Services Friday for physician, church leader

Sandra ClarkNorth Knoxville, Obits

Dr. Thomas B. Drinnen Jr. compiled a productive career as a physician and a church leader. He died on December 26, 2023, at age 86. From his obituary we learn:

Dr. Drinnen was a long-time family physician at UT Medical Center and was the medical director of Hillcrest Nursing Homes offering care to vulnerable older adults until the mid-1990s. He loved the extended church family at Arlington Church of Christ where he was a teacher and elder for 35 years.

He loved being a doctor like his dad and grandfather, and he spent much of his medical career serving underserved populations in Knoxville. He worked 3-1/2 years in Liberia, West Africa, as a medical missionary. While there he pioneered mobile clinics, allowing him to serve the spiritual and physical needs of many villages and communities.

Tom and wife Anita were honored for their work in Africa with the Farrar Award for Service in Medical Missions by the International Christian Hospital Foundation. They had two children: Susan Kehl, who holds a doctorate in nursing and health science and is dean of Carr College of Nursing at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas; and Tommy Drinnen, who is associate minister at Arlington Church of Christ and executive director of Hope Central, a 501(c)(3) located on Woodbine Avenue in the Parkridge community. He worked five years at the Village of Hope in Ghana, West Africa.

The family will receive friends at Arlington Church of Christ from 3-5 p.m. on Friday, December 29, 2023. A Celebration of Life will follow at 5 p.m. in the auditorium. The full obituary is here.

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