Former Union County Sheriff dies

Swan Kitts died on Sunday at 86 years old. He served as Union County Sheriff from 1958 to 1963, and 1966 to 68.

MAYNARDVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- A former Union County Sheriff, forever tied to Hank Williams history, has died.

Swan Kitts died on Sunday at 86 years old.

He served as Union County Sheriff from 1958 to 1963, and 1966 to 68.

According to several Hank Williams history websites, Kitts, then a Highway Patrolman, pulled over a car for speeding on Rutledge Pike on December 31st, 1952.

Pitts told the driver that Williams, who was in the backseat, looked lifeless, but was told Williams had been drinking and had been given a sedative.

After paying a fine, the driver went on his way.

Many folks believe Williams was already dead, having died hours before at the A.J. Hotel in Knoxville.

He was officially pronounced dead the next day, January 1st, 1953, in West Virginia.

Swan Kitts is survived by many family and friends, including his wife of 59 years, Mary Elizabeth

Swan Kitts, 86, obituary:

KITTS, SWAN H. - age 86 of Maynardville, TN, passed away peacefully February 10, 2008 at St. Mary's Residential Hospice, Knoxville. He was born on July 6, 1921 in Maynardville. After graduation from Horace Maynard High School, he served in the US Army during World War II (European and African Theatres). In 1949, he became a Tennessee Highway Patrolman stationed at Kingsport, Johnson City, Tazewell and Rutledge. He served as the Sheriff of Union County from 1958-1963 and 1966-1968. He was appointed Union County Court Clerk 1969-1970. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars; J.C. Baker Lodge, #720 F&AM, York Rite, Scottish Rite and Kerbella Temple; Tennessee Law Enforcement Officer's Association and National Sheriff's Association. He was a Kentucky Colonel for fifty years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Judge Charles S. and Bess Evans Kitts; and sister, Joan Kitts Boatman. He is survived by his loving family: devoted wife of 59 years, Mary Elizabeth Fancher Kitts; daughters, Janice K. Bowman and Vivian Jean Kitts; granddaughter and husband, Paula and Jason Booker; grandson and wife, Travis and Michella Bowman; great-granddaughters, Madison Mae and Aubrey Elizabeth Booker, all residing in Maynardville. He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law, Hugh and Wanda Kitts, Grove City, Ohio; nephews, Ronald and Richard Boatman, Mascot; niece, Judy Patton, Bexley, Ohio and many other relatives and friends. Special thanks to Wayne Cole for his assistance throughout the years; Dr. J. Patrick Downey and staff, Baptist Senior Heath Center, and the staff of St. Mary's Residential Hospice for their loving care. The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. on Tuesday February 12 with funeral services to follow at 8 p.m. at Ailor's Chapel, the Rev. Steve Ailor and Rev. Glenn Suf-fridge officiating. Family and friends will meet at 10:30 a.m. February 13 at Ailor's Mortuary to proceed to Monroe Cemetery for an 11 a.m. graveside service. Pallbearers: Maynardville Police Department, Union County Sheriff's Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Knoxville Police Department, Officer Jason Booker and grandson, Travis Bowman, family and friends. Honorary pallbearers: Maynardville Shriners Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the #720 F&AM Masonic Lodge. Full military honors con-ducted by Tri County Veterans Honor Guard. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Union County Kerbella Shriners P.O. Box 161 Maynardville, TN 37807. Arrangements by Ailor Mortuary, Maynardville. Our obituary line is: 865-992-1114.

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