Cover photo for Cornelius Gene Rickels's Obituary
Cornelius Gene Rickels Profile Photo
1932 Cornelius 2024

Cornelius Gene Rickels

July 7, 1932 — June 15, 2024



Cornelius Gene Rickels passed away in his sleep on Saturday morning, June 15, 2024 at the age of 91. Gene was born on July 7, 1932 in the home of his grandparents in Mount Vernon, Kentucky. He is preceded in death by his Father Raymond Rickels and Mother Mabel Rickels; his brothers, Raymond Jr. Rickels and Douglas Rickels; and sister Glenna (Rickels) Smith.

Gene was a faithful and loving husband to Margeret Pamela Rickels for over 70 years. They were married in England in 1954.

He is survived by his wife, Pam; children, Paul (Thelma) Rickels, Carl (Paula) Rickels, Corey (Troy) Snyder; 11 amazing Grandchildren; Aaron (Katherine) Rickels, Scott (Jessica) Rickels, Stephen (Stephanie) Rickels, Ryan (Amy) Rickels, Kristin (Derek) Duvall, Colin (Ashli) Rickels, Blake Snyder, Bailey Snyder, Brody Snyder, Madison Snyder, and Bryant Snyder; 17 adorable Great Grandchildren, Jackson, Anderson, Gigi, Hadley, Hudson, Hazel, Zelda, Edith, Judah, Josiah, Joash, Jubilee, Jedidiah, Natalie, Leland, Lennon, and River; and his brothers and sisters; Midge Smith, Roger Rickels, Ann Whitaker, Jane Robinson, and Jimmy Rickels.

Gene “Rick” served his country for 20 years in the United States Air Force and retired as a Master Sergeant. He served in Columbus, Ohio, Occupied Germany, England (where he met and married Pam), and Japan. He was a proud member of the Auditor General and received an Accommodation Medal for his exceptional service. He continues to proudly wear his uniform for all special occasions, some 53 years after his retirement.

While in the Air Force, Gene became a Judo instructor and earned 2nd Dan Black Belt. He always said it taught him how to fall, which he did occasionally over the years. He loved to garden and was always proud of his roses, cucumbers, tomatoes, and unbelievably large cabbages. Gene had a passion for racquetball.

Gene became a Christian when he was 18 and loved the Lord and the church. Over the years, he enjoyed serving as a treasurer, deacon, worship leader, and Sunday School teacher. His love for people was expressed in joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

There will be a receiving of friends at Mynatt Funeral Home – Powell Chapel on Wednesday, June 26th from 6 pm to 8 pm. The funeral service will be on the morning of Thursday, June 27th at 10 am at the First Baptist Church of Powell, with Pastor Perry Garrett officiating. Following the service, family and friends are invited to attend a 12:30 pm graveside military burial at The East Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery, just east of Knoxville. 

Gene had requested that instead of flowers, he would prefer donations to the First Baptist Church Powell “Missions by Faith” fund which participates in sending people throughout the world to share the message of salvation in Christ Jesus. Donations may be made using the following link:

To send flowers to the family in memory of Cornelius Gene Rickels, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, June 26, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Receiving of Friends

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

First Baptist Church of Powell

7706 Ewing Rd, Powell, TN 37849

Pastor Perry Garrett

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery-John Sevier

2200 E Governor John Sevier Highway, Knoxville, TN 37920

Get Directions

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 560

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Send With Love

Send With Love