84-Year-old James Rainey of Fosterville was a “salt of the earth good man,” said volunteer Jack Kelton of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Senior Citizens Awareness Network (SCAN).
Rainey was a member of SCAN whose volunteers helped make his home safer and provided him with lumber for home heating for several years. SCAN volunteers are mourning him after he died Sunday outside his home.
SCAN is free program offered by the Sheriff's Office whose volunteers ensure senior citizens live in safe homes.
SCAN Co-coordinators E.T. Guice and her husband, Clarence, and volunteers Kelton and Phil Barnett knew Rainey well.
Kelton remembered how the volunteers had to earn Rainey’s confidence and trust.
Rainey lived in his mother’s home in Fosterville that needed many repairs. He lived on a fixed income with little money. SCAN members rebuilt his front porch and steps with lumber donated by Lowe’s, patched holes in his floors and installed insulation.
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Barnett said Clarence Guice cut wood and split it into small pieces and delivered it every weekend so Rainey could burn it in his small stove to heat his home.
SCAN volunteers had just found a contractor who agreed to supply and deliver wood to Rainey’s home.
Kelton was concerned about Rainey’s driveway after the gravels washed away, leaving the driveway with deep and dangerous ruts. He talked with B.J. Smotherman and Ryan Bassett who donated the gravel and their time to repair the driveway so Rainey could drive up safely last year.
E.T. Guice remembers how happy Rainey was when he received a donated rocker.
“He was tickled when he was rocking back and forth,” she remembered. “Oh, bless his heart, he just didn’t require a lot. I think that was my best memory.”
Kelton and Barnett last visited Rainey last week when they delivered week Valentine’s Day treats donated by children.
Barnett considered Rainey part of the family.
“All four of us had a hand in making at least his life a little better,” Barnett said. “He always said, ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’ three times.”