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Richard Earl Tumblin

January 3, 1930 ~ October 22, 2023 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Richard Tumblin Obituary

On Sunday, October 22nd, 2023, Richard Earl Tumblin, age 93, died peacefully at UT Medical Center.  The family is deeply grateful for the incredible team at the TSICU.  Richard lived his life in the Fountain City community of Knoxville, TN; he was a booster of the community and its business.  As a native Tennessean and Knoxvillian, Richard’s life truly embodied the spirit of a Tennessee Volunteer. 

Richard was a charter member of Northside Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in Fountain City. He was active in his church locally and nationally.  He was an Eagle Scout, remaining active in the Boy Scouts until the day he passed.  He achieved the Silver Beaver Award, the highest award a council may present for outstanding service. 

He spent decades supporting the United Way, especially the Senior Citizens Home Assistance Service.  He was a 14-gallon blood donor for Medic, giving until he could give no more. He applied his volunteer spirit to defeating ALS after he lost first his wife in 2006, and then his eldest son to the disease in 2018. He also regularly attended the Man to Man support group to battle prostate cancer.

He was a veteran of the Air Force, after which he was a lifelong employee of the Equitable Life Assurance Society following in the footsteps of his father.  Over the course of his career, he constantly sought to improve his capability, teaching Dale Carnegie, and obtaining certifications as a financial consultant (CLU, ChFC, and LUTCF).

He was a lifelong UT football and basketball fan, holding season tickets for over 70 years, during and after graduating from the University of Tennessee in Business Administration in 1950. 

The middle son of Earl and Gladys Tumblin, Richard was a devoted husband, father and brother.  He was married to his wife Suzanne for 604 months, until her passing in 2006 from ALS.  They had three children: Cathy (Richard), Richard John (Ingrid), and David (Isabel). He also leaves behind dearly loved grandchildren Gerrit, Jeremy, Sarah, Ethan and Liam and bunches of great-grandchildren.  He loved his children and his family unconditionally. 

Active until the very end, he attended a birthday party for a neighborhood child days before his passing.  Spending time in the company of friends and young children at the party, he said to the father of the birthday girl, spending time with you and your friends gives me hope for the future.

A life well lived. 

The family will receive friends on Saturday, Oct 28, 2023 at Northside Christian Church, 4008 Tazewell Pike, Knoxville, Tennessee 37918 from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM with a funeral service to follow at 11:00 AM with Reverend Frits Haverkamp officiating. Graveside services will follow the service at 1:00 PM at Lynnhurst Cemetery. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel and Crematory is honored to serve the Tumblin family. Condolences may be left online for the family at

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October 28, 2023

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Northside Christian Church (Knoxville, Tennessee)

Funeral Service
October 28, 2023

11:00 AM
Northside Christian Church (Knoxville, Tennessee)

Graveside Service
October 28, 2023

1:00 PM
Lynnhurst Cemetery
2300 Adair Drive
Knoxville, TN 37918


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