Woods Community Hospital, after a hard fought battle with Covid-19. A native of Unicoi County, Mr. Tipton is a son of the late Benjamin “Ben” Tipton and the late Sally (Puttman) Tipton. Ralph was a lifelong member of Marbleton Free Will Baptist Church where he formally served as a Deacon. He was a wonderful and caring father, grandfather, and was very loved by his family and friends. His 6 grandkids were his pride and joy. He enjoyed going to all the soccer, baseball and basketball games. He was their biggest fan. Ralph owned and operated Division Texaco in Johnson City and later retired from Eastman Chemical Company. He had a passion for restoring and collecting old cars. In addition to his parents, Ralph is preceded in death by his son Ralph “Ralphie” McKinley Tipton Jr.; brother Fred Tipton; sisters: Mildred Tipton, Willie McInturff, Charlotte Tipton, Tempie McInturff, and Hassie Hensley.

Ralph “Richard” Tipton leaves behind to cherish his memory: Daughters: Lori Colinger and husband, Jason, Kelly Thompson and husband, Darren; Grandchildren: Landon Colinger, Kinley Thompson, Daven Thompson, Noah Colinger, Sophie Colinger, Kylee Thompson;

Sisters: Beatrice Bryant and husband, Harvey, Beulah Bryant, Hazel Carver and husband, Doug,

Pansy McNabb; Sister-in-law: Eula Tipton; Mother of his children: Janice Gilbert; Several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family respectfully requests the honor of your presence as we offer tribute and remember the life of Ralph “Richard” McKinley Tipton in a graveside service to be held at 10:00 AM, Saturday, January 23, 2021 in McInturff Cemetery, Unicoi, TN. Reverend Kenneth Grindstaff and Reverend Tim Broyles will officiate. Those attending should meet at McInturff Cemetery by 9:50 AM on Saturday for the service. Active pallbearers will be Darren Thompson, Jason Colinger, Joe Ray , Greg Tipton, Gary McNabb, and Timmy McCurry. Honorary pallbearers are Landon Colinger, Harvey Bryant and Hobie Hyder.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Marbleton Free Will Baptist Church 1703 Marbleton Road, Unicoi, TN 37692.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with Unicoi County’s mask mandate, we respectfully request that anyone attending services wear a mask or face covering at all times and observe all social distancing guidelines.

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family and viewed at www.valleyfuneralhome.net. These arrangements are made especially for the family and friends of Ralph “Richard” McKinley Tipton through Valley Funeral Home, 1085 N. Main Ave., Erwin, 423-743-9187.