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J.D. Gilreath

May 5, 1934 - December 18, 2020

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CHURCH HILL – J.D. Gilreath, 86, passed away on December 18 at Holston Valley Medical Center from complications due to COVID-19.

Born on a farm in Hawkins County, TN on May 5, 1934, J.D. spent his boyhood years plowing fields, tending livestock, and rambling about the countryside with his siblings. In adulthood, J.D. continued to enjoy the outdoors and rural ways. He loved raising coon dogs, horses, and heirloom tomatoes.

J.D. graduated from Church Hill High School and worked as a florist before joining the Kingsport Fire Department in 1957. He served the KFD for 34 years and rose to the rank of Deputy Chief. He took pride in providing safety and security for the community. His charming personality earned him many friends with whom he worked, adventured, and “loafed.” In his later years, he especially enjoyed meeting the neighborhood “boys” for coffee at Hardee’s.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Amos and Maxie Gilreath; brothers, Carlisle Gilreath, A.H. Gilreath, and Olen Gilreath; and sisters, Gay Nell Christian, Gladys Thompson, and Zetta Gilreath (infant).
He is survived by brother, Howard Gilreath; sister, Hazel Crawford; son James Gilreath and wife Lisa; daughter Penny Harless and husband Ronald; daughter Heather Gilreath and husband Lance Klosterman; daughter Jalene Gilreath; and numerous beloved grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. His spirit will remain kindled in their memories.

J.D. will be laid to rest alongside his parents and siblings at Mt. Mitchell Primitive Baptist Church in Church Hill. There will be a private graveside service for immediate family with Kingsport Fire Department members serving as pallbearers.

Any memorial contributions for J.D. can be made to the Kingsport Fire Department.

The family would like to thank all the staff at Holston Valley Medical Center, Orchard View Nursing Home–and other hospitals and nursing facilities across the country–who are working tirelessly to care for those who have been stricken by COVID-19.