KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The community is mourning the death of Sue Atchley, a former interim state senator, and widow of longtime state senator Ben Atchley.

Atchley, 85, died Wednesday after suffering a stroke.

She was very active in politics, according to her obituary.

Sue was a member of the Knox County Republican Club and served for many years as an Election Day Precinct Officer at Mt Olive School. She volunteered for numerous political campaigns and worked tirelessly throughout her husband's legislative career, and even took office herself.

Atchley was sworn in as State Senator for District 6 in 2011, serving the remaining term of Jamie Woodson. 

She was also very active in the South Knoxville community, her church, and local schools.

She was beloved by her family and is survived by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and more.

Her husband of 68 years passed away last November.

"While I was sad to hear the news of Sue's passing, I'm comforted knowing she'll get to spend this Christmas in Heaven reunited with Ben," said Congressman Tim Burchett. "The Atchleys were dear friends and mentors who served our state and our community selflessly. Their entire family is in my prayers." 

"All who knew Sue are heartbroken by this great loss," Lt. Gov Randy McNally said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. "'Miss Sue' always looked for ways to help people and make her community and the state of Tennessee a better place.'"

According to her obituary, Family and friends will meet at New Prospect Presbyterian Church Cemetery, 4920 Prospect Rd. on Sunday, December 15, at 2:00 p.m. for a graveside service. Following the graveside, the family will receive friends at Graystone Presbyterian Church, 139 S. Woodlawn Pike, until 4:00 p.m. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 4:00 p.m. 

Memorials may be made in the name of Sue Atchley to Graystone Presbyterian Church, Meals on Wheels, PO Box 51650 Knoxville, TN 37950 ( or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be offered at