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Frank Brewer, 76, passed away on March 2, 2014, at Holston
Valley Medical Center, Kingsport, Sullivan Co TN, after a recent
illness. He was born born May 19, 1937.
Never willing to be idle a single minute (unless he scheduled
that minute) he was still working full-time.
Frank had an insatiable zest for life which he pursued
methodically and with an excellence that everyone who knew
him both recognized and came to expect. While Frank felt he led
a narrow life, those close to him would argue that it was a
focused life. Through that focus he left his mark on the
landscape and in the lives of all he touched, always striving to
create beauty for others to see and enjoy.
His parents moved from Hawkins Co TN, to Kingsport when
Frank was very young. It was they who exerted the most
influence in his young life, preparing him to be a productive,
honest, hardworking father, husband, and member of the
community. They were always supportive of his interests and
continually encouraged him. As a child Frank liked airplanes so
much that his parents would take him to the airport on Sundays
to watch them take off and land. So it was no surprise to them
when at age 19 he earned his pilot’s license, making his first
solo flight in a J3 Piper Cub. Flying remained one of his greatest
joys in life. He later learned to fly a hot air balloon which he
and his son Harold often flew during the early years of Fun Fest.
Frank was also passionate about sailing, putting the first full
knell sailboat on Lake Watauga in 1972, and spending many
pleasurable week-ends on the lake with Harold and his
While his passion for flying and sailing intrigued him, he was
best known for his vocation, the designing and building of all
types of structures.
Throughout his career he and his company designed and built
commercial and industrial structures from California to
Connecticut. In Kingsport he designed, built and renovated
structures for Tennessee Eastman, Mead Corporation,
Wellmont, Indian Path Hospital and Eastman Credit Union
branch banks. However he often reminded that 'teams build
buildings, I just provide leadership.' He believed that everyone
deserved to be a winner and given the right encouragement and
leadership, they could be. He continually thanked and praised
every individual who worked on his projects, for their talent,
cooperation and efforts.
In addition to promoting company teamwork Frank consistently
gave back to the community which had provided the
environment for his success. He joined several community
organizations, including the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce,
which he served as president in 1979. He also served on the
Board of the Kingsport Chamber Foundation and was its first
president; and in 2009 he was recognized by the Chamber with
a Lifetime Achievement Award.
It was while he was active with the Chamber that the idea of
Fun Fest was born, and he served as its first Chairman. In fact
Frank, with the help of Tom Dickens (and their wives of course)
mapped out Fun Fest’s direction for many years to come.
He also served on the Boards of Holston Valley Hospital and
Medical Center (and its Executive Committee), First National
Bank of Sullivan County, First American Bank in Kingsport,
Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, the Kingsport Community
Chest (now United Way), and Junior Achievement of Kingsport.
He served as an advisory member of the East Tennessee State
University Foundation; as Fund Raising Chairman to establish
The Cecile Quillen Chair of Medicine, Quillen College of
Medicine of ETSU; and in 1980 as Chairman of the United Way
Commercial Division. He later served as a United Way General
Chairman and in 1979 and 1981 received the 'Kingsport
Times-News Award' for Distinguished Community Service.
Frank served as president of Rentenbach and Wright, Inc., as
vice president of Mark Freeman & Associates, president of
Descon Management Consultants, Inc. and Manager of
Business Development at Little & Adams, Inc.; and in 2011
launched FB Brewer Consulting Co. He proudly served as the
city of Kingsport’s owner’s representative in the construction of
the Aquatic Center, and as a consultant to Eastman Credit
Union. Having designed the current branches, his latest ECU
project was the construction of a branch in Longview, Texas,
which opened in December, 2013. A more recent client was Pal’s
where he worked on their Erwin facility. He was, in fact eagerly
waiting to continue consulting on future facilities when he fell
He was a member and past president of the Tri-Cities Chapter
of Associated General Contractors, Armco Dealer Council, and
Southern Industrial Development Council.
Frank had a keen sense of color, proportion and shapes which
served him well in his design/build career, but later in life he
fine-tuned the artistic side of that talent and studied watercolor
painting. Of course he approached this as he did everything in
life, in a totally focused, methodical, and exhaustive way. In
1996, he began painting, mostly portraits and flowers, and won
several awards in local art contests.
While Frank’s work, community service and personal interests
were best known to people, most important to him was his
family. He unceasingly thought about and provided for their
every convenience and interest. He had learned the value of a
strong family from his parents and did everything he could to
pass along those values combined with the necessary love and
discipline to his children, and to his stepchildren and grand-
children. He always thought of their well-being and how he
could help them, and it is for that passion, concern and care
that his family will always cherish and remember him.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Lois Davis Brewer
and Norman Brewer; and his sister, Patricia Ann Brewer.
He will be greatly missed by his wife of nearly 33 years, Joe Ann
Brewer, of Kingsport, TN; his son, Harold Brewer, of Charlotte,
NC; and daughter Karen Crawford and her husband Jeff, and
their son Justin, of Ringgold, GA; as well as his wife’s children,
Richard Hartley and wife Elizabeth, and their daughter Katie,
of Pleasant View, TN, Arthur Lindsey and wife Jackie, her son
Victor, his ex-wife Nancy and their children, Sarah Thomsen
and husband Ryan, and Emily of Charlotte, NC, and Cecilia
Chase and husband Tom, and their children Shannon and
Jennifer, of Duluth, GA; and last, but not least, his faithful dogs,
J3 and Gulfstream.
The family expresses their gratitude to the nursing staff of
HVMC for their excellent care during Frank’s illness, as well as
the Wellmont Radiation Therapy Department and Kingsport
Hematology and Oncology.
At Frank’s request, he will be cremated; and rather than a
traditional funeral, his family will receive friends and relatives
in the Cattails Room of Meadowview Conference Center on
Saturday, March 8, 2014, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations in his honor may be made to St.
Jude’s Children Hospital, Children International or the charity
of one’s choice.
Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the