Robert D. Proffitt was born August 24, 1929 and passed away on August 16, 2020. He served the community as a family physician for over 58 years. “Dr. Bob”, as he was often called, had a profound interest in people and befriended everyone he met. He traveled widely and chronicled his many encounters and unique experiences in a short book titled, “A Family Physician’s Journey”. Bob and his former wife, Lucy Ellen Hatmaker (deceased), had four children. Preceded in death by son Bob, Jr. (wife Connie, granddaughter Megan). Survived by daughter Karen Proffitt, Monument, CO (grandson Austin), son Steve Proffitt, Cupertino, CA (wife Arnita, granddaughters Layla, Maya), and son Kevin Proffitt (wife Kimberly, grandson Kevin Scott, granddaughter Kelsey). Bob grew up on a farm in Louisville, TN and enjoyed his lifelong friendships with his six siblings and 16 first cousins. Preceded in death by sister Mary (Dr. Bob Wright), Mary’s twin sister Margaret (Ben Cunningham), brother Harry (Margaret), brother Dr. James N. Proffitt (Ruth), sister-in-law Vera Proffitt, and brother-in-law Dean Bell. He is survived by brother William “Bill” Proffitt, Sr. and Bill’s twin sister, Betty Bell. Bob cherished his relationships with all his nieces and nephews (too numerous to mention). He loved family gatherings at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, as well as the Proffitt/Lowry/McGill family reunions often held at Mountain Homes. As a Captain in the U.S. Army, Bob served as a physician for the U.S. Embassy in South Korea, immediately following the war. He served as a Blount County Commissioner, Maryville City School Board member, Delegate to the Tennessee Medical Association, Past-President of the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, Chief of Staff for Blount Memorial Hospital and as a long-time member of the Maryville Kiwanis Club. Bob picked up tennis in his early fifties and ranked as one of the top five players in the state in his seventies. He would often pick up the phone at the last minute and call those on his “tennis list”, a group of friends he cherished. A special thank-you to Blount Memorial Hospital and Shannondale of Maryville for the great care Bob received during his brief stays. Many of his nurses, nursing assistants, and caregivers were former patients. Bob’s family is also grateful to all the office staff that worked in his practice over many years. Bob had a passion for Maryville College where he earned his undergraduate degree. He earned his M.D. from the University of TN, Memphis before completing his residency at the Medical College of VA. He played football and wrestled while attending Maryville College. Dr. Proffitt was a passionate supporter of the Maryville City, Alcoa City, and Blount County School systems. He was Past-Chair of the Blount County Education Foundation. He valued the administrators, students, teachers, and high school athletics. Bob was proud to have played for the Maryville High School football team which was undefeated in 1946. He often talked of his teammates and especially his dear friend Roy Kramer. Bob was a lifelong member of New Providence Presbyterian Church. Due to Covid19, a Celebration of Life may be planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to: The Robert D. Proffitt Pre-Med Memorial Scholarship at Maryville College (www.maryvillecollege.edu/giving/give-today/; Maryville College Advancement Office, 502 E Lamar Alexander Pkwy, Maryville, TN 37804; Maryville City Schools Foundation, 402 Melrose St, Maryville TN 37803 (https://www.maryvillecityschoolsfoundation.org/) or Blount County Education Foundation, 831 Grandview Dr., Maryville TN 37803. Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, 865-983-1000, www.SmithFuneralandCremation.com.
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