Paul Jewett (PJ) RickerPaul Jewett (PJ) Ricker, born on December, 4, 1920, was the youngest of four children. On June 21, 2013, Paul passed away peacefully surrounded by his family's love, songs and prayers. Paul grew up in Marblehead Neck, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, where he developed both his love of the ocean through his sailing and his devotion to nature. He attended Boston Latin School, Hebron Academy and Northeastern University. After college Paul enlisted in the United States Navy, was trained and later commissioned as a Navy pilot in Pensacola, Florida. He was stationed in Grosse Isle, Michigan where he was a flight instructor and trained over 200 pilots in the early 1940's. Paul met his beloved wife, Louanne Taylor Ricker, nee Lou Ann Taylor of Orlando, Florida, on a blind date. Lou Ann was living in Detroit working for Saks Fifth Avenue. Paul was then stationed in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he and Lou Ann were married on June 26, 1943. After leaving military service Paul moved with his family to St. Helena, California, to work for his Uncle Walter Jenney, of Jenney Gas, located in Oakland, California and Boston, Massachusetts. The majority of Paul's career was spent working in the Detroit area as a manufacturers' representative to the automotive industry as a partner in Leckie & Associates. He lived in Franklin, Michigan with his wife, Louanne and daughters Susan and Wendy from 1952-1989. Paul bought his first property on Hilton Head Island in 1965 after being introduced to the island by his best friend, Bill Hodde, of Summit, NJ. He became a permanent resident in 1989. Paul was a man of honor, faith, love and commitment. He had an infectious smile and uplifting demeanor. In Michigan, he was an avid tennis player and league bowler with the Birmingham Athletic Club. He loved his Hilton Head tennis buddies as well and was devoted to his Wednesday's standing lunch dates with the "boys" over many years as a member of the Sea Pines Country Club. He was passionate about family, friendships, nature, tennis and politics. Paul was involved in his community even as a young father in Michigan where he served as PTA president, volunteer umpire for Little League baseball and nature conservationist. (Paul patiently started 40 Maple Tree seedlings which he then replanted in his community to replace a grove of Dutch Elms which had been devastated by disease.) He served as Deacon in his Presbyterian church. Paul was a shining example of America's greatest generation, with strength of character, a dedication to family, and a love of country that was truly exceptional. He approached every day, even during his long illness, with a sense of enviable optimism and grace in all circumstances. He saw positive potential in each new day and treasured and appreciated god's blessings and grace throughout his 92 years. Paul Jewett Ricker is survived by his daughter Susan Ricker of Hilton Head; daughter Wendy and David Kixmiller of Menlo Park, CA; his granddaughter Katherine Peterson and husband Kirt, and great granddaughter Annabelle; granddaughter Marianne Brennan and husband Eddie and great granddaughter-to-be as of August. PJ was well loved and loved well. In lieu of flowers the family would encourage donations be made to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements. www.theislandfuneralhome.com.
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Published in The Island Packet from July 11 to Aug. 12, 2013