Benjamin Pressnell Obituary
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In Memory of

Benjamin Schultz Pressnell

November 2, 1972 - September 11, 2011
Obituary

Benjamin Schultz Pressnell, age 38, passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 11, 2011, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Ben's unexpected and untimely passing came after a brief illness and hospitalization. Ben was born on November 2, 1972, in Knoxville. He graduated from Claiborne High School in 1990. Ben received his Bachelor of Science degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1994. He then followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and mentor, William Guy "Bill" Harrell, Jr., and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law in...
Benjamin Schultz Pressnell, age 38, passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 11, 2011, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville. Ben's unexpected and untimely passing came after a brief illness and hospitalization.
Ben was born on November 2, 1972, in Knoxville. He graduated from Claiborne High School in 1990. Ben received his Bachelor of Science degree in philosophy from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1994. He then followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and mentor, William Guy "Bill" Harrell, Jr., and earned his juris doctorate from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1997. After spending time as a law clerk in Knoxville and New York City, Ben returned to his hometown to become owner and managing partner of Pressnell and Harrell, Attorneys in 1999. He continued his private law practice until 2009, when he joined the Eighth Judicial District Public Defenders conference as an assistant public defender. Throughout his legal career Ben championed the rights of the criminally accused.
In 2006 Ben married Amy Drittler, originally of Dover, Ark. In 2009 Ben and Amy celebrated their greatest joy, the birth of their daughter, Harper. Next month marks Ben and Amy's five-year wedding anniversary and Harper's second birthday.
Ben was quick to lend a favorite book, share a joke, mow a yard, move a rock or do any other number of tasks to help those in need. The number of lives he touched cannot ever be measured. Most importantly of all, Ben loved the outdoors. In spite of his skill in the courtroom, he was always most comfortable sitting on his tractor in his "having fun clothes." Ben was an active hiker who enjoyed back country camping and who had accomplished many sections of the Appalachian Trail. He also spent much of his time kayaking in the rivers of East Tennessee and the surrounding region. Ben loved a good campfire and good conversation with his friends and preferred the woods to being contained within four walls. Ben's constant companion for the past 10 ½ years was his beloved German Shepherd, Spartakus, who preceded him in death on August 30, 2011. Ben and Spartakus are now enjoying an eternal hike together.
After Harper's birth, Ben thrived in the love that he felt for his child. Harper and Ben shared a bowl of cereal and piece of toast together each morning, and spent their afternoons playing outside and blowing bubbles. Ben loved to take Harper for rides on his back and enjoyed multiple cups of her pretend tea and coffee. Ben was an extraordinary father and would want to be remembered for his role as a parent more than any other personal or professional accomplishment in his life.
Ben was preceded in death by his grandfather, William Guy "Bill" Harrell, Jr., aunts, Margaret Harrell and Nell Harrell Crawford; and his dog, Spartakus. He is survived by his wife, Amy Drittler, and daughter, Harper Claire Pressnell; his parents, Mike and Nancy Hansard; his sister and brother-in-law, Amanda and Dustin English; his niece, Ashlynn Roberts; his grandmother, Sterlynn Harrell; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; and a host of friends and extended family.
Pallbearers include Chris Loope, Sean Johnson, Whitt Shuford, Charlton Vass, Eric Chadwell, Joe Parkey, Shane Breeding, Dan Korth, Chad Wilson and Brent Cheek. Honorary pallbearers include Dustin English, Willie Roberts and the legal and law enforcement communities of Claiborne and surrounding counties.
Visitation will be from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, at Coffey Funeral Home in New Tazewell, with a celebration of Ben's life to follow at 8 p.m. Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 16, at Irish Memorial Gardens in Tazewell. Those attending the burial are encouraged to wear their "having fun clothes" in honor of Ben. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Harper Claire Pressnell account at Citizens Bank in Harrogate to help fund

"Dear Sweet Amy, Don't know why I was thinking of you but glad I have a way to sya you are treasured and prayed for often" Cindy SprenzRN (Knoxville, TN)

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Knoxville News Sentinel
PRESSNELL, BENJAMIN SCHULTZ - age 38, passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday, September 11, 2011, at the University of Tennessee Medical...

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