Knoxville, Appalachian historian has died

Sandra ClarkObits, Sevier

Services will be held Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023, at 2 p.m. for Dr. Bruce Wheeler, retired history professor and director of the Honors Program at the University of Tennessee. He died Nov. 11 at his home. He was 84.

The memorial service will be at Wears Valley United Methodist Church, 3110 Wears Valley Road, Sevierville. Family will receive friends one hour prior to the service.

Dr. Wheeler wrote several books but is best known locally for his 1982 book, Knoxville, Tennessee: Continuity and Change in an Appalachian City, co-written with Michael McDonald and published by University of Tennessee Press.

In talks around town, he would trigger old-timers with the notion that Knoxville had everything Atlanta had, but Atlanta flourished while Knoxville was held back by less than progressive political leaders like Cas Walker. A lively discussion ensued.

Dr. Wheeler was a popular teacher at UT for some 40 years. After retirement he moved to Wears Valley where he was active in the volunteer fire department and the Wears Valley United Methodist Church. His full obituary is here.

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