Cover photo for Emmett Chastain's Obituary
Emmett Chastain Profile Photo
1939 Emmett 2021

Emmett Chastain

July 8, 1939 — December 25, 2021

William Emmett Chastain, age 83, a resident of Knoxville, passed away Saturday, December 25, 2021.  Upon his honorable discharge of the United States Marine Corp in 1962, he returned to Cleveland and became an active leader at the Boys Club of Cleveland.  He then began working for Cletus Benton.  He served as the manager of the Cleveland Shoney’s from 1972 to 1985.  He went on to be a Shoney’s franchisee in Athens, TN and Corbin, KY until his retirement in 1995.  Emmett and Wilma moved to Knoxville after their retirement to be closer to family. Emmett had many hobbies and interests such as gardening, woodworking, attending his grandchildren’s sporting events and school activities, and watching the Atlanta Braves.  He was especially proud of his son, Whitney Jason Chastain, who retired from the United States Navy, and his grandson, LCP Cooper Hicks USMC.  Returning to Parris Island for the first time since 1958 to attend Cooper’s Marine Corp Boot Camp graduation in 2019 was one of the highlights of his life.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and Mattie (Dilbeck) Chastain; his siblings:  Parks Chastain, Geraldine Grubs, Hildred Darnell, Charlotte Freeman, Harvey Chastain, Bettye Johnson, Thomas Chastain, and Patsy Shell; and his grandson, Carter William Hicks.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Wilma Faye Webb Chastain of Knoxville, TN; son, W. Tyler Chastain (Heather) of Knoxville, TN; his son, Whitney Jason Chastain (Holli) of Kingsort, TN; and his daughter, Emily Chastain Hicks of Knoxville, TN; grandchildren, Haleigh Chastain of Knoxville, TN; Holly Chastain Molnar (Andrew) of Nashville, TN; Hudson A. Chastain of Knoxville, TN; Daniel Chastain of Birmingham, AL; Grace Whitney Chastain of Kingsport, TN; Colin Jason Chastain of Kingsport, TN; Cooper W. Hicks (Taylor) of Camp Lejuene, NC; his brother, Douglas Chastain of Cleveland, TN, as well as many nieces and nephews.

A Family Graveside Service will be held Thursday, December 30, 2021 at 1:00 Hilcrest Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Joe Brooks officiating.  A white dove release ceremony and the playing of bagpipes will conclude the service.


We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Chastain family guestbook at

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