Cover photo for Mary "Sue" Gartrell Frizzell's Obituary
Mary "Sue" Gartrell Frizzell Profile Photo

Mary "Sue" Gartrell Frizzell

d. February 26, 2023

Mary "Sue" Gartrell Frizzell


Mary “Sue” Gartrell Frizzell of Jacksboro, left her earthly life on Sunday, February 26, 2023, after a courageous multi-year battle with several health challenges. Born October 12, 1942, to Cecil and Mary (Brannon) Gartrell, in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Sue lived and was raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, until she moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, in her early 20’s.


Loved ones and friends of Sue knew a bubbly, energetic and beautiful lady who had a zest for life. She was a devoted daughter, niece, cousin, sister, wife, mother, grandmother and friend.


During Sue’s 80 years, she owned her own Merle Norman studio in LaFollette, Tennessee, in the late-70’s which developed into a successful and thriving business that she loved. As a Knoxville native, that business is how she met many LaFollette locals which developed into lasting friendships. She eventually sold the business to have more time with her children. Sue later began a career with the Tennessee Department of Labor Division of Mines and retired in 2013 after 33 years of service.  During her career she made many lifelong friendships and met her future husband, Tommy Frizzell.


Among Sue’s passions were playing the piano. She was a talented musician who was the pianist in her late teens at Wallace Memorial Baptist Church in Knoxville and was musically accompanied by her mother, Mary, who was the church organist.  Sue later became the pianist for many years at Indiana Avenue Baptist Church in LaFollette.


Sue also had a love for Tennessee Vol football and she and Tommy were season ticket holders for many years. Sue not only attended all the home games, but she and Tommy traveled to bowl games as well. She truly knew and loved the game of football.  Some cherished memories of her daughter, Alison, are times sitting beside her mom during a game and listening to her explain the specifics of the plays and penalties.


Many claim to be great cooks, but Sue was actually one of the great ones. Often kidded by her family, she had a knack for preparing something new and delicious and would never make it again. But one of her classics that she would cook was her son, Barry’s, favorite: meatballs and tomato gravy.  Fortunately she wrote down and shared many of her delicious recipes that have become family traditions.


Sue is survived by her loving and devoted husband, Tommy Frizzell. Tommy was the love of her life and the one who so diligently cared for her, accommodating her every need, during her health decline. Sue has one brother, Cecil Eugene Gartrell. She is also survived by her son, Barry White and his wife Tammy. Daughter, Alison White. Also survived by the one who brought her a different level of love and called her by her favorite name (Nana), her grandson Brandon White and his wife Morgan. Sue would want to humbly boast that he is Dr. Brandon White. Sue also had a special granddaughter, Morgin Grant.  Also survived by cousins who were more like sisters, Cindy and David Woodward, Connie and Edmund Wright, Beth and John Maddox.  Cousin John and Sylvia Hughes. Sue also leaves behind her special friends - neighbors who became her family - Terry, Angie and Brandon Beach.


Preceded in death: Mother, Mary Elma (Brannon) Gartrell. Daddy, Cecil Wilson Gartrell. Grandparents, James and Nora Marcla; Grover and Rebecca Brannon.  Her “second parents” Uncle John and Aunt Pat (Brannon) Hughes.


A private, family-only service honoring Sue’s life will be held on Saturday, March 4, 2023, 2:00 PM at ClaiHill Farm in LaFollette.  At 3:00 PM the family will welcome friends to join them at ClaiHill to honor Sue and celebrate her life.


The family requests that in lieu of flowers, you please consider a memorial donation to any of these organizations: American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Association, Fort Sanders Foundation, or Community Health of East Tennessee.


Walters Funeral Home of LaFollette is honored to be serving the family of Mary “Sue” Gartrell Frizzell.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary "Sue" Gartrell Frizzell, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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