Fran Troxler: People are always happy to move to Wears Valley

Feb. 23, 2013 @ 08:44 PM

In the summer of 2011 I received a call from a potential buyer couple who was in front of one of my real estate listings. Larry and Jean Rockemann, then of Chicago, had been looking for a retirement home in the mountains, to no avail.

I met with the Rockemanns and asked them to describe their “dream” mountain home. Of course, a view was right at the top of their list. Additionally, they wanted some yard to grow flowers and perhaps a small vegetable garden.

Jean wanted lots of windows. Their request was not unusual to me. Many baby boomers are looking at East Tennessee for their next home, and most of them have dreams similar to the Rockemanns.

During that same time period, a Wears Valley couple were considering a move to another state in order to be closer to their children. I had the opportunity of meeting them (the Sturtevants) and seeing their lovely mountain home. What the Rockemanns had described in their “dream” was exactly what the Sturtevants’ home was. It was simply a match made in heaven.

A hurdle, however, for the Rockemanns, like many other baby boomers, was to get all their loose ends handled in Chicago so that they could move to the Sevier County area. That didn’t work out as smoothly as they wished.

It took a year and a half for Larry to find new employment (in Lutheran ministry), but he is now associated with a national Lutheran organization, is able to work from his home, and fly in and out of the Knoxville Airport when his work calls for travel.

Two weeks ago found an ecstatic Larry and Jean and their moving company en route to Wears Valley from a cold and frigid Chicago. The Rockemanns are “tickled pink” to finally become residents of Sevier County and still cannot believe how blessed they are to be in East Tennessee.

On Tuesday I had lunch with them at a local restaurant, and again Larry commented that no matter where they go in the area, the people are so very nice. I agreed, “I know, Larry. They really and truly are.”

Every job has its “good” and its “bad”, including real estate. For me, the “good” I derive from meeting new people and helping them to become our neighbors is absolutely the best part of my job!

Another “good” is having the privilege of introducing our newcomers to our wonderful local residents. The Rockemanns are one of many couples who I have had the opportunity of introducing to the people and places of East Tennessee.

It is indeed my blessing to get to know these people, find for them their “dream” property, and then help them to assimilate into our East Tennessee culture.

God has blessed East Tennessee with beautiful mountains, a quality way of life, and wonderful people. It is no wonder that thousands of people just like the Rockemanns would want to relocate to here.

— Fran Troxler lives and works in Wears Valley. Her column will appear every other week. She is the owner of East Tennessee Realty Group. Email to