Vella Calfee, age 93 of Newport, passed away Saturday, February 13, 2021 at her home.

She was a long-time member of New Home Freewill Baptist Church, where she served in various roles through the years, including piano player, song leader, and clerk.

She retired from Enka/BASF and Douglas Cherokee; was deeply involved in the Cocke County Republican Party, and was renowned for her famous sweet tea.

Miss Vella was preceded in death by her parents, James & Bertie (Reed) Calfee; and her sister, Zetta Lois Huskins.

She is survived by her son, Robert Lee Caldwell; and special friend, Mary Holt.

The family would like to extend special thanks to her caregivers, Lisa Morie, Becky Shipley, and Paulette Pier; as well as the staff of Caris Hospice.

A graveside service was held in the New Home Cemetery at 2 p.m., Tuesday, February 16, 2021 where Pastor Doug King officiated.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to the Cemetery Fund at New Home Freewill Baptist Church.

Family & friends may offer condolences online at

Brown Funeral Home is honored to serve the Vella Calfee family.

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