Margaret Meehan Vance: ‘Irish Legend’ passes at 103

Susan EspirituAnderson, West Knox County

Margaret Meehan Vance, Knoxville Catholic High School’s oldest living graduate, passed away on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, at the age of 103.

Margaret Vance was a 1937 graduate of Knoxville Catholic High and to this day, when the Fighting Irish score a touchdown, a video of Mrs. Vance plays on the jumbotron where she yells, “Go Irish!” which is included in this short video: Margaret Vance Video . Mrs. Vance was honored as an Irish Legend in 2019 at a Fighting Irish football game when she was 99 years old.

Mrs. Vance lived in Oak Ridge, where she worked during her professional career, which included serving as a secretary for Clinton Engineer Works, which produced materials for the Manhattan Project. She was a member St. Mary’s Church of Oak Ridge since before its construction in 1950.

She married Jack Vance in 1945, a union lasting for 50 years, until he passed away in 1996. Together, the couple had seven children, all of whom graduated from Knoxville Catholic High School, adding to the Irish legacy.

In addition to her parents, sister Rosemary Stewart, brothers Leo and Robert Meehan, she was preceded in death by a daughter, Kathleen, and infant son, John Joseph.

She is survived by daughters Mary Vance Jimmerson (Keith) and Ellen Vance O’Shea; sons Stephen Francis Vance, Paul Gerald Vance (Susan), Mark Christopher Vance (Sharon), and Philip Gerard Vance; 15 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren.

Memorial donations can be made to Knoxville Catholic High School at Knoxville Catholic Irish Fund or KCHS, attn: Joni Punch, 9245 Fox Lonas, Knoxville, TN 37922.

See full obituary here.

All of us have a story and I want to tell yours! Send them to


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *