Henry Marshall Parton
Henry Marshall Parton slipped peacefully away while home with his loving family on Monday evening, March 31, 2014. He was preceded in death by his grandson Nicholas (Nick) Parton, parents Fred L. Parton and wife Cora C. Parton, sisters and brothers-in-law Mary Edna (Billie) Cicero and husband Joseph Cicero, Dixie Bales and husband Garfield Bales, Ruby Reagan and husband Tolbert Reagan, and Harmon McCarter, in laws George Robeson and wife Beulah Robeson, sister-in-law Jean Robeson, nephew Byron Bales, niece Jennifer McCarter, and numerous other family members and friends who were a part of his long, rich life. Henry was survived by Ruth Robeson Parton, his loving wife of sixty-five years, sons David Henry Parton, Dennis Brian Parton, and Darrell George Parton, cherished grandson Derek Henry Parton, sister-in-law Aileen Robeson McCarter, cousin, business partner, and best friend James B. (Jim) Parton and his wife Annette Parton, and a host of beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends throughout Tennessee and Florida.
Henry was born August 20, 1929 on his family’s property at the headwaters of Sugarland Branch, a location now within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In 1936, he rode a horse drawn sleigh from the Sugarlands to his new home at property that is now the downtown station of the Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway. Henry grew up in Gatlinburg and attended Pi Beta Phi Settlement School. As a young man he worked at the Mountain View Hotel. It was there that he met Ruth Robeson, who was working nearby at Ogle’s Buffet Restaurant. The young couple traveled to Georgia to be married, and then returned to Gatlinburg to begin their lives together. Henry went to work for his uncle Joe Parton and wife Pearl Parton at Parton’s Market, located on North Parkway in Gatlinburg, and ultimately became a partner in this business with their son Jim Parton. This partnership would later own Sevier Dry Goods and Parton’s Department Store in Sevierville. Henry went on his own at the Parkway location after Jim Parton moved his accounting business to Pigeon Forge. In 1974, Henry opened Parton’s Delicatessen, now a local tradition and highly rated tourist favorite. Henry and Ruth moved to the Robeson family farm in Wears Valley with thoughts of retirement in 1989. Instead, Henry continued to work all day at the deli and then go home and work until dark on the farm. Henry enjoyed his friends from the deli, and continued working there as long as he was able. After farming became too vigorous for him, he often worked late at the deli and his son Dennis tended the farm. During his final years, Henry enjoyed sitting at home on porches overlooking his pasturelands and watching Dennis’ Black Angus cattle get fat, and sometimes fall down, from eating the mash that was provided by his friends at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery.
Henry and Ruth Parton raised three sons and then helped raise two grandsons in their nurturing Christian home. Church played an important role in their lives. In 1962, Henry was ordained a deacon at Roaring Fork Baptist Church in Gatlinburg. He was a soloist at numerous churches in the area throughout his adult life, and for years he sang for Sunday morning programming at WSEV Radio in Sevierville. Henry taught Sunday school for more than sixty years. He joined Valley View Baptist Church when he moved to Wears Valley. His class from Valley View met monthly at his home after declining health left him unable to attend services.
Henry Parton will be remembered as a good and humble man. He will be sorely missed, until we meet again.
The family wishes to express gratitude to Dr. Wahid Hanna and his wonderful staff for their care and compassion during Henry’s courageous battle with cancer; thanks to the University of Tennessee Hospice, and especially Florence, for making his final days comfortable; and many thanks to numerous friends and diverse church groups, locally and throughout the country, for their ongoing prayers.
Funeral service will be held in the West Chapel at Atchley Funeral Home in Sevierville on Thursday, April 3, 2014, at 7:00 p.m., with Pastor Preston Joslin officiating. The family will receive friends Thursday from 4:00 to 6:45 p.m. Burial service will be held at Mattox Cemetery in Wears Valley on Friday, April 4, 2014, at 11:00 a.m., with Pastor Bobby Owens officiating. Pallbearers will be Barry McCarter, Dr. Jeff McCarter, John Kerr, Dale Morgan, David Burkett, and Bob Burkett. Arrangements by Atchley Funeral Home, Sevierville.