Former Knox educator has died

Sandra ClarkObits

Judy Ruth Pressnell Ellison passed away peacefully on December 9, 2021, in Kenner, Louisiana, where she had lived for the last few years. A graveside service will be held at Liberty Cemetery, 2737 Little Sycamore Rd., Tazewell, Tennessee, at 1 p.m. Saturday, January 22, 2022.


Her colleague Martha Jean Bratton gathered information for this report. “Her career in education spanned 37 years beginning as a second-grade teacher at Gibbs Elementary School. After serving as assistant principal at East Knox Elementary and Powell Elementary, and principal at Ramsey Elementary and East Knox Elementary, Judy retired as assistant principal at Christenberry Elementary,” Bratton wrote.

“Early in her career her supervisors recognized Judy’s commitment and skill as a teacher while she was at Gibbs Elementary. She was selected to write curriculum for the system and to provide training for other teachers. Soon she was selected to become an administrator.”

Ms. Ellison was born on July 12, 1947, in Orchard Lake, Michigan, to Sillous Grant and Grace Pressnell. She is survived by four sisters, Sue Ann, Joyce, Sandra and Janet; nieces and nephews; and good friend, Jo Ann Adams Scott.

She was a graduate of West Bloomfield High School in Michigan, Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tennessee, and the University of Tennessee where she earned a master’s degree in educational administration and supervision.

“Judy was passionate about family, students, colleagues and friends,” Bratton wrote. “She was highly skilled in instruction and her work was thorough and detailed. She was extremely compassionate about those with problems and quick to assist with energy and resources. She was fun to be with and fiercely loyal to her friends. She lived her faith in God in her daily life as exhibited by her love for children and dedication to friends and colleagues.”

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