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Norman Rex Tunnell, 79, went to be with the Lord Sunday,
August 17, 2014, at his home surrounded by his family. He
was born March 12, 1935.
He was a resident of Colonial Heights, Kingsport, TN.
Norman is a graduate of Church Hill High School in 1954
and served in the Army Reserves for 10 years.
He began his college education and football career at
Mississippi State University and went on to finish both at
Austin Peay State University with a degree in Physical
Education in 1959. Later, he received his Masters of
Education from the University of Mississippi in 1962. He
served as an educator his entire 40 year professional career.
Norman began his career at his alma mater, Church Hill
High School, where he taught and coached. He then moved
to Winter Haven, FL where he taught at Polk County
Schools for a 5 year stint. Desiring to be back to the family
roots, he returned to TN to teach and coach at Blountville
High School which became Sullivan Central High School.
His first administrative leadership position was at
Rogersville High School, where he was principal from
1970-1973. Norman culminated his career as the principal
of Colonial Heights Middle School in Kingsport, TN serving
the community in that capacity for the next 25 years until
his retirement in 1998.
He served Kingsport West Gideon Camp for over 30 years
and was an active member of Tri- Cities Baptist.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Burrell and Beulah
Bailey Tunnell; sister, Georgia Tunnell Parker; brother,
Ralph Tunnell; mother-in-law, Josephine T. Christian; and
father-in-law, Ralph B. Christian.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Barbara Christian
Tunnell; daughter and son-in-law, Kim and Jim Suiter, of
Cleveland, TN; son and daughter-in-law, Brad and Julie
Tunnell, of Brentwood, TN, and son, Michael Tunnell, of
Dallas, TX; grandchildren, Wes and Stephanie Suiter, Kacy
Suiter, Mary Julia Tunnell, Scott Tunnell, Millie Tunnell,
Josie Tunnell, and Bailey Tunnell; brothers, James and
Betty Tunnell, of Middletown, OH, and Lewis and Joyce
Tunnell, of Church Hill, TN; sisters, Lois and Harold
Robertson, of Kingsport, TN, and Mable Daugherty, of
Church Hill, TN; several nieces, nephews and cousins; and
The family will receive friends at Tri-Cities Baptist Church
on Tuesday, August 19, 2014, from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m., with the
funeral immediately following with Pastors Gene
Mermilliod, Mike Laughrun, and Mike Tyson officiating.
A graveside service will be held on Wednesday, August 20,
2014, at 10 a.m., at Church Hill Memorial Gardens.
Pallbearers will include Wes Suiter, Scott Tunnell, Randy
Tunnell, David Tunnell, Steve Tunnell, Eddie Terry, Brian
Larkins, and Mark Larkins. Oscar Larkins, Charles
Chandler, Jerry Ford, Wallace Ketron, Roger Herron, Mike
Cline, Bill Moore, and Kingsport West Gideon Camp
members will serve as honorary pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to
Tri-Cities Baptist Church, 171 Promise Land Drive, Gray, TN
37615, or Gideon’s International, c/o Kingsport West Camp,
P.O. Box 645, Kingsport, TN 37662.
Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes, Kingsport, is serving the