Mr. James Kent Poe, age 77, of Jefferson, passed away Tuesday night, March 7, 2017 at Ashe Memorial Hospital.
A private graveside service will be held upon Kent's request.
Mr. Poe was born in Ashe County on January 12, 1940 to the late Elmer and Doris Eller Poe. He graduated from Riverview High School as President of his 1959 class. Kent earned a BS degree in Agriculture from Berea College in Berea, Kentucky. Also he earned a Masters in Science Education from the University of Kentucky. He had lifelong friendships and bonds from his years in education; they were treasured throughout his life. He was a lifetime member of Phi Kappa Phi, an honors academic fraternity. He spent 30 years teaching vocational agriculture and horticulture in Kentucky, Buncombe County and Ashe County school systems.
He served as a deacon and was a Sunday school teacher for many years. He had a love for nurturing and discovering lead to the patent of a new Fraser Fir species, "Frosty."
Kent was an admiral in the New River Navy for his leadership in the fight to save the New River and farmland in Ashe and Surrounding counties. He testified before Congress, marched and advocated on the local, state and national level as part of this historical grassroots movement.
Kent loved his family and was proud of his Ashe County heritage. He enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was a talented writer and artist. He was athletic and competitive in all things. He enjoyed learning and talking about the histoy of our mountains and genealogical connections. He often visited people in the community and passed time sharing stories about days past. He was an avid Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan and a proud member of the "Big Blue Nation." As a man of strong faith, he lived that testimony daily. His happy place was when he was part of nature. You could find Kent hiking mountain paths or fishing until dark on Sunday afternoons. He loved his pets and had many special pets in his life. He found great comfort and pleasure in listening to bluegrass music, especially hearing his wife, Jo Anne, sing. Friends recall Kent saying, "God is calling his children home." Surely one was called home today. Rest in peace, rise in glory.
He was also preceded in death by his wife, Jo Anne "JoJo" Dishman Poe.
Mr. Poe is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Poe Gilbert, of Laurel Springs and Kelly Poe Vannoy and husband, Mark, of Jefferson; two sons, Shawn Poe and wife, Susan, of Helton and Chad Poe and wife, Janie, of Jefferson; a sister, Viola Blevins and husband, Ray, of Chilhowie, VA; a brother, Paul Poe and wife, Paulette, of West Jefferson; seven grandchildren, Sherman Gilbert, Mallory Vannoy, Staton Knight, Carson Knight, Maggie Knight, Hunter Knight and Laci Poe; several nieces and nephews also survive.
As a tribute to legacy of Kent Poe, the family suggests: take time to sit and visit with a friend, plant a tree that will bear fruit for others, or donate to the children's Sunday school class at Sugar tree Baptist Church in his memory.