Entry for April 8, 2008
It is with sadness that I post the deaths of John Philip and Doris Juanita (Tallent) COLLETT VAN HUSS. John (called Philip by the Knoxville branch of the FRANCIS family) died 19 March and Doris 21 March 2008. At 94, John was the oldest living grandson of Philip FRANCIS and one of two living individuals who were in the 9 January 1925 photograph of the family attending the 50th wedding anniversary of Philip and Annie (Meyrick) FRANCIS at the John W. WILLIAMS' home in Knoxville, TN. The remaining living individual from that photograph is Mary Buford (Francis) ROSE, widow of Lee Roy Howard ROSE, who lives in Knoxville. John was an amazing man! He wrote and compiled historical booklets from his home computer using Microsoft Publisher. Most of the booklets documented some aspect of the history of coal mining in the general vicinity of LaFollette, TN. John and I began to exchange family history and genealogical information about 10 years ago. When I was in LaFollette in 2005, I met with John in his home office behind his house for about 2 hours. We had a very pleasant and mutually rewarding exchange. There are typically very few people in most families who have any interest in family history and genealogy. Most other family members look at you as if you have a hole in your head for devoting so much time to something about which they couldn't care less. So, John was a breath of fresh air for me, and I shall miss him and our many e-mail exchanges.