Pearl Drinnen Williams, 98

Pearl Drinnen Williams, age 98, passed away peacefully Sunday, April 23, 2023. She was a Christian, a retired educator, and loving wife, aunt, great-aunt, and soon-to-be great-great-aunt.

Pearl was a long-time, active member of Trenton Street Baptist Church where she sang in the choir and ministered to the homebound.

Pearl was a graduate of Carson-Newman College and the University of Tennessee, and worked professionally in the field of public education for 60 years until the age of 82, teaching at all levels, coaching basketball, serving as a guidance counselor, and as an administrator in Roane County Schools. She was active in Delta Kappa Gamma, serving as Treasurer for many years. Pearl was also a dedicated member of Business and Professional Women, serving as Tennessee State President, 1972-73.

Pearl is preceded in death by her parents, Rev. Oscar and Minnie Drinnen, her husband and former Superintendent of Roane County Schools, Dr. Edward E. (Edd) Williams; her sister, Ruth Drinnen Swader and her husband, Roy Swader; her aunt, Lida Connatser; and Edd’s brothers, Dr. Jim Williams and Dr. Jack Williams.

Survived by nieces Susan (Alan) Tatum of Oak Ridge, TN, and Ann (Richard) Hortman of Lilburn, GA; great-nephews Austin Tatum of Denver, CO and Andrew (Taylor) Tatum of Knoxville, TN; sister-in-law Dr. Carolyn Williams Hartley of Sparta, NJ, and numerous other nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers: Alan Tatum, Austin Tatum, Andrew Tatum, Richard Hortman, Jim Lett, and Dr. Steve Smith.

Honorary pallbearer: Dr. Jackie Jackson

The family will receive friends on Thursday, April 27 from 11 am-1 pm at Trenton Street Baptist Church, 519 Trenton Street, Harriman, TN, with a Celebration of Life following at 1 pm. Following the Celebration, family, and friends will gather for the burial at Roane Memorial Gardens, Rockwood, TN.

The family would like to express our deepest appreciation to the staff of The Groves at Oak Ridge who have cared for Pearl, taken the time to sit and talk with her, and loved on her for the past three and a half years. Thank you also to Juliana Schmitt of Amedisys Hospice who cared for her during the past three months.

Special thanks to her dear friend Dr. Jackie Jackson, his wife Barbara, and son Jay; to education colleague and friend, Jim Lett; to her lifelong friend and neighbor, Betty Robinette; and to her teaching friend and traveling companion, Carolyn Tilley.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trenton Street Baptist Church, Harriman, TN, or The Amedisys Foundation at

Kyker Funeral Home of Harriman is serving the Williams Family.

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