Dr. Lee Jess Seargeant, Jr. went to be with his Lord and Savior on November 3, 2011, surrounded by his family. He is survived by two children, Carolyn Miller (Ben) and Lee Seargeant (Brenda). He is the proud grandfather of Benjamin Miller IV (Amy), Rebecca Bullis, and Cherub Davenport (Scott) and the great grandfather to Adalyn Elizabeth Miller. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
“Doc”, as many referred to him, was born on December 27, 1915, in LaFollette, TN. to Lee and Nell Seargeant. He was married to Ella June Evans Seargeant on November 1, 1947. She preceded him in death on June 13, 2008. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, George and Charles Seargeant and his sister, Virginia Seargeant Payne.
He graduated from LaFollette High School in 1934 and went on to Maryville College where he sang with the college orchestra. He then attended the University of Tennessee from 1935-36 and went on to graduate from UT College of Medicine in 1941. He completed an internship at the John Gaston Hospital in Memphis. After his internship, he served during World War II from 1942-1946. He was commissioned as a First Lieutenant in the Medical Corp of the US Army Air Force as a military physician in the Pacific Theater where he attained the rank of Major. He was discharged in 1946 and opened an office in Caryville, TN. He eventually opened an office in downtown LaFollette and in 1955 built the office that still stands on Central Avenue. He was instrumental in the building of the LaFollette Community Hospital (now the LaFollette Medical Center) in 1963. In 1965, he chaired the building committee for the First United Methodist Church. He was a charter member of the American Academy of Family Practitioners, a member of the American Medical Association and the Campbell County Medical Society. He served as medical director of the nursing home for 25 years and chief of staff at the hospital for many years. He also served on the hospital’s board of trustees and in other community organizations, such as the LaFollette Historical Society. He has been Grand Marshall of the Campbell County Christmas Parade twice, honored as 2006 Citizen of the Year by the Campbell County Rotary Club, honored by the LaFollette Medical Center on the occasion of his 75th birthday and had a park named after him on the corner of Tennessee Avenue and Beach Street. He practiced medicine in LaFollette for 64 years until he retired in 2005 at the age of 89. He was known around town for delivering many babies and treating people of all ages. He touched the lives of all those who met him and will be sadly missed by family, patients, and friends. He showed compassion and love to so many and when asked what his one wish would be, he stated that he wanted to leave this world in better shape than he found it. It appears he did just that.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the LaFollette Courts Assisted Living facility for the constant care, compassion, and love they displayed to Doc during his final years.
The family will receive friends from 2-4 pm on Sunday, November 6th and the memorial service celebrating his life will follow at 4pm. A graveside service will be held on Monday, November 7 at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the LaFollette United Methodist Church or The Free Medical Clinic, 6209 Chapman Highway, Knoxville, TN, 37920.
Arrangements by Cross-Smith Funeral Home, LaFollette