Johnnie DeFriese


Johnnie Ruth DeFriese, 86, of Cleveland, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019.

She was born on July 22, 1932, to the late Ben and Lela Smith. 

She had lived in Cleveland for the past 63 years. She worked at Magic Chef for many years. She enjoyed bowling, fishing, and cooking for her family and friends. She was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew her. 

In addition to her mother and father, she was preceded in death by her brothers: Bill Smith and J.P. Allen; sister, Bea Davis; and stepgranddaughter, Candance Tunnell. 

She leaves behind to cherish her memory, her loving husband of 43 years, Charlie DeFriese; daughters: Glenda Chastain (Bobby), Gail Eslinger (Steve), and Teresa Gilbert (Steve); sisters: Sarah Little (Don) and Judy Lundquist; stepchildren: Kimberly Tunnell and Calvin DeFriese; grandchildren: Kelley West (Billy), Bobby Chastain Jr. (Carmin), Chad Eslinger (Joy), Heath Eslinger (Brandi), Jason Gilbert (Laura), and Stephanie Oliver; stepgrandchildren: Erin Tunnell, Carmeron Tunnell, Shea Tunnell, Eric DeFriese, and Kayla DeFriese; 22 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. 

The family will receive friends from 4 until 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019, at Heritage Fellowship Church of God, located at 4635 S. Lee Highway, McDonald, TN 37353. 

A Celebration of Life service will follow visitation at 7 p.m., with Chris Moody, Steve Gilbert, Heath Eslinger, Jason Gilbert,and Bobby Chastain Jr. officiating. 

Interment will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Sunset Memorial Gardens. with Chase Oliver, Jacob Gilbert, Parker Chastain, Reed Eslinger, Seth Eslinger, Eli Eslinger, and Carson Eslinger serving as pallbearers. 

A funeral procession will leave Companion Funeral Home at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

You are invited to share a personal memory of Johnnie, or your condolences with her family, at her online memorial located at


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