The Alexis Clayton and Rob Goebel Memorial Scholarship was created by Cazzy’s Corner Grill in honor of two very special employees whose lives were cut short by an act of violence.
The new scholarship is intended to help students who are majoring in Business Administration with concentrations in Hospitality Management or Culinary Arts.
On January 24, 2021, one of Knoxville’s brightest lights was extinguished in one horrible moment.
The devastating effect of the senseless murder of Alexis “Ally” Clayton reverberated throughout Knoxville and through the hundreds, if not thousands, of lives she touched with her loving spirit, her joy, her creativity, her sensitivity, and her passion for the causes and activities to which she was dedicated.
Ally, age 26 was born in Blairsville, Ga. on August 29, 1994. She attended school in Ellijay, Ga. and attended college in Dalton, Ga. for a short time. In 2014, she and her sister Lauren moved to Knoxville so that Lauren could attend pharmacy school at South College. Ally, four years younger agreed to join her to help care for her sister’s young daughter while also working as a server to earn her own income. Because she loved interacting with people, working as a server allowed her to interact with a variety of people while also providing time to pursue numerous personal activities. Patrons of Carrabas, First Watch, and more recently Cazzy’s often would request her as their server. Her engaging, positive personality was uplifting. Her ability to listen and then remember the details she had learned created long-term friendships.
Her sensitivity and empathy for others led to her becoming an advocate for equality for all people. Her sister referred to her as a young “Ruth Bader Ginsburg” who admired older trailblazing women who served as role models for her. At every opportunity she would try to learn from women she admired, asking endless questions as to how they had achieved their dreams.
Her many friends agree that to know Alexis (“Ally”) was to know a truly genuine, compassionate, loving human being.
She is survived by her only surviving family member, her sister Lauren Quinton,
Robert Lynn Goebel, “Rob”, walked into the arms of God on January 24, 2021. Born in Hinsdale, Illinois, he moved to Knoxville when he was 9 years old. He was the son of Robert H. Goebel and the late Marilynn A. Goebel. He was recognized throughout Knoxville as the co-owner of Cazzy’s Corner Grill. Rob was an award-winning restauranteur. Cazzy’s Corner Grill, under Rob’s guidance, was recognized with Top Chef awards by Cityview magazine in 2017. His remarkable career spanned several decades and Rob was considered a cornerstone of the local restaurant community.
Rob was a graduate of Tusculum College and was an avid sports fan favoring the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls. Rob embodied hospitality. His vibrant personality engaged everyone who came into his business – both customers and workers. He wanted those around him to feel at home, and it was common to see Rob talking with customers like they were family while in the restaurant, and sharing the pride he felt in welcoming them by sharing stories from his life experiences.
Rob loved Belize and traveled there often for 20 years. He planned to buy a home and retire there someday. He had just returned from a trip to Belize for his 50th birthday. He loved deep sea fishing, the beach, vivid sunrises, the calm and relaxed culture, and decorated his home with the island theme he loved so much.
Rob was survived by his father, Robert Goebel and his companion Connie Steele, sisters Meri Goebel, Angie Goebel, brothers Dale Wells and Dan Wells, Megan Hall, Chad Wells, and many other nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Marilynn Goebel, and his older brother, Larry Wells.
One or more $350 scholarships will be awarded annually to a student who demonstrates financial need, maintains at least a 2.0 grade point average and is enrolled in at least six hours of credit classes at Pellissippi State.
This year’s recipient of the Alexis Clayton and Rob Goebel Memorial Scholarship is Pellissippi State Culinary Arts major, Dylan Fortner.