Annie Lee Richardson Schlatter
21 October 1924 - 18 March 2007
SCHLATTER, ANNIE LEE RICHARDSON – known to her many
friends as “BABE” SCHLATTER – died on Sunday, 18 March 2007 at St. Mary’s
Hospice; she succumbed to pancreatic cancer. She was born 21 October 1924 in
East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, the daughter of Clarence J. Richardson and
Annie Lee Dudding, both deceased. She grew up in Centreville, Wilkinson County,
Mississippi. She married Joseph A. Schlatter, Sr., on 14 November 1943; he died
in Knoxville, Tennessee, 29 November 2005. Babe and Joe Schlatter and their two
sons moved to Knoxville in 1951 where they lived continuously except for a brief
period, 1962 – 1964, when business took them to Anniston, Alabama.
She is survived by: two sons and daughters-in-law whom
she loved as her own daughters, Joe and Rose, and, John and Becky; four
grandchildren, Stephanie, Joe, Valerie, and John Michael; three
great-grandchildren, Phil, Jack, and Jay; one yet unborn great-grandchild; two
sisters, Mrs. Mary Christine Richardson Hemphill of Pass Christian, MS, and Mrs.
Mable Dudding Richardson Savoie of Belle Rose, LA; brother-in-law Mr. Fred
Schlatter of Knoxville; and by several nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was
preceded in death by a brother, Clarence James Richardson, Jr., of Cleveland,
Babe Schlatter was a devoted Christian whose life is an
example of Jesus’ commandments to “Love your neighbor as yourself” and to “Teach
the Gospel to all people.” Raised as a Southern Baptist, she followed her
husband to the Presbyterian faith and, if the Presbyterian Church sanctified
saints, she is one. During the 1950’s she taught neighborhood Bible classes for
children through Knoxville Child Evangelism. A member of Park City Presbyterian
Church for over twenty years, she taught high school age Sunday School, high
school youth group, women’s Bible study, Vacation Bible School, and led women’s
Circles. She was a member of Fairmont Presbyterian Church for over thirty years
where she taught adult Sunday School and Bible lessons, Vacation Bible School,
and women’s bible study, and, was active in women’s Circles. She served as a
Presbytery representative to the Presbyterian Church’s General Assembly.
For twenty years she served Knoxville Spiritual Heritage
where her principal joy was arranging the annual Knoxville Prayer Breakfast.
Mayor Bill Haslam officially recognized her for this service by proclaiming 15
April 2005 as “Babe Schlatter Day” in Knoxville.
She served thirty years as a Board member for Youth of
Knoxville Evangelism – YOKE Ministries – where she made important, positive
contributions to hundreds of middle-school youth in and around Knoxville.
Babe Schlatter worked for 33 years as office manager for
Shafer Insurance Agency where she was known by all who did business with the
Agency for her cheerful smile and her careful attention to their needs.
She was an avid and accomplished gardener and cook; she
filled her lawn with multitudes of flowers and shrubs and her table with fine,
Southern food. Her lawn was filled with bird feeders and she knew all her bird
friends by name. Babe Schlatter was a knowledgeable and dedicated sports fan;
college football and college men’s and women’s basketball were her favorites –
she played on her high school women’s basketball team in the early 1940’s. Her
favorite teams were LSU and UT – which led to an occasional conflict – she was
especially excited about the current UT men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Throughout her life and her 56-year sojourn in Knoxville,
her heart remained in the cotton fields, piney woods, bayous, and rural life of
her beloved Mississippi and Louisiana. She held fast to her genteel Mississippi
accent and manners. She served as her family genealogist, maintaining family
heirlooms, legends, and records dating to the early 1800’s. During her last
days with her family, she told them stories of memories from her childhood in
rural Louisiana and Mississippi – believing as she did that the “past is never
dead. It is not even past.”
In accordance with their wishes, Babe and Joe Schlatter
were cremated and will be interred side-by-side in the soil of the Mississippi
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be
made in her memory to: YOKE Ministries, 1401 Cecil Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917.
A memorial service to celebrate Babe Schlatter’s life will
be held at Fairmont Presbyterian Church, 2537 Fairmont Blvd., Knoxville, at 6:30
PM, Wednesday, 21 March.