December 21, 2020
Richard Hearon Puckett, age 82, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday afternoon, December 20, 2020, surrounded by his family after a three-year struggle with dementia. He was known to the home folks as Hearon and as Richard in his professional career.
Hearon was the prized and only child of Lou and Harrison Puckett. He was born at home on February 9, 1938, at the mouth of Eagle Creek and Long Branch, which is now at the bottom of Center Hill Lake. This charted his destiny for a 42-year career with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He moved through the ranks beginning as a Ranger at Center Hill Lake in 1963, then to the Nashville District Office, then on to Resource Manager at Old Hickory, Cordell Hull and then finally back home to Center Hill in 1984. He retired in 2005 after 11 years of being Area Manager of the Mid-Cumberland Area, including Cordell Hull, Dale Hollow and Center Hill Lakes and Power Plants.
Hearon was also a longtime Licensed Land Surveyor, having trekked many hills and hollers all across DeKalb County and the surrounding area. Later in life, he became a Licensed Affiliate Real Estate Broker and Licensed General Contractor. He enjoyed many outdoor pursuits, including fishing, hunting and boating. He shared his love of the lake with his daughters and with his unending patience, taught them, along with countless of their friends, how to water ski.
Hearon loved fried okra, homegrown tomatoes, and moon pies. He also loved spending time with people, telling tales, having a good laugh, enjoying a cup of coffee almost any time of the day, and touring people around DeKalb County, either by boat or car.
Hearon was a member of Indian Creek Baptist Church, where he served as Youth Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Director, and Deacon. He was also active in the community by serving as a Gideon; on the DeKalb County Election Commission; as an officer in the Chamber of Commerce, various PTO’s, the DCHS basketball boosters; and as a Board Member of Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County.
Hearon was a star basketball player for Walker’s Chapel School and Pure Fountain High School and played in the State Tournament in 1956 as a senior. He went on to play basketball at Tennessee Tech, where he held the record for most foul-outs in a season, a trait he passed along to his daughters.
Hearon is survived by his wife of 61 years, Martha Ann Nixon Puckett, of Dowelltown; daughters, Tecia Lou Puckett Pryor and Mary Ann Puckett of Smithville; sons-in-law, John Pryor and Bill Harpole; grandchildren, Harrison Puckett Pryor, Tess Annabel Barton, Ben Jackson Barton and Camille Kate Barton; former son-in-law, Jack Barton; a host of special cousins, and a loving team of in-home caregivers. He was predeceased by his parents, Richard Harrison Puckett and Lou Harrison Parsley Puckett, and infant daughter, Kecia Ann Puckett.
Donations in memory may be made to Indian Creek Baptist Church, Gideons International, or to the charity of your choice.
Visitation will be on Monday, December 21, 2020, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, December 22, 2020, from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. at Love-Cantrell Funeral Home, Smithville, Tennessee. We are not accepting food in the funeral home kitchen facilities. Masks are required while attending the service and visitation. A graveside service will be held on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at 12 Noon at DeKalb Memorial Gardens.