HOME VIDEO INCLUDED: Willie Morgan's two families remember him

By: Rob Pratt
By: Rob Pratt

Hamblen County (WVLT) It is a very difficult day for everyone who knew and loved Willie Morgan.

That's especially true for Willie's two families.

One is made up of his children and their kids.

The other consisting of dear friends at the nearby market where he started everyday.

The smile that Willie Morgan shared with his family a couple of Christmas's ago, is the same smile that has been brightening lives in Hamblen County for 94 years.

Now the smile and the man behind it are gone forever.

Jay Morgan, his grandson says, "it's just hard to accept because I know that I have to drive by here everyday knowing that I ain't going to see him again."

Jay Morgan and his sister Beatrice Wilson had the privilege of calling Willie papaw.

With 12 kids of his own, Willie had dozens more grandchildren and great-grandkids.

Morgan continues, "when my daughter was born she never saw my dad, I would always take her to see Papaw. We fixed a Thanksgiving dinner and she said Dad, I want to go with you, I want to see Papaw."

Now that Papaw is gone, the family is having to use the strength that he gave them over the years.

Beatrice Wilson says, "he kind of instilled that in all of his children. To be strong survivors."

No story about Willie's life would be complete without Big A Market.

Linda Pollard , who works there says, "if Willie did not come here, we went looking for Willie to see if he was okay. This was his home and we were his family."

Willie could still drive his truck here.

He parked himself in his favorite booth for a bacon biscuit every morning and dinner later in the day.

There is still plenty of business, but it's far from business as usual at the Big A.

Tina Eldridge, who also works at the Big A Market says, "it don't seem real. I don't see how anybody could do that to Willie."

Just about everyone you run into in Hamblen County shares that reaction.

After a man who lived through so much died such a senseless death.

There are a lot of thoughts and prayers with this family tonight.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Join the Conversation!

While WVLT allows comments on articles, we ask that you respect the online community. Comments may be removed at any time for violations including:

  • Obscenity, profanity, vulgarity, racism, violent descriptions, name-calling or personal attacks.
  • Abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Off-topic comments.

Comments may be checked for inappropriate content or rule violation, but the station is under no legal obligation to monitor or remove comments. If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator. 
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

  • by christine morgan Location: morristown,tn on Sep 20, 2010 at 05:17 AM
    HELLO,TO EVERYONE,DEB,MY BROTHERS,CHILDREN,AND MINE WHO LOST YOUR PAPPA,IN SUCH A WAY, I,M HURTING STILL TOO,TO ALL MY DADS FRIENDS,THANKS FOR ALL YOUR LOVE. EVERYONE THANKS, FOR EVERYTHING,IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING, ABOUT MY DADS MURDER,IT,S NOT TO LATE, TO COME FORWARD AND HELP US GET THEM ALL IN JAIL,I BELIEVE,THERE IS MORE,THE TRUTH WILL SET US FREE,TELL THE TRUTH,THANKS.
  • by christine morgan Location: morristown,tn on Sep 20, 2010 at 04:49 AM
    please people make a note in your heart,my dad loved the johnson kids,he dated but,never married donnie,s grandmother, and she died of cancer,dad took care of the mother of donnie, and her sister, but,not kin.
  • by christine morgan Location: morristown,tn on Apr 14, 2010 at 09:48 PM
    I SEE A MISTAKE IN THE AUG 29 08 POSTED BY ME @4:18 AM.CORRECTION: MY DAD DID NOT ANSWER, THE PHONE ON FRIDAY NITE ABOUT 9PM .HE WAS AT THE BIG A THAT FRIDAY MORN: THEY SAID, I THINK I ASK ROBIN,WHEN I ASK BECAUSE, I COULD NOT GET HIM ON THE PHONE FRIDAY MORN.HE WAS ALL READY GONE BY 9PM THAT FRIDAY NITE, I BELIEVE, THEY HAD HIM THEN.THE LAST TIME I SPOKE WITH MY DAD WAS THE THURSDAY,WHEN WARREN AND HARRISON IN, THE HOUSE THE NITE BEFORE FRIDAY MORNING.CORRECTED APRIL 14 2010.THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR PRAYERS,THANKS TO THE BIG A FAMILY FOR ALL YOR LOVE,I KNOW HOW MUCH YOU MEANT TO MY DAD,YOU MEANT SO MUCH TO HIS EVERY DAY IN THIS WORLD,THANKS AGAIN,BIG A FAMILY.
  • by christine morgan Location: Morristown,Tn on Aug 29, 2008 at 04:18 AM
    hello friends of willie morgan. my dad willie lee morgan,.was not the FATHER/ grandfather of donnie johnson.He was not any blood kin TO MY DAD.He was blessed to have our dad to care for him, and his family so long.I love my dad and didn,t agree with the years of care -given to these people donnie johnson and family. and i spoke with dad almost every day.we were close i still have my room in that old house.the one that dad was sleeping in that nite he was taken.i talked to dad that friday nite till about 9pm and sat.morning he didn,t answer the phone.i thougt he was @the big A S so i,ll try again tonight @about 8-9pm but no answer,since i called twice a day maybe dad don,t want to be talking.wrong i wish i had called the police my first thought was to do that.i found my dad,s house shoe up at the road when i got home to tenn i know he was wearing them around the house he told me,dad what you wearing on your feet.replyed the house shoes pam got me when i was in the hosp.what do you kno?
  • by a friend of the family on Jun 30, 2008 at 02:41 AM
    Donnie Johnson you yourself should be right in jail with jess and darrel and one day donnie snitching and stealing and drug dealing will be with you at your judgement call they is only one person who knows and donnie if it wouldnt have been for you none of this mess would have happened you will learn keep your fat fingers off stuff that does not belong to you as long as i have known you all you do is wrong now ur grandfather and the killers of your grandfather will pay b/c u!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by donnie johnson Location: morristown on May 30, 2008 at 02:16 PM
    aal i can say is that im very sorry to everbody for what those punks did to my papaw and i hope everone of theme die
  • by Patricia & Ann Miller Location: Columbia S>C> on Jan 23, 2008 at 11:35 AM
    Our family would like to send our condolences to the Morgan Family I'M Mr. Doyle Morgan aunt by marriage. our prayers and thoughts are with all the Morgan Family
  • by Dan & Kay Location: Morristown on Jan 22, 2008 at 10:12 PM
    This is such a hideous crime and I am so angry that a man like Willie who never hurt anyone, died at the hands of these animals! Willie was just a humble, kind, frail man who treated everyone like family. I know Willie has his special place in Heaven now. Our prayers go out to all the family.
  • by Mary "Mamaw" Location: LaFollette on Jan 22, 2008 at 11:11 AM
    I too, cried and I didn't even know him. God said vengence is his...I believe it.. but I also believe he gave us enough sense to deal with things that happen like this. I say....do to them what they did to him, only in public. That should be a law. One, who lived the life that Willie lived, should be able to die peacefully, around friends & family who love him...not like he had to die. The family is in our prayers and I pray the one responsible for the start of the chain of events that lead to what happened, will see what drugs can do. Always remember the good times.
  • by Jennifer Location: Morristown on Jan 22, 2008 at 09:37 AM
    I am sure that Willie is in a better place where no evil can come to him anymore, I know that the people who did this to him will pay for this horrible thing and anyone else who was involved will also because I beleive there is only one place for people like this and it sure isn't heaven.
  • Page:

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Copyright © 2015 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 13952632 - local8now.com/a?a=13952632
Gray Television, Inc.