Cover photo for Eric "Rick" Kneale Haynes's Obituary
Eric "Rick" Kneale Haynes Profile Photo

Eric "Rick" Kneale Haynes

May 4, 1947 — December 24, 2021

Eric "Rick" Kneale Haynes

5/4/1947 - 12/24/2021

Rick, a proud lifelong resident of Akron, Ohio’s North Hill, was the son of Norma (Descutner) and Kneale Matt Haynes, and the little brother of Denny Haynes, Judy Sours, and Janet Houlette. In typical “just a kid from Akron” form, Rick lived his life through hard work, dedication to family, and a quiet resolve to make life better for the next generation.

He was fortunate to have had many mentors from the community, church, and Boy Scouts who took him under their wing, and he grew to be a wise man who did the same for others. Many people will remember a time when Rick took them aside and quietly taught them a skill infused with life lessons.

His boyhood was spent exploring in the Gorge Metro park, earning badges from the Boy Scouts, and general mischief making in the neighborhood. He attended Jackson Elementary, Jennings Middle, and North High, graduating in the class of 1965. The only class he ever liked was band, where he cheerfully played whatever brass instrument was needed.

He was drafted into the US Army and served from 1966-1969. During those years he made lifelong friends and learned the electrical trade. Rick went on to work at Akron General Medical Center for 35 years in the maintenance department as an electrician, shaping both the physical buildings and the lives of his coworkers through his incredible skill and passion for electricity and safety. He could often be seen helping direct lost visitors and employees alike, and whistling Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven while walking the halls. Over the years he became proficient in a number of the building trades and eagerly took on many projects at home or helping family and friends.

During his years as a student at the University of Akron, Rick met the love of his life, Beth Tynan. Married in 1974, the two shared an unfaltering love and modeled true commitment throughout their 50-year relationship. Rick was a wonderful husband, loving father, and doting grandfather.

Rick’s love of music extended from the high school marching band to the Trinity Church band and choir, the Peace Together choir, and especially TubaChristmas. He faithfully played in Akron’s TubaChristmas for 31 years. The annual family Christmas card was a challenge and a joy for Rick to stage, photograph, develop, and print. And in the warmer seasons he spent hours on the golf course, once even making a hole in one.

A part of Rick died when his youngest daughter, Valerie, died at 24 while pregnant with his first grandson. He grieved their loss heavily but continued on with life for those children and grandchildren who remained. Rick cherished his role as Dad, but what brought the biggest smile to his face was to hear his grandchildren call him Grandpa. He made sure the grandchildren knew they were the lights of his life, reading with them and teaching them about “mass in motion.”

As Rick’s health declined over the past year, he was treated by many talented, skilled and kind healthcare professionals. Our family would like to thank all of the staff at the offices of: Dr Alenadreale Banton, Dr Donald DeCoy, Dr Richard Hofacker, Dr Molly Scantling, Dr Inderprit Singh, Dr Khaled Sleik, Dr Natthavat Tan, Dr Elizabeth Weinstein, Dr Dennis Wright; the staff at Fresenius - Greater Akron Dialysis Center; and the staff at Cleveland Clinic Akron General in the Emergency Department, CVICU, 4100, 4200, Cardio-Respiratory Rehab, Rapid Observation Unit, CC Home Respiratory Therapy, PACU, and hospice.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents and siblings; daughter Valerie (Haynes) Smith and her son Donte’ Smith, Jr.; parents-in-law Paul and Betty Tynan; and brothers-in-law Tim Tynan and Jack Krakoff.

He will be dearly missed by his wife and best friend, Beth; his children, Anne (Joe) Raley, Erica Haynes, son-in-law Donte’ (Shelby) Smith, Katherina Heinzmann, Cristina Peddis, and Carolina (Lluís Díaz) Marafon. His grandchildren, Olivia, Emilia, and Colin Raley. He is remembered by extended family and friends as a caring, devoted, hard working family man.

In the end, he succumbed to a rare autoimmune disease, microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). Donations may be made in Rick’s memory to: the Vasculitis Foundation, the University of Akron, School of Music/Brass scholarship, or Trinity UCC of Akron.

In keeping with Rick’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A service was held for immediate family with Rev. Carl Wallace officiating. A celebration of Rick’s life will be planned at a future date.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Eric "Rick" Kneale Haynes, please visit our flower store.

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