Born in 1953, Rickey Allen Beene, son of Unavee and Horace Beene, lived his whole life in Petros, Tennessee, but, in the breadth of his mind, he traveled the world and savored its many ages and ideas. A woodsman, Rickey loved the trees and mountains, the contours and colors of this land and celebrated its beauty in his poetry and in his art. For many years Rickey taught American Literature and History at Wartburg Central High and, in his singular way, touched his students’ hearts and minds. He sought to live a good life, a caring life, a rich life of the mind, and he challenged his students to live that way too.
Rickey Beene was a graduate of Central High School, Carson Newman University, and East Tennessee State University. His poetry has been published in The Stokely Review, The Small Farm Journal, and other regional publications. His artistic legacy, including Salt of the Earth: The Petros Portraits, documents the faces and lives of the people he loved so very much. In recent years, his paintings were featured in the Oak Ridge Art Museum and at the Knoxville Arts & Culture Alliance, among other places.
Rickey Beene is survived by his wife, Carol Beene; his daughter, Coranna and her husband Eruch Adams, their children Simon and Elliot; his son, Randall and his wife Erica, their children Parker and Landry, his special “son” Ernest Cox; his brothers James Horace Beene and wife Nadine, and Jerry Douglas Beene and wife Cathy. He leaves behind many loving uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, and so many friends. His battle with pancreatic cancer came to an end on May 4th. He died at home surrounded by love, held in the arms of his family and friends.
The family will receive friends at Schubert Funeral Home on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 from 4 PM to 7 PM. A prayer service led by Rev. Jake Bohstedt Morrill will conclude visitation at 7 PM. At a date to be announced later, there will be a Celebration of Life at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
In Lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Petros Public Library Children’s Division, P.O. Box 147, Petros, TN 37845 or Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, 1500 Rosecrans Ave. Ste. 200, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266.
Schubert Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.