Charles J. “Buddy” Liner, 89, of Athens, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Buddy was a native of Athens, and was the son of the late Creed A. Liner and Iva J. Dodson. He was preceded in death by his cherished wife of 63 years, Dixie Coe Liner; and brothers, James C. Liner and Edward F. Dodson. He was a graduate of McMinn County High School, Tennessee Wesleyan College (University) and George Peabody College Master of Arts. Buddy proudly served his country in the United States Air Force during the Korean War on a B29 bomber as an ECMO. He was honorably discharged with numerous service medals including the Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and National Defense Service Medal. Upon his return to Athens, Buddy served at several educational institutions, including Tennessee Wesleyan University as Director of Admissions and Tennessee Technological University as Director of Housing. In 1968, his true calling was realized when he began working at Dodson Insurance Agency. For over 50 years, he thrived in the insurance field at Liner and Associates and Athens Insurance Agency. He was an active member of Keith Memorial United Methodist Church of Athens, where he served on the Administrative Board and was an usher for nearly 60 years. Buddy was known for his fundraising for local projects, including the McMinn County High School Athletic Facility Campaign, E.G. Fisher Public Library, McMinn Senior Activity Center, City of Athens Fireworks, Tennessee Wesleyan University, Boy Scouts of America and the United Way of McMinn & Meigs Counties. Buddy served his community in many capacities. He coached little league baseball, pee wee football, American Legion and Babe Ruth baseball. He served on the Athens Utilities Board (21 years) as chairman, Athens Chamber of Commerce, Tennessee State Board of Regents, Athens City Board of Education (19 years), Athens and McMinn County Y.M.C.A., Tennessee Wesleyan University Alumni Association and Board of Trustees, Athens Christmas Parade, Tennessee Republican Party, McMinn County Republican Party and the McMinn County Emergency and Rescue Squad. He received numerous honors for his exemplary service to his community and state, including the Man of the Year award from the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Statesman of the Year by the Tennessee Republican Party, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Tennessee Wesleyan University for persons exemplifying high ideals and community service, the VIVID Award from the City of Athens for volunteer community service, the United Way Dick Dyer Award for continuous community service, the Optimist Club Achievement in Education Award, was Grand Marshal of the Jimmy Liner Memorial Christmas Parade and was inducted in the Hall of Fame with Tennessee Wesleyan University, McMinn County High School Athletic Department and the American Softball Association. He was also mentioned in several publications including Personalities of the South, Book of Higher Education and Who’s Who in the Methodist Church. Buddy is survived by his devoted children and their spouses, Beverly L. and Terry Stansell, Nancy L. and Scott Cordell, Charles J. “Chuck” and Annette Liner and Christopher C. and LeAnn Liner; grandchildren and their spouses, Allison and Wayne Daniel, Aaron Stansell, Stephen and Shelby Stansell, Matthew and Sarah Cordell, Max Cordell, Madison Cordell, Hannah and Drew Patrick, Gabrielle Liner, Jason Melton, Hailey Melton, Mayson Liner, Emily Liner, Creed Liner and Ty Miller; 10 great-grandchildren; sisters, Barbara D. Parkinson and Jean D. Arrants; sister-in-law, Polly C. Liner; and several nieces and nephews. The family will receive friends on Monday, Jan. 13, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church. A memorial service will follow at 6 p.m. in the sanctuary. If you are unable to attend this service or visitation, sign the guest register at In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Nourish One Child Program at Keith Memorial United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 1, Athens, TN 37371 or Tennessee Wesleyan University, in memory of Charles J. Liner. Checks may be made payable to Tennessee Wesleyan University and mailed to: TWU Advancement Office, 204 E. College St., Athens, TN 37303. Smith Funeral & Cremation Services of Athens is honored to serve the family of Charles J. “Buddy” Liner.

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