Obituary: Dr. Edward Alton Ricketts Sr.

Edward Ricketts

HERMISTON — Dr. Edward Alton Ricketts Sr., 94, died Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010, at Rose Arbor Assisted Living Facility in Hermiston. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20 at Gibbons Funeral Home, 1085 Main Street, Coalport, PA 16627. Burial will follow at the Beaver Valley Cemetery in Flinton, Penn. A memorial service is to be held in Westchester on Dec. 4 at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Ricketts was born Dec. 4, 1915, to Dr. George A. and Martha E. (McCoy) Ricketts in Smith Mills, Penn., and raised in central Pennsylvania in country explored and settled by his ancestors in the 1750s. He graduated from Penn State in 1937, and followed his father and other family members to study medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, graduating in 1941. He served an internship at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and joined the Army Medical Corps. He was stationed at Henley-on-Thames, England from Nov. 1943 to June 1944. He landed at Utah Beach June 6, 1944, and continued to lead a forward medical unit through major battles of the European war.

He returned to the U.S. in 1946 and continued specialized medical training in the Army. He was board certified in internal medicine and in cardiology 1953. He was ordered to Seoul, South Korea from 1953-1954 during a post-combat epidemic of hemorrhagic fever sweeping civilian and military, and was awarded the U.S. Army Legion of Merit, 1954 for his work there.

He resigned from the Army Medical Corps in 1954 as a lieutenant colonel in favor of family and civilian medical practice. He settled in Los Angeles with his wife Harriet and four children, and cared for patients at Good Samaritan, Daniel Freeman, St. John’s and other acute care hospitals in Los Angeles.

After the loss of his wife of 39 years, Harriet (Beam), in 1980 he married and shared his life with Frances Peiairs (deceased) and Janet Gail (Eldridge) Ricketts (who survives). He relocated to Paso Robles in 1997 and lived a healthy and independent life through age 94, and agreed to move to Hermiston to be cared for by his son Edward when his health began to deteriorate.

Dr. Ricketts is survived by his sister, Harriett Packer of Santa Monica, Calif.; children Dr. Edward A. Ricketts Jr. of Hermiston, Martha (Ricketts) Farwell of Thousand Oaks, Calif., Barbara (Ricketts) Papke of Spokane, Wash.; six grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and distant family members, friends and former patients across the country.

He was preceded in death by his son, James T. Ricketts, and granddaughter Sara Weir.

Gibbons Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements in Pennsylvania and Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in charge of arrangements in Oregon.

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