Mr. Charles Edward Sprinkle, age 83, of Smyrna, TN died peacefully on Monday, January 21, 2019. Born on December 3, 1935 in the Powell Community of Knox County, TN, he was the younger of two sons born to John Clarence and Hazel Anne Whitehead Sprinkle. He married his high school sweetheart, Marion Sunya Porter, in 1954.
Charles was a graduate of Powell High School and a 1959 graduate of the University of Tennessee. He was a retired industrial engineer with nearly 40 years of service to NASA’s space flight center at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, AL. The highlight of his career was Mission Manager for Space Shuttle Flight USML-1/STS-50. Charles was a talented singer and participated in church choirs, community choirs, and musicals. He performed several years in the Cancer Society benefit show, The Fabulous ‘50’s, in Fayetteville, TN. He was particularly interested to learn about his mother’s birthplace and the Whitehead family heritage in historic Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Charles is survived by his wife of 64 years, Sunya Porter Sprinkle; daughters, Leslie Hughes and her husband Randy of Palm Harbor, FL, Teresa Carnes of Knoxville, TN and Kimberly Hopkins and her husband Roger of Murfreesboro, TN; nephew, Robert Taylor Sprinkle, Jr. of Merritt Island, FL; grandchildren, Daphne Holliman of Palm Harbor, Jonas Carnes of Knoxville, Jordan Carnes of Alexandria, VA, Kathryn Johnson of Murfreesboro, Samantha Carney and her husband Jon of Spring Hill, TN, Matthew Johnson of Knoxville; and great-grandchildren, Shelby Holliman, Liam Johnson, and Zoe Johnson. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his older brother, Robert Taylor Sprinkle, Sr.
Visitation with the family will be Saturday, February 2, 2019 from 1:00pm until 3:00pm at Kedron United Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 at 3:00pm at Kedron United Methodist Church. Rev. Barry Culbertson will officiate. Burial will take place at a later date at the Primitive Baptist Church in historic Cades Cove near his mother and other Whitehead family ancestors.
Memorials may be made to Friends of the Smokies, PO Box 1660, Kodak, TN 37764-7660 in memory of Mr. Sprinkle. Your gift will help to provide for the historic preservation, environmental education, and wildlife management in the nation’s most-visited national park.