Cover photo for John Edward Gidens's Obituary
John Edward Gidens Profile Photo

John Edward Gidens

May 18, 1949 — July 4, 2024

With heavy hearts we announce the passing of the most loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather John Edward Gidens, age 75, of Harrogate, Tennessee. He passed away surrounded by his family on Thursday, July 4, 2024, at the UT Medical Center, Knoxville, TN, after a brief illness. John will be deeply mourned by his family including his wife of 51 years, Debbie Tennyson Gidens, and children: Jonathan (Amanda) Gidens, Leah Jones (John Trosper), and Loren (Jeff) Allen. He was a loving grandpa to Joe Gidens (Lexi Gribble), Josh Gidens, Ava Lambert, Bailey Allen, Riley Allen, Bella Gidens, Max Allen, Adylin Jones and Ryker White. He was blessed to become a great-grandfather with the addition of Kayden Gidens and Rider Lands. He leaves behind two sisters, Catherine Murray and Susan Buell along with several cousins he was especially close to. 

John was born May 18,1949, to Lela Helen and Cedric Gidens of Harrogate, Tennessee, who preceeded him in death; along with his sister, Mary Helen Wilson, and his father and mother-in-law, R.C. and Betty Tennyson. He was saved at an early age during bible school at Shawnee Baptist Church and later became a member of Harrogate Methodist Church. After marrying Debbie, he attended Walnut Hill Baptist Church and Carr’s Chapel Baptist Church. While attending Carr’s Chapel Baptist Church he helped build the new church building. Later attending Pump Springs Baptist Church, he was on the Creative Communication Committee construction crew helping build props for several plays/programs. He later attended Trinity Baptist Church, Middlesboro, KY. John and Debbie raised their three children in the house he built alongside his dear friend, Silas Damron; father-in-law, R.C. Tennyson; and uncle, Ira Walker. John worked for Giles Industries and Tennyson Heating & Air, before retiring from Coca Cola Bottling after 20 years. He was honored to volunteer for Tennessee Disaster Relief, where he assisted storm victims following Hurricane Katrina among many others. He spent the better part of his retirement babysitting his grandchildren and their stories about him are endless.

A kind and humble man, he found enjoyment in the simple things in life like a good conversation, a nice meal, his beloved dog Zsa Zsa, watching Nascar Races, Tennessee Vols, and saving a dollar. He was a man of many words and just as many quirky ways. He left behind evidence of a life well-lived by the many rooms that will be filled with memories and stories of his frugality for years to come. 

The family of John Gidens will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Monday, July 8, 2024, at the Cawood Funeral Home Chapel in Middlesboro, KY. The funeral service will immediately follow with Reverend Keith Medley and Reverend Tracy Neely presiding.  A graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, at the Harrogate Cemetery, Harrogate, TN. 

Pallbearers will be Joe Gidens, Josh Gidens, Bailey Allen, Riley Allen, Max Allen, Jeff Allen, John Trosper and Alf Tennyson. 

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Sheryl Partin, APRN of Family Healthcare Associates, for the excellent care and compassion she provided to John in his final days.

Online register book and condolences are available at

All arrangements for John Edward Gidens are under the care of Cawood Funeral Home.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Edward Gidens, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, July 8, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, July 8, 2024

7:00pm - 8:00 am (Eastern time)

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Graveside Service

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Harrogate Cemetery

Harrogate, TN 37752

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