Berry Highland West

9913 Sherrill Blvd, Knoxville, TN


Richard Joe Boyes

May 9, 1952September 9, 2020

Boyes, Richard Joe, 68, exhaled a final breath and began his climb on the Stairway to Heaven, September 9, 2020, after a long and hard-fought battle against multiple cancers. Lung cancer finally robbed him of Life, even after surviving a heart attack just four weeks prior. Understandably, he would often say, “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired,” but carried on bravely. Regardless, Richard was so grateful that he was able to see the Chicago Cubs win the 2016 World Series.

Richard was born in Lodi, Ohio, the youngest of six children to the late Donald and Marjorie Boyes. He graduated from Norwayne High School in 1970 and went to work in his father’s NAPA Store, in Creston, OH. Wanting adventure, he departed the Buckeye State and headed West to California, where he became an EMT/Paramedic. During his time in the Golden State, Jennifer Jo (a.k.a. “Best Daughter Ever”) was born and still resides in West Covina, CA, with her husband, Donald Rana, and Rick’s grandsons, Carter and Emerson Rana. Following older (late) brother, Larry (Belen), of Wrightwood, CA, he joined the US Air Force at the age of 26, becoming an MP, with duty stations in the Philippines, Ohio, and New Mexico. In the nine years he served, he had two sons, Christopher and Kyle, both of Knoxville. Leaving the Air Force and settling in East Tennessee, he continued in Law Enforcement, first working for the Campbell County Sheriff’s Dept., later for Boeing, and then finally for the Oak Ridge Y-12 facility, as a Security Police Officer, where he jokingly referred to himself as Rick, with a silent “P”. Other officers nicknamed him “Purple Rain,” because his motorcycle was a deep, midnight-blue color. After 20 years at Y-12, he retired to Lenoir City with his then fiance , Lisa Gayle Ellison (a.k.a “Queen”), who became his wife (September 1, 2020), while he was hospitalized at Parkwest Medical. For almost 15 years, Rick and Gayle built and shared a life together riding their motorcycles, rooting for the Cubbies, supporting the Vols, and caring for their beloved, rescued fur (dog) babies, Halo Mars, Coco Chanel, and the late Zsa Zsa Bling. Richard gained a stepson, Chase Johnson (Hannah), and grandkids, Oakley and Ellie (USAF, Japan), thrilled that he and Chase could talk about military life and California. He also enjoyed spending time with son, Kyle, watching movies and going to the firing range. Rick would take in Smokies ballgames with son, Chris, and liked hearing the latest “teen” news from Chris’s kids, Alvie and Ethan Kirkland, who called him Grandpa Rick. He and Gayle shared a love of music, tv sitcoms, NCIS, Dancing with the Stars, sports (as athletic supporters, not participants), discussing the Bible, and being neighborly. He was often referred to as a “Good Man,” AND HE WAS, always willing to help others.

Richard is also preceded in death by: brothers Bob (Geri) of Fort Gay, WV, and Donnie (Peggy), of Seville, OH; brother-in-law, Larry Ellison (Brigetta), of Bean Station, TN; daughter-in-law, Val Boyes (Chris), of Knoxville. Those family members awaiting to be reunited with Richard are sisters Kay Kahrig, of Wooster, OH, and Sally Boyes-Hyslop (Richard), of Glendora, CA; parents-in-law, Malcolm & Marie Ellison, of Clarksville, TN; brother-in-law, Jason Ellison (Natasha) of Dresden, TN; sister-in-law Cindy (Simon) Bowman of Boone, KY; and many special nieces and nephews.

Graveside Service and Interment will be Wednesday, September 16, 2020, at 1 pm with full Military Honors at Berry Highland West Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, Rick would appreciate donations made to the Wounded Warrior Project or any veteran-related organization. Online condolences may be left at www.BerryHighlandWest.com


  • Graveside Service and Entombment

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020


Richard Joe Boyes

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