Joan Gray Lockaby Youngblood

Very Active In Local Politics; Former Executive Director Of The Hamilton County Republican Party

Joan Gray Lockaby Youngblood, of Chattanooga, died unexpectedly on March 6, 2018, in a local hospital, at age 85.

Joan was born and reared in Chattanooga, and graduated from City High School in 1951. She married Bob Lockaby, a native of Hendersonville, N.C., in December, 1952. Except for a short period when she and the family resided in Williamsburg, Va., while Bob was stationed at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, during the Korean War, and for a two-year period when she and the family resided in Danville, Kentucky, due to Bob’s having been transferred there, Joan lived her entire life in Chattanooga, a city she loved.

Joan grew up in St. Elmo and attended St. Elmo Avenue Baptist Church, her family’s home church. After she and Bob returned from living in Virginia, they lived in East Brainerd and attended Concord Baptist Church, where all of their children were baptized. Upon their return from living in Danville, Joan and her family attended Central Baptist Church in Woodmore. Bob and Joan then moved to Lookout Mountain, and returned to St. Elmo Avenue Baptist Church. Bob passed away in April, 1990, and for a period thereafter Joan attended First Presbyterian Church in Chattanooga.

Joan married Billy Youngblood, a Marine Corps veteran of 39 years, at First Presbyterian Church in December, 1993. Thereafter, Joan and Billy attended Billy’s church, Red Bank Baptist, for many years, where Billy was a deacon and they were active members of the Hall Sunday School Class. Later, after Billy passed away in March, 1999, and Joan had moved to the North Shore area, Joan became a Charter Member of North Shore Fellowship, a church planted by Lookout Mountain Presbyterian Church to serve the growing population and changing demographic of Chattanooga’s North Shore. Joan was very involved at North Shore, including hosting a Home Fellowship Group, and avidly supporting the many ministries of Northside Neighborhood House, a North Shore ministry partner. Joan also volunteered for several years with the Church of the Firstborn, working closely with Pastor Alfred Johnson.

Joan was very active in local politics, and served in many leadership roles, including Executive Director of the Hamilton County Republican Party at the time Zach Wamp was first elected Chairman. Joan was also active in the Tennessee Valley Republican Women’s Club. She provided significant leadership as she worked tirelessly in many campaigns, beginning with Bill Brock’s campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, and then the U.S. Senate, Gene Roberts’ campaigns for Mayor, Zach Wamp’s campaigns for the U.S. House of Representatives, Bob Corker’s campaigns for mayor and for the U. S. Senate, and many others. As a result, she was a well-known and much-loved political personality locally and throughout the Third Congressional District.

For many years Joan was active in the Pilot Club of Chattanooga, a chapter of Pilot International, serving a term as President; and was also a member of the Salvation Army Auxiliary, Chattanooga, the North Chattanooga Book Club, and the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Over the years Joan was employed in several key positions, including: Regional Director for Congressman Bill Brock, and continuing with Mr. Brock when he was elected to the U.S. Senate; Assistant to the President, Centre College, Danville, Kentucky; Administrator at Dixie Yarns; Field Representative, American Heart Association; Administrator at Chattanooga State University; and Realtor with Herman Walldorf & Co. Realtors, Inc.

Joan was preceded in death by her mother, Jeanette Robinson Gray; her father, Newton C. Gray; her sister, Marilyn Gray Webb; her first husband, Robert L. Lockaby, and her second husband, Billy C. Youngblood.

Joan is survived by her three children, Bob (Becky) Lockaby, Jr., of Chattanooga, David Lockaby of Atlanta, and Laura (Scott) Lillard of Chickamauga; her stepdaughter, Kelly Youngblood, of Chattanooga (whom she loved as her own daughter); her grandsons, Matt Lockaby of St. Louis, Luke Lillard of New Orleans, Josiah Lillard of Chicago, Simon Lillard and Andrew Lillard of Chattanooga; her nephew, Richard Harvey, and her great-nephew, Sawyer Harvey, both of Indianapolis.

Joan’s family invites all to a time of fellowship and visitation on Friday, March 16, from 4-8 p.m., and to a Celebration of Joan’s life on Saturday, March 17, at 2 p.m., both at North Shore Fellowship, 118 Woodland Avenue, Chattanooga, Tn., with Pastor Robby Holt officiating. The Celebration of Life service will include special music that reflects Joan’s perspective on her strong Christian faith.

For parking options please see:

A dove release will be held at Coolidge Park following the service. Burial will be at National Cemetery in a private family service.

Instead of flowers, and in recognition of Joan’s tireless volunteer work in the Chattanooga area, the family requests that donations in her memory be made to any of the following: North Shore Fellowship (, Northside Neighborhood House (, and the Salvation Army, Chattanooga (

For Zach Wamp’s tribute to Joan see:

Arrangements are by Chattanooga Funeral Home East Chapel, 404 S. Moore Road, East Ridge, Tn. 37412, 423 892-0427.