William T. Muse
May 13, 2022
Date of Service: May 21, 2022
Interment Location: Masonic Garden
Bill was born in Elizabethton, Tennessee, but made Johnson City his home and place of business for over ninety years. He was the son of the late Mayland “Ducky” Muse and Valarie Muse Ferguson, step-mother Thelma “Suze” Muse and step-father Guy Ferguson, Esquire.
Bill graduated from Science Hill High School in 1945. After graduation, Bill enlisted in the United States Navy, serving as a Machinist’s Mate, Third Class on the USS Bennett destroyer during World War II, where he was awarded the Victory Medal and American Theatre Medal. He was honorably discharged at the end of WWII. Following his military service, Bill attended the University of Tennessee where he studied architecture and mechanical engineering and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Fraternity.
Bill worked in the family business, Muse Incorporated, until he became an entrepreneur. He started East Tennessee Sprinkler Company Inc. and never looked back. He ran the company over forty years alongside his wife, Erma. In addition, his two children Bill Jr. and Sherrye did whatever was needed to assist with building the company. He served as president of the Tennessee Fire Sprinkler Association for five years and worked cooperatively with numerous fire protection agencies and private businesses throughout the state of Tennessee.
Bill was a member of the Grand Lodge #486 in Johnson City, Tennessee, Order of Free and Accepted Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star, Nolichucky Grandview #194 in Johnson City, Tennessee. He served on numerous committees during his membership. Bill was also active in several other community and service organizations.
Upon retirement, Bill enjoyed playing Putt-Putt, winning over one hundred tournaments. He enjoyed watching golf tournaments and baseball, especially the Atlanta Braves and the Cincinnati Reds. He was also a member of Johnson City Senior Center’s Musical Voices, lending his beautiful voice to the group as they performed at events across the region. He also enjoyed his many extended beach trips over the years to the Gulf Coast of Florida where he could feel the gulf breeze daily and watch the sunset nightly.
In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Erma Morefield Muse, his half-brothers, Johnny and Mickey Muse.
Survivors include his son William “Bill” Muse, Jr. and his wife Mary Ann; daughter Sherrye Muse Orr; granddaughter Jennifer Orr McGuffey and her husband Jeff; great grandson Hunter McGuffey; sister-in-law Barbara Minor; half-sister Sally Muse Kohn; Betty Muse sister-in-law; loyal nephew Lance Elliott and niece Whitney Bolton; niece Beth Elliott Tarr: grandnephews Riley Bolton and Christopher Tarr; nephew Randy Oakes; nieces Kelly Muse Reed; Melonee McKinney Hurt; nephews Mike Muse, Bobby Muse, and Matt McKinney.
Bill was not only beloved by his family, but also by many friends, business associates, and colleagues throughout the state of Tennessee. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, and was affectionately known by many as “Poppy.” Bill dedicated his life to others during his career by ensuring the community’s safety through fire protection, and in other aspects of his life by wearing a welcoming smile and meeting everyone he encountered with a joke.
The family would like thank to the following agencies and individuals for the care and compassion they showed our beloved dad over the past years: James H. Quillen VA Medical Center, Quillen Rehabilitation Hospital, Johnson City Medical Center, Amedisys Hospice and Home Health Care, Providence Companion Care Homemaker Services, Dr. Anne Eberhart and Dr. Blair Reece of ETSU Physicians & Associates and staff, Dr. William Dyer D.D.S., Makenesy Campbell D.D.S and staff, Missy Nelson, First TN Agency on Aging and staff, Karen Parker, Meals on Wheels of Johnson City, Washington County staff and their awesome volunteers, Johnson City EMS, Fire Department, Police department and Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the staff of East Tennessee Sprinkler Company.
The family of Mr. William “Bill” Muse will receive friends from 1 to 2 PM Saturday, May 21, 2022, in the Tetrick Funeral Services Chapel in Johnson City. The funeral service will follow at 2 PM. The graveside committal service will be conducted at Happy Valley Memorial Gardens immediately following the funeral service. Military honors will be conducted by Veterans Honor Guard DAV #39. Active and honorary pallbearers include Bill Muse Jr, Jeff McGuffey, Hunter McGuffey, Lance Elliott, Jeff Aron, Dave Melton, Riley Bolton, Harry Dorr, Terry Whitaker, Don Chase, Thomas Cook, Will Banner, Dan Estes, Randal “Butch” Carver, Phil Williams, and Kerry Gilbertson.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Johnson Professional Firefighters Association, 405 East Main Street Suite 1, Johnson City, TN.37601, (Johnson City Professional Firefighters Association) 423-282-1257, www.iaff179.org, in the honor of William (Bill) T. Muse Senior.