2018-11-07 / Obituaries


George Bryant Ricketts, 85, of Grove Hill passed away Oct. 30, 2018 at his residence after fighting a hard battle with cancer and strokes.

He was born Dec. 14, 1932 in Arlington. At an early age, he moved and boarded with a Pugh family so he could attend Clarke County School where he lettered in all sports. After graduation he spent a short time in the oil fields with a survey crew.

On Oct. 20, 1953, he enlisted in the Army and after basic training at Camp Chaffee, Arkansas, he was assigned to the famed “All American” 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina where he remained for two years after advanced training as a jump instructor and earning a master status.

He chose to devote his life to military service. After serving in a field artillery position and losing his airborne unit, he trained and taught radar operations, a job that would take him and his crew of 12- 15 onto the front lines in hostile countries. He served twice in Korea and once in Vietnam.

He also spent time in Europe as well as stations in the U.S. He was awarded numerous letters of accommodation, four Bronze stars with clusters, two from combat areas, Army Accommodation Medal, three Presidential Unit Citations and many others.

On June 1, 1974, he retired with the rank of Master Sergeant from the Staff and Faculty School of Radar at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Moving back to Clarke County was a dream as he was quite a sportsman and loved the area for its rich supply of game. He and his family made their home in Grove Hill where they have remained.

He spent another 20 years working as a civilian in the paper industry at Boise Cascade. He was also a member of the Grove Hill United Methodist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Ann Ricketts; daughter, Kathryn L. Mitchell; brothers, Jimmie (Jean) Ricketts, Donald L. (Peggy) Ricketts, two nephews and five nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. William J. Ricketts and siblings, Voncile Ricketts, Juanita (Alfred) Agee and William “Bill” J. (Jayne) Ricketts Jr.

He chose to be an anatomical body donor.

Condolences may be offered at www.lathanfuneralhome.com.

Lathan Funeral Home of Jackson handled arrangements. (43-1tp)

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