Cover photo for John Demps's Obituary
John Demps Profile Photo
1926 John 2011

John Demps

December 13, 1926 — May 28, 2011

Mr. John Henry Demps, age 84 was born September 13, 1926 to Henry Franklin Demps and Viola Morris Demps in White County, Tennessee. He passed away on May 28, 2011, at the Life Care Center in Sparta.

John Henry was a member of the Doyle Methodist Church. Owner of John Henry's Music Barn and Fiddle Shop for 30 plus years. His music creations were accepted December 30, 1977 into the American Music Folklore at the Smithsonian Institute. He played music at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in the 50's and was inducted into the Bluegrass USA Hall of Fame, Sparta, TN in 2009. John Henry was also well known for his storytelling, folklore and theater across the United States He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Morris Demps and Leslie (Hoss) Demps; sisters, Lizzie Lou Williams and Mary Jane Pedigo

John Henry is survived by wife of 62 years, Betty Virginia Demps; daughter, Cathy Whiteaker and husband Bobby of Cookeville; sons, Johnny Demps and Susan Daniels, Jimmy Demps and wife Rhonda , Jerry Ray Demps all of Sparta and Justin Demps and wife Donna of Livingston; sister, Fannie Sliger of Sparta; brother in law, Dudley Clark and wife Marie of Stuart, VA; 14 grandchildren, Rodney and Stephanie Richards, Reggie and Angie Richards, Jonessa and Jason Gunnels, Joey Demps, Dennis Demps, Derek Masters, Jessica and Josh Gunter, Jennifer and Nathan Bates, Johnathan and Jerrica Demps, Jake Demps, Jamie Demps, Jesse and Brandi Wolfram, Colton Hummel and Katy Hummel and 11 great grandchildren, Kelsea Richards Cantrell, Kylie Richards, Jake Richards, Jason Robinson, Nicholas Young, Allison Gunnels, Jacee Gunnels, Dakotah (Cooter) Patrick, Ali Mae Bates, Jackson Demps and Easton Wolfram; great-great grandchild, Makenna Grace Cantrell.

Family will receive friends Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. until 9 P.M. at Thurman Funeral Home.

Funeral service will be Monday, May 30, 2011 at 2:00 P.M. at Thurman Funeral Home. Bro. John Murphy will officiate.Interment will follow in the Upper Cherry Creek Cemetery.

At the families request In Lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Upper Cherry Creek Cemetery Fund, Att: Wayne Mullican, 712 Brookemeade Drive, Sparta,TN 38583. Please sign the guestbook at

Thurman Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Demps, please visit our flower store.


Visits: 8

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree