A Memorial for Departed Brothers and Sisters
'Gone But Not Forgotten'

Donahue, Lester
Downs, Billie
Towe, Lawrence Wade, Sr

Lester Donahue 


     The Psalmist wrote: “. . . I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness” (Psa. 84:10). 

     For many years, our “doorkeeper” has been Lester Donahue.  He was the first person most of us saw, as we entered the building.  He was always there to open the door, shake a hand, give a hug, tell a story, or give a visitor directions. 

     Last Tuesday, at 12:20 p.m., our dear friend and brother-in-Christ, passed away.  He would have been 91 years old on April 27.  His funeral was conducted on Thursday evening from Roses’ Funeral Home, and the burial was on Friday in the Highland Cemetery. 

     To say that we will miss Lester would be an understatement.  He and his wife of more than 66 years, Ella, have attended this church since about 1967, and Lester served as one of our deacons for more than 30 years.  He was such an integral part of this congregation and was known and loved by everyone. 

     Lester was an excellent carpenter, and reminders of him abound in our church building and in other church properties—a deck at the preacher’s house, a hand rail on the steps to the basement, some bookshelves in the church office, a serving window between the kitchen and the multi-purpose room, and the list goes on and on. 

     We will always remember his good humor, his quick wit, his readiness to do a job, his love for his wife, and his dedication to the Lord.  I especially will remember his words of encouragement.  After nearly every sermon, he would say, “That was a good ‘un.” 

     All of us will miss our “doorkeeper.” I wonder if they have doors in heaven.  If they do, Lester will surely be at his post. 

- Tom Miller

Billie Downs


     The things that we say and do often take on added significance when we reflect on them through the glasses of life’s daily developments. 

     Hunter and I went to see Billie Downs this past Tuesday afternoon.  She had just finished a round of treatments on Monday.  We would often wait a day or two after her hospital visits and then go to see her.  We stayed with her for some time and then decided that it was time to go.  Hunter said his good-byes and then I went over to her chair, kissed her on the cheek, and told her that I loved her.  Just before going through her back porch door, I turned around and winked at her and said, “see you later.”  She slowly nodded her head up and down in reply and we left. 

     “See you later.”  Three little words.  There is no telling how many times in a week I use the same phrase at the end of a conversation.  When I said them Tuesday, I was referring to the next time that I would be at her house to visit with her.  Now they take on added significance.  Because, you see, I intend to keep my word to see her later.  Of course, now I just don’t know how much later.  But I still plan to see her. 

     I say these things with confident satisfaction, because I know that she is with the Lord and I intend to be there with her at some point in the future.  And I have no reservations in saying that I look forward to that time.  Paul said it so well in Phil.1:21: “to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  One of our songs says it another way: “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.”  Neither of these statements are morbid fixations on death but rather are optimistic and realistic views of our station in life.  This is the glorious hope we have. 

     Billie, it hurts to know that I’ll not visit with you, talk with you, laugh with you anymore in this life.  I am going to miss you.  However, I’m trying to keep my chin up because I know I’ll see you later. 

- Geoff Mabe

Lawrence Wade Towe, Sr


     “The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, if it is found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31).

     Lawrence Wade Towe, Sr., the oldest living member of the South Knoxville Church of Christ, passed away last Wednesday afternoon, September 19.  He was born December 14, 1906.  He would have been ninety-five years old on his next birthday.

     Three sons (Richard, Donald, and David) and one daughter (our own Frances Jenkins) survive him.  One son, Lawrence Towe, Jr., preceded him in death.  His first wife of sixty-one years, Margaret Hux Towe, preceded him in death in 1988.  He married Mary Ann Suttles following her death, and she survives her husband of nearly thirteen years.

     Brother Towe worked for Wise Iron Works for a number of years and founded Towe Iron in the basement of his home in 1950.  Today that business is thriving and supplies structural iron for a number of large buildings in the Knoxville area.  He retired from the company when he was about seventy and turned it over to his children to run.

     He is remembered as a hard worker and as a loving husband and father.  Brother Towe was also deeply religious and became a member of the church in 1962.  Although he had been shut-in for the past few years, he was always a faithful member of the church and regular in attendance prior to that.

     While visiting with him recently, as we looked out over the lake and watched the boats passing by, I remarked that he was our oldest member.  At first, I did not think that he had heard me.  But, a couple of minutes later, he turned to Ann and said, “He said I was the oldest member.”  I think he was pleased by that designation. 

     Our oldest member is gone, and we will miss him.

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Steve Stamm