Dr. Joseph Rainey, 88

Join us in celebrating the 88 years of the life of Dr. Joseph Rainey, September 8, 1935-December 11, 2023.  A lifetime believer, we are comforted to know he is now with our Father in heaven. He is joining his parents, Horace and Mildred Rainey. 

Missing him, but never forgetting sweet memories of his life, are members of his big family. Family was important to Joe and he was a blessing to them. He was married to the love of his life, Pamela Golden Rainey for 32 years.  Children and spouses are daughters Gina Hendrix, spouse Brian Hendrix, daughter Kristy Van Hesse, and spouse Jim VanHese. Grandchildren are Jennifer Scott, husband Lucas Scott, Nick Raby, and loved great-grands, Kayden and Vivian Scott, and Drew VanHesse who called him Doc, and brother-in-law, Jule Wenk.

Joe loved his many nephews and nieces, but too many to mention, and they loved Unc dearly. Dr. Joe had a special relationship with his two nephews Dr. Bill Emendorfer and Dr. Phil Wenk.

In heaven, Joe is joining his two sisters and brother-in-law Mary Anne Peaglar, Patricia Wenk, and Jack Peaglar. Mary Anne and Patricia, older sisters, were both guilty of spoiling their little brother. Joe never objected. 

Treasured family members, as well as dear friends, are his sister-in-law and brother in Karen and Wayne Cary. They shared travels, holidays, and years of loving companionship. They are a blessing in many ways.

Extroverted, social Joe had too many friends to list. He loved people and was loved by many. Many friendships lasted decades. If you were friends, he remembered story after story of your time together. If you were out with Joe, you would run into someone he knew and they would be glad to see him. If you were with Joe, he was fully present and focused on time with you.

A private practice dentist for 47 years, Joe loved to share his knowledge. He mentored many including young adults considering going into dental school, and dentists with beginning practices, and finished his career as a University of Tennessee faculty member mentoring dental school residents. 

His honors were many and deserve to be included so the reader will know how the community recognized his service to the community:

2023 UTHSC Distinguished Service Award Winner, 2021University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine Spirit Award City View Top Doctors, 2020 and 2021 Cityview Top Doctors, 2010 Anderson County Hall of Fame for “Lifetime, Achievement”, 2007 Award for Dedicated Service to the Board of Directors of Delta Dental of Tennessee, 1998 Second District Dental Society – Dentist of the Year, 1995 U.S. Air Force: Commendation Medal, 1995 Fellowship International College of Dentistry, 1990 Fellowship Award of the Tennessee Dental Assoc., 1989 Air National Guard: Dental Officer of the Year, 1989 U.S. Air Force: “Air War College” Graduate, 1989 Fellowship American College of Dentist, 1986 U.S. Air Force Achievement Medal, and 1965 Clinton Jaycees: Young Man of the Year                                                                

Joe believed in helping others and was proud of his 21 years of military service in the Tennessee National Guard. He served as a dental surgeon and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Joe was a true patriot and loved his country. 

Dr. Joe also served his community. He was the longest-serving Tennessee Election Commissioner, serving 54 years. He also served 50 years on the Board of the Anderson County Economic Development Association. Additionally, he served numerous positions in the church he loved, Memorial Methodist Church, 

Joe was a special and great man. He only had one flaw. Sweet, easy-going Joe became scary, evil Joe behind the wheel. Riders white-knuckled the ride and were relieved to arrive alive at their destination. He was convinced he was the only driver in Tennessee who knew how to drive. He was the only one in Tennessee who agreed with him.

The family appreciates all the support she has received this year from friends, family, Memorial Methodist Church, and the University of Tennessee staff. The love and support has carried the family through this year.

Treasure your memories of Joe. He treasured his time with you. We are better because he touched our lives. He requested his life be celebrated. Honor his life by sharing Doc Joe stories and laughs with friends. 

The family is honoring Joe’s wishes and there will be no visitation.  Friends and family will gather at noon, Friday, December 15, 2023, at Memorial United Methodist Church for a Celebration of Joe’s life.  His graveside will immediately follow at Grandview Memorial Garden with full military honors at the graveside. 

Because Joe loved Memorial Methodist Church, in lieu of flowers, please donate to his church, Memorial United Methodist Church, 323 N. Main St., Clinton, TN 37716. Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements.  holleygamble.com

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