Services for Chip Kell this weekend

Marvin Westwestwords

Old Vol Bill Emendorfer and his wife, Melanie, went to the Bill Gaither concert in Gatlinburg on Sunday, a half-day after Chip Kell died.

The loss of a former teammate and dear friend weighed heavy on Bill’s mind.

“The first song was I’ll Fly Away.”

Emendorfer says he tries to be a good Methodist but it isn’t every day he gets a direct message from God.

The Kell obituary:

Curtis Cliff “Chip” Kell, age 75, of Cohutta, Georgia, passed away Sunday, May 26, 2024, at Hamilton Medical Center. (Earlier story here)

Kell was a University of Tennessee all conference center in 1968 who became an All-American guard as a junior and senior. He twice won the Jacobs Trophy as the best blocker in the SEC. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

He is a member of the Tennessee and Georgia Halls of Fame, University of Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame, Georgia High Football Hall of Fame and a SEC Sports Legend.

Chip said: “I was taught to never quit, to avoid sports-enhancing drugs and to never make excuses. Finally, I realized God gave me the strength to break through the barriers to a lifetime victory.”

He was an active member of Varnell Church. He served as a Stephen Minister, on the security team and was a faithful member of the Romeo Club.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Curtis and Lydia Kell and brother-in-law, Tim Canup.

He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Ann Kell; son and daughter-in-law, Dustin and Jenifer Kell of Canton; daughters and son-in-law, Annie and Levi Worley of Villanow and Abby Schlueter of Melbourne Beach, Florida; sister, Hollie Canup of Dalton; grandchildren, Katheryn Kell, Caden Kell, Kendyl Kell, Hank Worley and Lincoln Schlueter; niece and nephew, Susie and Hunter Cruse, and a great niece and nephews.

The funeral service will be held Saturday, June 1, 2024, at noon at Varnell Church with the Rev. Chris Branscomb and the Rev. Stephen Street officiating. Mr. Kell will lie in state at the church from 11 until the service hour.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home Friday, May 31, from 5-8 p.m. Burial will be in Varnell Cemetery.

Messages of comfort may be sent to the family at

Arrangements are by Julian Peeples Funeral Home of Dalton. For more information, please call 706-259-7455.


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