Community loses Reister, Burnette, Hagood

Sandra ClarkObits

Recent deaths have reduced the ranks of community volunteers – folks who intentionally gave back to individuals and worthwhile causes.

David Bryan Reister, 76, was a conservationist who died Jan. 31. He and wife Willa lived on Beaver Creek in a unique home designed for comfort without frills. Large windows opened to the woods that he loved.

Dr. Reister was born in Los Angeles and earned three degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, including his doctorate in engineering physics in 1969.

He started his career at the State University of New York at Buffalo and moved to Oak Ridge in 1974 to work with Alvin Weinberg and Cal Burwell in the Institute for Energy Analysis at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities. In 1985, he moved to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where he worked until his retirement in 2012.

Melissa Brenneman posted online: “I appreciate David’s work for the Sierra Club on local issues. He was hard-working and hospitable, with lots of good energy. He is missed.”

Dr. Reister served on the board of the Harvey Broom Chapter of the Sierra Club from 2000-2014. He spent many happy hours scouting for the Cumberland Trail, according to his obituary. He chaired the Cumberland Trail Conference from 2004-09. He leaves a son, a daughter and two grandchildren.

Martha Ann Burnette, 79, passed away Feb. 6. She was a longtime member of Central Baptist Church of Fountain City and taught home economics at Central High School for 31 years. Survivors include husband Ben A. Burnette Jr., sister Jace Caldwell and others. Obituary here.



Mary Evelyn Morrisette Hagood, 88, passed away Feb. 2. She was a longtime member of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church and an active volunteer with Akima, Knoxville Symphony League, Knoxville Bar Auxiliary, Teen Board, Children’s Hospital, Dogwood Arts and Knoxville Museum of Art. Her husband, Lewis Hagood, is a Knoxville attorney. The family includes three children and five grandchildren. Obituary here.

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