William Porter “Bill” Chesnutt, passed away on Monday, Dec. 31, 2018, at home, peacefully surrounded by family and friends in Athens, after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 80.
Bill was born on Oct. 5, 1938, in Englewood. A graduate of McMinn County High School in 1956, Bill attended North Carolina State University and the University of Chattanooga, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
Bill served his country honorably in the United States Army Security Agency from 1961-64, after which he returned home to work for his father at Niota Textile Mills. He retired in 1995 after serving as president and CEO. He also served on the board of the Dycho Chemical Company from 1996-2018.
He married Linda Gene Faris in 1968. Married for over 50 years, Bill and Linda had three children, whom they encouraged and inspired to pursue their passions and live fulfilling lives. Bill and Linda traveled the world together, and shared many wonderful adventures.
Bill had many friends, and was known among them for his helpful, humorous, and sometimes mischievous nature. Bill was a lifelong learner, a trait for which he was greatly admired by family and friends. He was a musician, an instrument-rated pilot, a certified USCG Captain, a woodworker, a talented marksman with the Army Sharpshooter designation, a successful businessman, and often a fearless early adopter of new technologies.
Bill loved boating and fishing and was a skillful navigator on the river and on the sea. After retiring, he and Linda spent the colder months on Marco Island, Fla., where he regularly participated in the sailing regatta and numerous fishing expeditions. After growing tired of the long journey to Florida, they built a house on Watts Bar Lake, where they hosted many festivities and made countless memories with family and friends.
Bill was a Christian and a member of the Keith Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens. He looked forward to listening to the sermons and to fellowship with members.
Preceded in death by: his father, William Porter Chesnutt Sr.; mother, Etoile Lillard Chesnutt of Athens.
Survivors include: his wife, Linda Faris Chesnutt;
Children, William Faris Chesnutt and his wife, Heather, and daughter, Sloane, of Charlotte, N.C., Lee Anne Chesnutt-Jones and her husband, Paul, of Chattanooga, Lindsey Porter Chesnutt, his wife, Monica, and two boys, Elijah and Ezekiel of Sweetwater;
Sister, Dorothea (Dottie) Chesnutt Bryant and her children, Laura, Janie, Paul, and Anna;
Sister-in-law, Carol Roberts, her husband Joe, and their children, Lauren and Justin;
Brother-in-law, Steve Faris and his wife, Laura;
Bill’s canine companion, Violet.
For their efforts, care, and dedication to his well being, the family would like to especially thank their caregivers, Renee, Hannah, Krystal, Heather, Glynn, Shonda, Holly, and Brenda of Golden Touch; Randy Burger, Dr. Craig Riley and his wonderful staff; and Amedisys Home Health Care and Amedisys Hospice.
A funeral service was held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, in the chapel of Smith Funeral Home, with the Rev. David Graybeal officiating. The committal service followed in Cochran Cemetery in Englewood. The family received friends from noon to 1:30 p.m., at the funeral home, prior to the service.
Pallbearers were: Charles Pierce, Paul Jones, Tracy Simpson, Paul Bryant, Otis Pannell, Joe Roberts, Randy Burger, and Rick Lay. Honorary pallbearers were: Tommy Crockett, Jerry Smith, Van McCamish, Justin Roberts, Bill Biddle and Steve Faris.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1, Athens, TN 37371-0001; or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777; or to a charity of the giver’s choice.
If you are unable to attend this service or visitation you may sign the guest register at www.smithfuneralandcremationservicesofathens.com.
Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens is honored to serve the family of Mr. William Porter “Bill” Chesnutt Jr.