Remembering those lost in the Gatlinburg fire

GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WATE/MEDIA GENERAL) — Gatlinburg officials confirmed 14 people died following the wildfires in Sevier County.

Pam Johnson

Pam Johnson (source: Karyssa Dalton)
Pam Johnson (source: Karyssa Dalton)

Family members say that DNA samples confirm the 14th person killed in the Gatlinburg wildfires has been positively identified as missing grandmother Pamela Johnson.

The 59-year-old grandmother lived in Gatlinburg for the last 15 years and worked as a clerk at McKinney’s Market and Deli. Known as “Mama Pam.” She was last seen leaving work the night of November 28.

Robert Hejny

Robert Hejny (source: family)
Robert Hejny (source: family)

The National Park Service says the body of Robert Hejny, 63, was discovered at Traveler’s Motel in Gatlinburg.

Elaine Brown

The National Park said Elaine Brown, 81, of Sevierville died after a car accident that happened on Wears Valley Road while she was trying to evacuate.

Alice Hagler

Alice Hagler
Alice Hagler (Source: family)

Alice Hagler had been working at a Christmas store in the area. She moved to Gatlinburg only five months ago.

Family members said they were notified of her death Wednesday night. Her body was discovered in her burned down cabin.

She was 70 years old.

Constance, Lily and Chloe Reed


Pastor Philip Morris at Parkway Church of God says they have received confirmation through the Sevier County Sheriff’s Office that the body of Constance Reed, Michael’s wife, has been recovered. Family said two bodies were found near Constance Reed and they believe they are Lily, 9, and Chloe, 12, but they are waiting for a positive identification from a medical examiner’s office.

“Our hearts are broken to receive this news. We ask for everyone to continue in prayer for this family,” said Morris.

After hearing about the fires, Michael Reed and his son tried to drive to Gatlinburg. However, the two got stuck in traffic and were not able to turn around.

The last time he heard from them, he told his wife to call 911 for help after she said she saw flames across the street from the home. Michael Reed and his son were able to get into Gatlinburg to visit shelters, but couldn’t find them.

Jon and Janet Summers

Summers family (source: Family via WKRN)
Summers family (source: Family via WKRN)

Jon and Janet Summers, of Memphis, were in the Great Smoky Mountains with their family for Thanksgiving.

The couple, both 61, were separated from their three sons while evacuating the cabin they were staying in. Their bodies were found in Chalet Village.

The three brothers escaped and were sent to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville for treatment.

Reverend Ed Taylor

Reverend Ed Taylor was found dead outside of his home due to smoke inhalation, according to son who spoke with detectives.

The World War II veteran was 85 and is originally from Johnson City. He has lived in Gatlinburg since 1978.

Taylor retired from Gatlinburg Chapel Ministries last year. His dog Bebe, a 10-year-old tea-cup poodle, was found wandering the property. The dog is now with the family.

“He would have never left that house without that dog,” said his son Eddie Taylor.

John and Marilyn Tegler

John and Marilyn Tegler (Dave and Marnie Lapointe via CBC)
John and Marilyn Tegler (Dave and Marnie Lapointe via CBC)

John and Marilyn Tegler, of Canada, were vacationing at their home near Gatlinburg for the Thanksgiving weekend. Their bodies were found close to the home Skyline Drive in Chalet Village.

Dave Lapointe, their son-in-law, told The Canadian Press they tried to flee but didn’t make it.

Lapointe said the couple had dual American and Canadian citizenship and also had a residence in Georgia.

John was 71 years old and Marilyn  was 70.

May Vance

May Vance (source: Atchley Funeral Home)
May Vance (source: Atchley Funeral Home)

May Vance was exposed to smoke while trying to escape the wildfires and later died of a heart attack.

She was 75 years old.

According to her obituary, Vance lived in Gatlinburg. She previously lived in Nashville where she graduated from Hillsboro High School. She spent most of her adult life working in Nashville at her husband’s law firm.

Bradley Phillips

Bradley Phillips (source: Family)

Bradley Phillips, 59, was found deceased on Long Hollow Road.


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