Cover photo for Randy George Rogers's Obituary
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1952 Randy Rogers 2023

Randy George Rogers

December 5, 1952 — December 9, 2023


Randy George Rogers, 71, of Riceville, TN, passed away on Saturday, December 9th, 2023 in Athens with family at his side. The legend of Randy “Joe” the charismatic “cowboy lawyer” as his momma, family and friends lovingly refer to him will live on. His colleagues say “he had a kind soul and quick wit about him” and that he was “one of the best.” He also held the title of beloved father, grandfather, and friend. He was larger-than-life and one of a kind.

Randy grew up in Athens, TN where he attended McMinn County High School. He developed lifelong friendships playing baseball and basketball before he went on to graduate from The University of Tennessee. He then pursued a law degree at UT Memphis Law School before returning home to open his Athens law practice in 1977.

McMinn County Bar Association friends say he had a mind like a NASA computer and could eloquently simplify and cross examine as well as his lawyer hero, Gerry Spence. He made significant changes to the law because of his litigation. He was a favorite among most judges and feared by others. He made enemies into friends. He was known as a bulldog lawyer and always dedicated himself to his client’s cause. “Shoot Low Boys They’re Ridin Shetland Ponies”. He was the master of one liners. He was proudest and most thankful for the opportunity to practice law with his son, Matthew Rogers, who has dallied trial litigation so the legacy will carry on. He has big shoes to fill, but dad gave him a break….It’s just one.

He developed a love of horses and all things cowboy when his children were young and spent the last 40 years of his life chasing their dreams all over the country. Randy bragged about and owned numerous national titles won by his children like they were his own. His encouraging whistle was as legendary as he was. The biggest cheerleader and loudest snorer in the stands. In 1997, he owned a horse named, Playin Pep, who earned the AQHA Highpoint Working Cowhorse Title with the help of friend and trainer, Jeff Irvin. A horse named Shiners Bright Spark, “Frankie Blue Eyes”, brought him great joy in his later years. His granddaughter, Addie Rose, piloted him to blue ribbons in the reining pen.

He was an avid outdoorsman. He shared his love of hunting and fishing with his father, friends, son, and grandsons traveling throughout his life to the best fishing holes and hunting grounds he could find from Hillsboro, TN to the Canadian Border.

He adored his mother and was a lover of food especially her famous Chocolate Gravy and Biscuits. His Aunt Fay’s chocolate chip cookies and banana pudding were at the top of his most wanted list.

He was preceded in death by his parents George and Rose (Goforth) Rogers, numerous loved Aunts and Uncles and his precious grandson, Denton George Brown.

Randy is survived by his brother, Roger (Deb) Ward; his children and grandchildren: Christy (Daniel) Brown and children Avery, Addie Rose, and Lane Brown; Matthew (Bailey) Rogers and children Brooks and Sage Rogers; Sarah (James) Haynes and children Everett and Birdie Rose Haynes.

Other survivors include many special nieces and nephews as well as wife, Phyllis Rogers and her children and grandchildren, Amy Craig, Rebekah Craig, Hannah Vogel, Ryan Vogel, Emma Vogel, Rachel Craig, Laura Dunn, Trevin Wade, Reese Wade, Keaton Wade, Sarah Craig, and Ethan Eversole.

The family would like to extend appreciation to Click Boone for allowing him to continue his law practice and making memories with his family and friends over the last five years of his life. Gratitude is also extended to Dr. Sarah Willard and her nurse Angie, Sweetwater Devita Dialysis Clinic and the kind souls at Star Regional Medical Center.

His family will host services at Laycock Hobbs Funeral home in Athens, TN. Visitation will be Thursday, December 14th from 4-7pm with the funeral to follow presided by Dr. Harold Mccowan. The graveside service will be at Short Creek Baptist Church at 10 AM on Friday, December 15th.

Pallbearers will include Avery Brown, Larry Mitchell, Jimmy Logan, Austin Hayes, Chuck Burris, Debo Toomey, Perry Mccowan, Click Boone and Casey Stokes with honorary pallbearers James Watson and Doug Landers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests those sentiments be expressed as donations to Short Creek Baptist Church Cemetery Fund at 892 County Road 50, Athens, TN 37303.

Those unable to attend may send condolences to the family

Please click the following link to access the live stream of Randy's memorial service

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 14, 2023

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, December 14, 2023

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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


Friday, December 15, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Short Creek Baptist Church

892 County Road 50, Athens, TN 37303

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Graveside Service

Friday, December 15, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Short Creek Cemetery

, Athens, TN 37303

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


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