Neil W. Rawls, 87, died peacefully in his Martin home on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, after a long illness and complications due to COVID. A graveside service, officiated by Rev. Randy Cooper was held on Sunday, November 8 at 2 p.m. at New Hope Cemetery in the Chestnut Glade community.
Neil was born June 7, 1933, to Felts Rawls and Ruby Grubb Rawls, who preceded him in death. He was the oldest of four siblings and is survived by Sherry Harrison of Hendersonville, TN; Edna Harris of Martin, TN; and Joe Rawls of Springville, TN.
Diagnosed with retinal disease RP as a child, Neil did not allow his blindness to dim his light. He graduated from Martin High School and ran a successful vending/canteen business at UT Martin, WMHI in Bolivar, TN, and Henry I. Siegel in Gleason, where he met his wife Jane (Jama Rue Buntin).
Neil and Jane celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary in June 2020. He is survived by his loving wife, along with their daughters Stephanie (Randy) Light of Kennesaw, GA, and Jennifer (Derrick) Head of Alpharetta, GA. “Pops” is also survived by his three adoring grandchildren Riley and Mattie Lou Light, and Connor Head.
Neil will be remembered for his devotion to his family and his church home of FUMC Martin. He inspired many with his faith, his work ethic, his remarkable memory, his generosity, and his perseverance.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to Leader Dogs for the Blind in memory of Neil and his beloved leader dog Max, the Foundation for Fighting Blindness, the First United Methodist Church in Martin, TN, or the charitable organization of your choice.
Leader Dogs for the Blind, PO Box 5000, Rochester, MI 48308; Foundation for Fighting Blindness, PO Box 45740, Baltimore, MD 21297; Martin First United Methodist Church, 225 Main Street, Martin, TN, 38237.
(Paid obit by the family)