Opal Virginia Harrison Henley, 97, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on March 12, 2019. Opal was born on June 15, 1921, to James Hampton Harrison and Jo Ann Fisher Harrison. She married Earl H. Henley on Sept. 12, 1949. During their almost 56 years together, they lived in Knoxville, Johnson City, and Signal Mountain, before settling in Athens, where Earl practiced law until he was appointed chancellor of the 10th Judicial District in 1969. When Earl first began his law practice in Athens, Opal provided support by serving as his secretary. Earl and Opal Henley were active members at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church. She was an avid bridge player and thoroughly enjoyed working outdoors. Opal was an excellent cook and her hobbies included antiquing, reading, and sewing. Her sweet disposition, compassionate nature, and beautiful smile with a twinkle in her eye will remain in the hearts and memories of all who knew and loved her. She was a loving wife, mother, sister, and friend. She was preceded in death by her husband, Chancellor Earl H. Henley; sisters, Virgie Ferguson of Spring City, Margie Higgs of Paris, Mary Ruth Scheuerman of Lebanon, Edith George of Merritt Island, Fla., Helen Abbott of Little Rock, Ark., and Hazel Hurst of Delray Beach, Fla.; and two brothers, Joseph Clark Harrison of Lebanon, and James W. Harrison of Spring City. Opal is survived by sons Stephen (Denise) Henley of Brentwood, and David Henley of Knoxville; daughter, Alice (Phillips) Henley of Nashville; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family wishes to express appreciation to the caregivers at Morning Pointe Assisted Living in Athens, Belmont Village Assisted Living in Nashville, and Caris Hospice for their love and support. Graveside services will be held at 2 p.m. at Cedar Grove Cemetery on Friday, March 15, with Senior Pastor Dave Graybeal of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church presiding. Pallbearers will be Cary Davis, Jimmy Harrison, Todd Jewell, Bo Perkinson, Dick Pelley, and Chuck Ziegler. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chancellor Earl H. and Mrs. Opal H. Henley Scholarship at Tennessee Wesleyan University, 204 E. College St., Athens, TN 37303; Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1, Athens, TN 37371-0001; or to a charity of your choice. Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens is honored to serve the family of Opal Virginia Harrison Henley.

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