James Randall Lay, age 96 of Rocky Top, TN, slipped the bonds of mortality putting on immortality December 17, 2022. James was born Oct. 8th,1926 in Pine Knott Kentucky to the late Thomas Jefferson Lay and Amanda Lay, growing up during the Great Depression. James was the last surviving of 12 children. He was drafted into the Army shortly after his 18th birthday, was aboard a troop ship on his way to the South Pacific when the war ended. After military service he ventured to Detroit working in automobile assembly plants before returning to McCreary County Kentucky working for RECC electric before going to work for TVA where he retired in 1988 after more than 37 years. He enjoyed playing the guitar and harmonica in church and also serving as church clerk/treasurer for many years. James also loved the outdoors enjoying gardening, bird watching and sitting on the porch with his late wife Reba. HE was also quite the cook when it came to beef stew, pinto beans and cornbread. Everyone who knew him called him Peepaw, a title bestowed upon him by his first grandchild.
James is preceded in death by his parents Thomas Jefferson Lay and Amanda Lay, and his wife of 70 years Reba Lay, and his siblings Walter Lay, Virgil Lay, Hobert Lay, Kenneth Lay, Fred Lay, Raymond Lay and John Lay. Sisters Artie Stephens, Sally Manning, Flora Buttram and Marie Eignor,