Skip to content

Obituary - Dixie Parnell



Dixie Inez Johnson Parnell, 97, of Newbern, died Wednesday, April 2, 2008 at her residence. She was a homemaker, a two-time world champion of the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration held in Shelbyville, and inducted into the Tennessee Walking Horse Hall of Fame along with her husband, James Franklin Parnell, in 1981. They were the first non-professionals and the first couple to be inducted, and she was the third woman to be inducted in the Hall of Fame.

Services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Newbern Cumber-land Presbyterian Church, where she was a member, with the Rev. George Butler officiating. Burial was held at the Fairview Cemetery in Newbern.

Survivors include a daughter, Treva Speight of Newbern; two grandchildren, Brad Franklin Speight of Seaside, Fla., and Jeff Franklin Speight of Jackson; and two great-grandchildren, Max Franklin Speight and Anna Marie Speight, both of Jackson.

She was preceded in death by her husband, James Franklin Parnell; a son, Jerry Johnson Parnell; a son-in-law, Frank Speight; her parents, Sharp and Alma Troy Johnson; two sisters, Connie Ray and Arly Hays; and two brothers, Herbert Johnson and Ted Johnson.

Pallbearers were Julian Johnson, Bennett Hays, Ted Johnson, Kevin Hill, Jay Johnson, Johnny Johnson, Matt Johnson, Adam Johnson, Jerry Mangrum and John Gordon Rudolph.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorials be directed to the Annette Funicello Research Fund for Neurological Diseases, 445 South Figuroa St., Suite 3400, Los Angeles, CA 90071-1438; or Newbern Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 310 East Main St., Newbern, TN 30859.

More Stories

  • Celebration releases tentative class schedule for 2021

    The Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration recently formed a committee to review and recommend changes to the Celebration’s class schedule. The committee has met over the last couple of months and reviewed past schedules, participation levels, industry trends and other criteria to come up with an initial class schedule. Read More
  • Make plans to attend the National Trainers' Show

    Make plans to attend the 53rd Annual National Trainers Show scheduled for March 18-20, 2021 at the Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn... Read More
  • TWHBEA offers Youth Medallion Program for 2021

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders and Exhibitors Association is proud to once again offer the Youth Medallion Program for the 2021 show season... Read More
  • Southern Championship relocates for 2021

    For many years the Georgia Walking Horse Exhibitors Association has sponsored and operated the Southern Championship Charity Horse Show... Read More
  • Walking In The Smokies stall deadline approaching

    The Walking In The Smokies Horse Show, scheduled for April 8-10, 2021, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is preparing for their first annual show and would like to send a reminder to anyone needing stalls that the deadline is March 15. Please contact Lexi Stinnett at 828-550-8520 to reserve stalls on the show grounds. Read More
  • Trainers' Show announces judges

    The Walking Horse Trainers’ Association National Trainers’ Show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. March 18-20, 2021. Judges for the three-day event will be Wayne Dean, Newton Parks and Johnny Puckett. Read More
  • USDA prepares for 2021 show season

    The USDA recently conducted their virtual HIO training course for the 2021 show season. The USDA and industry recently received the final report from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) and some of the recommendations in that report are communicated in the new processes the USDA will implement in 2021... Read More
  • WHOA hosts virtual awards ceremony

    On Saturday. February 20th, the Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) held their National High Point awards for 2020 on their WHOA Facebook page with winners who chose to be zooming in to accept their awards... Read More
  • WHOA to host virtual awards ceremony on February 20

    The Walking Horse Owners’ Association (WHOA) will recognize their award winners from the 2020 show season during a virtual awards ceremony on Saturday, February 20, 2021. The show will be broadcast live on WHOA’s Facebook page beginning at 6 pm central time. Read More
  • FAST Spring Showcase announces judging panel

    The FAST Spring Showcase is pleased to announce that John Fikes, Newton Parks and Sam Sorrell will judge this years’ two-day event. The show will be held at Calsonic Arena in Shelbyville, Tenn. April 16-17, 2021... Read More