Fannie Rhea Reece Murrell, Class of 1956 Rhea Reece Murrell, age 78, of Rogersville, went to be with the Lord Saturday, November 23, 2013, at Signature Health Care.

She was a member of Henard’s Chapel Baptist Church.

She was born January 1, 1935, to William Carter Reece and Maude Burns Reece. Fannie was a very active child and always wanted to figure out how things worked and what she could do to make it even better. She graduated from Rogersville High School in 1953 at the top of her class. Afterward she continued her education and received her RN License on November 15, 1956. On August 3, 1960, Fannie applied for, and was hired on the spot as a Nursing Supervisor at Hawkins County Memorial Hospital. Fannie worked at the hospital from the day the doors opened until she retired December 17, 2001.

During her many years of service Fannie went through numerous changes in hospital administrators and hundreds of doctors, but she always managed to keep her department running smoothly as if nothing had ever changed. At one time she was the Director of Nursing, but she soon found that she did not like sitting behind a desk. She missed being able to do all of the hands on care. She also worked in many different areas of the hospital including the surgery department. She could get along with anybody however; she didn’t have a problem telling someone that they were wrong even if it was a doctor.

There are those who say that Fannie could run that hospital by herself. She knew the in’s and out’s of every department. Fannie kept up her nursing certification faithfully until January 31, 2009, when she finally decided it was time for her to let others do for her what she has done for so many years. Fannie was a role model and a mentor to hundreds of aspiring nurses, can’s and even a few doctors. Quote from one of Hawkins County Memorial Hospital board members: “She was a matter of fact kind of lady, she just went with the flow but her patients always came first no matter what.”

She was preceded in death by her husband, John J. Murrell. She is survived by her sisters, Betty Murrell of Rogersville and Glenda Bass of Kingsport and several nieces and nephews.

At Fannie’s request graveside services will be held 2:00 p.m. Monday, November 25, 2013, at Highland Cemetery with Rev. Rick Dinkins and Rev. Tecky Hicks officiating.

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