Snow in the Secret City and a Death in the Family

The Archaeology in Tennessee blog would like to report that we have a phenomenal amount of snow on the ground in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  It is approximately half past midnight, and the snow is still coming down hard.  My best estimate is that we have about 6 – 8 inches right now.  This will surely increase overnight and well into tomorrow morning.  We have not had this much snow and snow of this sustained intensity since the Great Blizzard of 1993.  It is a real winter wonderland here.

I am also sad to report that my wife’s mother (Lillian Sarten), who was in a local nursing home, died this evening at about 8:10 p.m., just as the snow storm started picking up.  Some of our best archaeological friends from decades past regularly visit this blog and know my wife Kathy very well—and some of you have even met her mom at various times over the years.  Kathy’s mom graciously offered up her spare avacado green refrigerator for use in the field crew kitchen at the Tellico Archaeological Project in the summer of 1977 when we were excavating the Middle Woodland component at the Icehouse Bottom site and assorted components at several other sites.

Historically, standup comedians have decried the mother-in-law as a tough old battle ax.  Lillian was nothing like that.  She was one of the nicest and kindest people who ever lived.  We loved each other very much and got along famously over the years.  We will all miss her very much.

The funeral arrangements have not been made or announced because her death occurred only a few hours ago and because the winter storm has everyone “hunkering down” at assorted safe, indoor locations.  However, she will be at the Click Funeral Home in Lenoir City, Tennessee, over the next few days if you would like to come by to pay your respects or send flowers.  The URL for the funeral home is as follows, and the final arrangements will no doubt be posted on their website soon:

You folks have a safe and happy evening!!!

1 thought on “Snow in the Secret City and a Death in the Family

  1. Dave

    I am very sorry to hear of Mrs. Sarten’s passing. You know how much I thought of both Kathy’s parents – my “family away from home.” Please give Kathy my very best.


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