AOC Mourns Loss of Judge Richard R. Vance

December 5, 2017

Richard R. “Dick” Vance, a circuit court judge in the Fourth Judicial District, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017. He was 76. Judge Vance was appointed by former Governor Don Sundquist in 1997. He was re-elected in 1998, 2006, and 2014.

Judge Vance was born in Knoxville, earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee, and graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1966. Upon graduation from law school, Judge Vance volunteered for service in the United States Air Force, serving over four years active duty, attaining the rank of Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Department, and serving as a Military Judge. He was a member of American Legion Post 104 and served overseas in Korea.

Upon returning home from the Air Force, Judge Vance served with the City of Knoxville Law Department and practiced law in Sevier and Knox counties. He served as Chief Assistant District Attorney General for the 4th Judicial District for over 18 years.

Judge Vance was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed photography, especially in the Smoky Mountains. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Sevierville.

He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Becky” Vance; son, Richard R. Vance III; daughters, Susan Elaine Vance Seals (Tony) and Mary Elizabeth Vance; grandsons, Coda Channing and Wyatt Cooper Seals; and granddaughter, Victoria Harriman (Wesley Muse). He is also survived by his sisters Barbara Lynn Vance and Rebecca Vance. He is preceded in death by his parents Richard R. Vance and Cora Ramsey Vance.

The family will receive friends 3 - 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, December 7th with a funeral service to immediately follow at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, Sevierville. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make memorial contributions to the American Lung Association or to a local charity of your choice. Online condolences can be made at

Richard Vance