Berry Highland South

9010 Simpson RD, Knoxville, TN


Richard Roy Crockett

May 16, 1947July 4, 2020
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Richard Roy “Big Daddy” Crockett, born May 16, 1947 in San Saba, Texas, finished this earthly course on July 4, 2020 as he was lovingly comforted by his wife of 36 years. He received end of life care at the University of TN Hospital in Knoxville.

Like the state of Texas, Richard was sizeable. Later in life he enjoyed golf, deep sea fishing, and watching sports on television, but this was preceded in his youth by athleticism and a competitive spirit. His immense frame was well suited to the basketball court. He played basketball at El Paso High School and later at Tarleton State University where he is listed as an All-Time Letterman from 1969-71. But even Texas was not large enough to contain him.

Big, powerful, and competitive like himself, the Thoroughbred lured Richard across the US as he worked in various capacities in the horse racing circuit. Throughout his life he would reminisce about his youthful travels from track to track, the places he saw, and the people he met along the way. One of his wishes was to stand in the Winner’s Circle at the Kentucky Derby. This culminating experience was fulfilled when longtime friend and fellow Texan, Bill Casner of WinStar Farm, invited Richard to The Run for the Roses in 2010. In the company of friends, Richard entered the Winner’s Circle as the magnificent animal Super Saver won by 2 ½ lengths on that 1st Saturday in May.

Leaving the thrill of the track behind him, Richard began a successful career in the pulp and paper industry as an Instrumentation & Controls Engineer. Ever in demand, he took on challenging projects that would retool and upgrade manufacturing plants in one place after another. His work led him to numerous states in the US as well as Canada and Mexico. While the machines demanded certain attention, Richard took great pleasure in mentoring the younger ones entering the field alongside him. Over decades the next generation would maintain close ties with “The Big Man”, as he was fondly called.

Richard’s considerable travels eventually brought him to Tennessee during the 1982 World’s Fair where he met his first and only bride, Janice (Taylor) Cook, who was widowed with two young sons. Though standing nearly a foot and a half shorter than the big man, the Redhead from East Tennessee captured his heart and kept him coming back, resulting in their marriage in July of 1984.

Perhaps it was Richard’s obvious stature that caused him not to seek attention for himself. His conversations carefully probed what others found interesting and exciting. Throughout his life he maintained a youthful spirit that enabled him to connect with people much younger than himself. His successful career, coupled with his interest in others, often found him underwriting the youthful whims of others both with encouragement and financial support.

Richard entered this world at 13 lbs., 23” long. He appreciated all things large and majestic, the open roads over expansive plains, the rising mountains and beautiful valleys of East Tennessee, the rolling waters of vast oceans, and the powerful yet gentle nature of creatures like his beloved Rottweilers, Anzel and Elsa. Most importantly, he was curious and kind toward God’s crowning achievement, his fellow man. Richard leaves a large void in the hearts of the many he touched during his lifetime. But he also leaves the pleasant memories and experiences he so often helped to create for others.

Richard asked that no service be held. Instead, a private gathering of family took place at Berry Highland South in Knoxville on Wednesday, July 8th. His ashes will be shared between two special places in his heart, Knoxville, Tennessee, and San Saba, Texas, where his parents are interred. He was preceded in death by his beloved father Leslie G. Crockett, mother John Henry Crockett, and brother-in-law Sonny Pensick. He is survived by his wife, Janice; step-sons Kenny & Chuck Cook (wife Angela); grandchildren Patrick, Reece, and Paisley Cook; sisters Barbara Pensick & Debra Thompson (husband Bob); nephew Dan Pensick (wife Bev) and children Cole & Abby; niece Cheri Scow, children Dylan & Madison; niece Kasey Thompson; niece Leslie Strehlow (husband Jason) and son Jackson; and cousin Roger Crockett.

John 11:24 – “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

In remembrance of Richard, memorial donations can be made to Ellejoy Baptist Church, Attn: Jama Proffitt, 1290 Ellejoy Road, Seymour, TN 37865


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Richard Roy Crockett

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeri Lea Moreland Loper

August 2, 2020

Truly one of the good guys.

J.W. Hughes

July 9, 2020

Richard fondly known to me as “The Big Guy” was not only my good friend, but my mentor during the decade that I worked alongside of him while retooling and upgrading Mead’s Pulp & Paper plants thru out the USA in the 90’s. His “commitment to excellence” taught me the skills that I use in my professional and personal life today. The motto’s “work hard, play hard” & “there’s money to be made in confusion” were the words we lived by. I’ll always reflect on the good times and memories that we shared over the years. You will truly be missed, but never forgotten.

“So close, no matter how far, couldn’t be much more from the heart, forever trusting who we are and nothing else matters”

God Speed..


July 7, 2020

I am so sorry to hear of Richard's passing. Richard and I worked closely together for almost 30 years at Mead. We enjoyed giving each other a hard time yet working together as equals. I will miss the many after work rounds of golf we played and also the many beers consumed at the local pubs. I will miss the sports and horse racing discussions. Richard was a great friend of mine and many others. He will be sorely missed.

Marilyn Whorley

July 7, 2020

That’s what we ask.
The truth is,
we may never be able
to know for sure why.
But we do know
that there is no single
“should have done” or
“could have done”
or “did” or “didn’t do”
that would have changed that why.
All that love could do was done.
God Speed Gentle Giant.

Christopher Baxter

July 6, 2020

Richard and I both enjoyed bing watching tv shows. He would always beat me to the end of a series and then want to discuss the show. I would say ok as long as you don’t tell me the ending. There is a bunch of unfinished tv shows in my Netflix library because of him.