Cover photo for Lois Smith Estes's Obituary
Lois Smith Estes Profile Photo
1927 Lois 2021

Lois Smith Estes

January 5, 1927 — June 28, 2021

Lois Smith Estes, 94, of Maryville and native of Athens, Tennessee plus formerly of Sweetwater, passed away on June 28, 2021. She was a 1945 graduate of McMinn County High School. She studied piano with the late Frances C. Moffitt of Tennessee Wesleyan College and earned her piano pedagogy certificate under the tutorship of the late Harold Cadek of the Cadek Conservatory of Music in Chattanooga. She studied pipe organ with the late Maurice D. Peterson of Knoxville.

“Miss Lois” was a well-known piano teacher in the Athens-Sweetwater area for many years. She was a charter member and former president of the Athens Area Music Teachers Association, participating in numerous master classes. Many of her students received top awards in state competitions, and several of them decided upon careers in music. After living for twenty-one years in Sweetwater, she moved to Maryville in 2006 to be near her daughter and family. She had fifteen very happy years at Cochran Place in Maryville where she and dear friends and neighbors, the “carport crew”, enjoyed countless hours of companionship and laughter while sitting together on Miss Lois’ carport.

As a child, Lois grew to appreciate and love nature. She would spend countless hours climbing trees and watching birds and their young. She learned to recognize the songs and calls of most native East Tennessee bird species. She became an avid gardener in her youth. Later, she grew beautiful flower gardens and was always eager to share her flowers and knowledge of flowers with everyone.

Mrs. Estes was preceded in death by her husband, Ernest B. Estes, parents, Merrill and Frances Smith, and seven brothers and sisters. She is survived by daughter, Frances Merrill Estes Leonard, son-in-law Christopher J. Leonard, granddaughter, Madeline Frances Leonard, and grandson, Broderick Christopher Leonard. She is also survived by stepdaughter, Carolyn Estes Varnell and husband, Roddy Varnell, of Ringgold, Georgia (step-grandsons Graham, Zach, and Austin Varnell); stepdaughter, Andrea Estes Hagood and husband, Steve Hagood, of Knoxville (step-grandsons Michael, Nathan, and Philip Hagood); and stepson, Tom Estes of North Bend, Washington (step-granddaughters Emily and Ashley Estes). She has six step-granddaughters-in-law and seven step-great-grandchildren. Her surviving sibling is sister, Hildegard Smith, of Dallas, Texas. Additionally, she is survived by many nieces and nephews.

The family plans a Celebration of Life in August. If family and friends would like to make a memorial gift, Miss Lois wished to support the Blount County Animal Shelter, 233 Currie Avenue, Maryville, Tennessee 37804.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lois Smith Estes, please visit our flower store.

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