John Frierson Killebrew peacefully passed away at home on June 15, 2022. Johnny was born October 31, 1941, in Chattanooga, TN to Margaret Kruesi Killebrew and Robert Sterling Killebrew. His grandparents were Paul and Myra Smartt Kruesi and George and Donna Frierson Killebrew. He attended Lookout Mountain Elementary, the McCallie School and the University of Virginia, where he was the President of the SAE fraternity. Following his service to his country in the US Army, he spent his entire 55-year career in the insurance brokerage business which began at the firm, Killebrew, Lyman & Woodworth, in Chattanooga.
Johnny was a championship tennis player at his schools, lettering at both McCallie and UVA and won the Chattanooga City Tennis Championship in 1959. He also loved the game of golf and enjoyed an exceptionally long-running annual trip to Willow Point, Alexander City, AL, with the same group for 50 years.
He was a member of the Mountain City Club, the Lookout Mountain Club, the Highlands Country Club, the Hillsboro Club, and the United States Senior Golf Society.
Johnny was blessed to come from a legacy of men who believed in being productive, self-reliant and self-disciplined. For this reason, Johnny supported numerous worthwhile causes and served on numerous boards in the Chattanooga community.
He was a member of St Paul’s Episcopal Church, Chattanooga, but he felt closest to God at The Little Brown Church in Summertown on Signal Mountain as a child and at Summer Chapel near Highlands, NC as an adult.
Johnny is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jane Jordan (Candy) Roberts; his three daughters, Jane Jordan (Fluff) Roberts (Atkins) of Birmingham, AL, Margaret Kruesi (Kippie) Griffin (Alex) of Greenville, NC and Amelia Anderson (Presh) Ashe (John) of Lookout Mtn, TN; his two brothers, Robert Sterling Killebrew Jr. (Pedie) of Cockeysville, MD; and Paul Kruesi Killebrew (Joyce) of Hanover, NH. Among his greatest joys were his six grandchildren, Atkins, John Killebrew and Anderson Roberts; Kruesi and Xander Griffin; and John (Bap) Ashe.
The facts of his life barely begin to describe Johnny, who was beloved by all who met him. His honesty, good sportsmanship, selflessness, and humble and kind nature are what will be remembered. His motto can best be summed up in the words of Grantland Rice, “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your names He writes - not that you won or lost - but how you played the Game.”
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The McCallie School, 500 Dodds Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37404.
Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.
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