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Obit – Mr. Joe Rich

Smith and Macon County businessman, Mr. Joe Rich, age 86, of the Pleasant Shade community, died peacefully at 5:08 a.m. Thursday morning, April 14, 2022, at the Alive Hospice Residence in Nashville, where he was admitted Wednesday afternoon from the St. Thomas West Hospital where his health condition had gradually declined.

Eld. Gerald Ragland assisted by Mr. Rich’s pastor, Eld. Scott Rigsby, officiated at the 11 a.m. Saturday morning, April 16th, funeral services from Mr. Rich’s beloved Pleasant Shade Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Following the services, burial was beside his wife in the Pleasant Shade Cemetery.

The oldest of six children, he was born Joseph Taylor Rich in Cleveland in Cuyahoga County, Ohio and was the son of the late Joseph Turney Rich, who died February  28, 1980 at the age of 79, and Maggie Lee Taylor Rich, who died February 12, 1996 at the age of 85.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Dollie Ann Rich Adams, who died at the age of 77 on December 23, 2016, at her Winston-Salem, North Carolina home.

Also preceding Mr. Rich in death were a sister-in-law, Virginia Brooks Smith and husband, Glenn; brothers-in-law, Ronald Lee Brooks and wife, Shirley, William Roy Brooks and wife, Wilma, Mathie Brooks Jr., and James E. Thompson.

At the home of Graveltown community Justice of the Peace, Willie Taylor, on December 26, 1956, Mr. Rich was united in marriage to Cartwright community native, the former Melba Sue Brooks. She preceded him in death on April 18, 2020 at the age of 79, following almost sixty four years of marriage.

Mr. Rich attended Smith County High School and at the age of 14 began his career in the lumber business, cutting and selling timber.

He was the owner and for many years operator of the Joe Rich Lumber Co. in Red Boiling Springs.  All three of his sons remain in the lumber business today.

Mr. Rich has had vast land holdings and would buy many farms, harvest the timber and then resell the farms. He also was owner of oil wells in Marrowbone, Kentucky.

He was saved at the age of 14 at the former Sanderson Presbyterian Church on Sanderson Branch Road in the Pleasant Shade community and later moved his membership to the Pleasant Shade Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church where he remained a member until death.

Mr. Rich was a family man and was totally committed to his wife, three sons, and daughter in seeing that they were happy in life and he was always committed to their well-being and was a neighbor who was respected by all.

Surviving are his four children, Arnold Rich and wife, Debbie Bush Rich, Jerry Rich and wife, Becky Barnes Rich, all of the Pleasant Shade community, Bro. Jackie Rich and wife, Sherry Davenport Rich of  Red Boiling Springs, Jocella Rich Halliburton and husband, Todd, of the Pleasant Shade community; nine grandchildren, Amy Leigh Rich Rogers and husband, Ryan, Dr. JoBeth Rich McCoy and husband, Dustin, Jeri Lynn Rich, Hannah Rich Denson and husband, Jason, Taylor Rich and wife, Tricia, Sue Ann Kidwell and husband, Matthew, Victoria Heatherly and husband, Caleb, Leah Rich, Isaac Rich and like a grandchild, Elizabeth Halliburton; seven great-grandchildren, Lindsay Denson, Jake Denson, Janie Mai Rogers, Jett Denson, Colin McCoy, Joseph Wilton “Will” Rich, Arthur Kidwell; sister, Melba Joy Rich Pace and husband, Andy, of Ruston Louisiana; three brothers, Bro. David “Bee” Rich and wife, Almanette, Eld. Gerald Rich and wife, Ronda, all of the Pleasant Shade community, James Bell Rich and wife, Debbie, of Mount Juliet.

The Rich family requests memorials to the Pleasant Shade Upper Cumberland Presbyterian Church.  


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