Family identifies Gray man who drowned in Cherokee Lake

A family member has identified the man who drowned Tuesday in Cherokee Lake and says he died doing what he loved to do.

The family member identified the man as Roy Lee Simpson of Gray.

The Hamblen County Sheriff’s Office says Simpson and his father were unloading their boat at a boat launch when they lost control of the vessel and tried to pull it back to shore.

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Simpson tried to catch the boat when he was pulled under, about 40 feet from shore. He didn’t resurface.

The sheriff’s office says the elderly father was unable to help his son. 

A family member tells News Channel 11 that Simpson “passed doing something he loved” and “was a dedicated fisherman.”

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