Farming Rural 18

Alfred "Clarence" Dodson

September 19, 1936 ~ April 19, 2022 (age 85)


Alfred “Clarence” Dodson, of Sneedville, Tennessee, was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on April 19, 2022, at age 85. After a full day of working outside on his farm, he took his last breath just a few feet away from the precious house where he lived for 54 years.  

Clarence was born on September 19, 1936, in the home of his beloved parents, Elder Elmo and Velva Dodson, in the Dodson Holler along Big Creek.  But his fondest memories of his parents and his dear brother, Earl Lee Dodson, were centered around the house where they lived on Swan Creek Road. 

In addition to these houses, one of his dearest “homes” has always been Swan Creek Primitive Baptist Church, which he began attending soon after he was born, and where his father was pastor.  Professing faith and salvation in Jesus in 1948, he served as the church clerk for 20 years and taught Sunday School for 47 years.  His most principal church role, however, was that of song leader, and he loved opening the worship service every time the church congregated.  Clarence’s life centered around Swan Creek Church and his friends there.  As everyone who knew him can testify, his walk as a Christian was faithful, unwavering, strong, and pure.  His life was his message, and his ethics and actions were grounded in the love of his Savior. 

After graduating from Hancock County High School in 1956, Clarence attended Lincoln Memorial University, completing a bachelor’s degree in Math, with secondary teaching certification, in 1960.  After teaching at Clinch High School for four years, he went to work for the newly-established Department of Human Services in Sneedville, serving the public as a social worker from 1964 until his retirement in 2000.  He believed strongly in helping those less fortunate. 

Clarence married the love of his life, the beautiful Joyce Ann Royston, who stole his heart the day he saw her in a yellow pastel dress at a Brewers Chapel Homecoming.  On May 25, 1962, they were wed.  Their joyful lives were brightened with the birth of two girls, Danita and Malisha, to whom they dedicated themselves tirelessly in unconditional love and support.  Blessed with 41 years of marriage, Clarence became Joyce’s faithful caretaker when she was diagnosed with cancer in 2002.  After her death, he drew increased strength and comfort from his family, especially his grandchildren Caleb and Colleen, who brightened his days with their laughter and love.  In the last year of his life, it was his great-granddaughter, Nova Lee, who filed his heart with light, and his one wish was to see her walk, which happened during the last few weeks of his life. 

He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, his sister Vada, and his brother Howard.


Clarence is survived by;

His daughters; Danita Dodson and Malisha Dodson Seals

Son-in-law; Rev. Tommy Seals

Grandson; Caleb (Katelyn) Seals

Granddaughter; Colleen (Josh) Trent

Great-Granddaughter; Nova Lee Trent

Brother; Earl Lee Dodson

Nephews; Rodney (Edie) Dodson and Gregory (Tammy) Dodson

Grand-Nephew; Cody (Carrie) Dodson

Great-Grand Nephews; Caden and Cooper Dodson


A funeral service and celebration of life will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Swan Creek Primitive Baptist Church,

The funeral will be officiated by Elder Terry Sizemore, Clarence’s dear friend and pastor for ten years, and by his close friend, Elder Keith Holt

Special music will be provided by the Collins Family

Graveside service immediately following in the Swan Creek Church Cemetery

Serving as pallbearers will be Rodney Dodson, Gregory Dodson, Cody Dodson, Doyle Odell, Corey King, and Johnny Bunch

The family will receive friends from 12:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. on Saturday, April 23, 2022 at Swan Creek Primitive Baptist Church


Online condolences can be made at


McNeil Funeral Home in Sneedville is serving the Dodson Family

To send sympathy gifts to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alfred "Clarence" Dodson, please visit our tribute store.


April 23, 2022

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Swan Creek Primitive Baptist Church
Tazewell Highway
Sneedville, TN 37869

Funeral Service
April 23, 2022

2:00 PM
Swan Creek Primitive Baptist Church
Tazewell Highway
Sneedville, TN 37869

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