Elenora Easterly Edwards was born in LaFollette, Tennessee to Guy and Lucille Easterly, Guy was Publisher/Editor of The LaFollette Press and instilled in Elenora a love of writing, news, and a good story, leading her to pursue a career in journalism. After graduating from LaFollette High School in 1961, she attended Maryville College where she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper. She earned a degree in English from Maryville College in 1965 before attending graduate school at the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri at Columbia. While in graduate school, Elenora worked on the city desk of the Columbia Missourian, the local city newspaper published at the school.
Elenora began as a reporter for the Courier News of Clinton in 1970 and worked her way up to News Editor, a position she held until 1981 when her son, Ben was born. Elenora also served as Editor of The Tennessee Press, a publication of the Tennessee Press Association, from 1991 through 2013. She was a Trustee of the Tennessee Press Foundation from 2014 until 2022. A former President of the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalism and former board member of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government, Elenora most recently served as President of the Timely Topics Club. She was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church of Clinton where she sang in the choir. She loved her work, family, friends, and most of all, her son Ben, who she cared for until the time of her passing.
Elenora is preceded in death by her parents, Guy and Lucille Easterly, her husband Thomas Edwards, and nephew Guy Tucker. She will be greatly missed by her son, Ben, sister, Helen Anne Tucker, numerous cousins, extended family, countless friends, and the community she served. Her joyful spirit, easy smile, and enthusiasm for life will be remembered by all with whom she came in contact.
Interment will be held at 11:00 am Saturday, February 12, 2022, at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Clinton. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 1:00 pm at Memorial United Methodist Church in Clinton.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to a fund designated for Ben Edwards’ long-term care. Gifts can be sent to Memorial United Methodist Church, 323 North Main Street, Clinton, Tennessee 37716. www.holleygamble.com