Anna Ruth McKissic Henley


On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, just before sunset, our Heavenly Father looked upon His weary servant, Anna McKissic Henley, and, while surrounded by her loving family, sent His angels to carry her home.  

She was the last surviving member of one of the pioneering Black families of Polk County.

She was the daughter of the late Evan D. and Mae G. McKissic.

She attended King School in Benton, and graduated salutatorian from historic College Hill High School in Cleveland, where she sang in the Glee Club. She was also Homecoming queen. 

Anna accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Benton, under the pastorate of the late Rev. Crutcher. Anna loved the Lord and spent her life serving Him both in and out of church. She had a beautiful soprano voice that she used to glorify God. 

Along with her parents, she was preceded in death by her loving husband of 49 years, Homer Eugene Henley Sr.; three sisters: Geneva McKissic Jones, Dorothy McKissic Paster, and Florine McKissic Meredith.; six brothers: Jesse L. McKissic, Elbert L. McKissic, Paul H. McKissic, Evan D. McKissic Jr., Gene A. McKissic and Robert L. McKissic; two nephews: Franklin Blair and Benjamin Paster Jr.; and one great-nephew, Langston Carter. 

Anna leaves four children to carry on her legacy: Alfreada (Luther) Westfield of Phoenix, Ariz., Acquilla Harley of Louisville, Tim Henley of Loudon, and Homer Eugene (Belinda) Henley Jr. of Cleveland; four grandchildren: Monica Ruth Harley of Knoxville, Garnetta Holloway of Scottsdale, Ariz., Frank Harley of Knoxville, and Gene Henley III of Cleveland; one great-grandson, Judah Sault; five nieces: Paula McKissic of Indiana, Benita McKissic of Kentucky, Natalie McKissic Brown of Cleveland, Velma Denise McKissic of Cleveland, and Anna Paster Bocage of Colorado; three nephews: James McKissic of Chattanooga, Maurice McKissic of Philadelphia, and Gene Austin McKissic of Philadelphia; three great-nieces; and two great-nephews. 

Anna had a passion for helping young people pursue higher education. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to: Loudon District Scholarship Fund, Regions Bank, 178 Paul Huff Parkway, Cleveland, TN 37312 or any Regions Bank or Dunbar Rosenwald School Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 376, Loudon, TN 37774. 

There will be a walk-through visitation in the chapel of M.D. Dotson & Sons Funeral Home in Cleveland on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Homegoing service for Anna Henley will be 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Loudon, with Elder Bobby Fields delivering the eulogy and the Rev. Edward S. Robinson Sr. officiating.  

There will be a walk-through visitation prior to the service at the church, from noon to 2 p.m.

Interment will be at Riverview Cemetery in Loudon.   

The funeral home will be in compliance with COVID-19 requirements. Masks are required and social distancing recommended.


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