Ronald Logan Ricketts passed away June 8, 2013, surrounded by many members of his large and loving family. Our community has lost a truly outstanding leader, friend, parent and husband.
Ron was born Sept. 7, 1933, in Berkeley, Calif., as the only child of Les and Mary Ricketts. Ron graduated from Grant Union High School in John Day, Ore., in 1951. In 1955, he graduated from the University of Oregon where he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and president during his senior year. Ron continued to be a strong supporter of the Oregon Ducks athletic programs for the rest of his life. When greeted years later and asked how he was doing, Ron often replied, "Just Ducky." He earned his doctorate of law degree in 1958, from Willamette University.
After law school, Ron and his wife (formerly Joan Maple) settled in Medford, Ore., where he practiced law. Together they had six beautiful, talented and caring children. After his divorce, Ron was introduced to Beverly Nelson Stuart, who became his best friend and love of his life. They married in 1965. The two of them, along with Bev's two boys, Jay and Craig, and their young son, Logan, moved to Fairbanks in 1968 where Ron accepted a position as trust officer at Alaska National Bank of the North. He rose to the position of president and CEO of the bank, continuing in that position until October 1987.
In December 1988, Ron began 10 years as CEO of the Fairbanks Industrial Development Corporation (now known as FEDC), working closely with the forestry department and the mining community.
Ron was on the board of The Salvation Army for more than 30 years, and was active in the Fairbanks Downtown Rotary Club
. An eager golfer, Ron served as a board member and president of the Fairbanks Golf Club.
Ron was an avid sports fan, participating in baseball, basketball, alpine skiing and golf throughout his life. He was particularly passionate about skiing and served as a volunteer member of the National Ski Patrol for more than 30 years at ski areas in Oregon and Alaska. He held leadership positions at all levels in the national system, and was elected to serve as the national director from 1982 to 1986. In recognition of his exceptional leadership skills, Ron received the rare and prestigious Minnie Dole Award.
Whether it was skiing, hunting, fishing, camping or canoeing, Ron had a great appreciation for the outdoors, which he passed on to all of his children. Ron was a "people person," who loved being with his friends whether on the ski slope, river, golf course, or at the dinner or card table. His close friends will always remember his laugh and the twinkle in his eye when telling or hearing a good story while sitting around a campfire or dinner table. They will miss him greatly.
His children and grandchildren have always been of great importance to Ron, and even more so these past few years. He cherished the memories of visits to their homes in the Lower 48, and the times the children were able to visit Alaska.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents. Ron is survived by his wife, Beverly; children, Mike (Gina) Ricketts, of Redmond, Ore.; Jay Stuart, of Bellevue, Wash.; Kevin (Theresa) Ricketts, of Klamath Falls, Ore.; Mary (John) Seifert, of Livingston, Mont.; Craig (Susan) Stuart, of Chandler, Ariz.; Clare (John) Jaramillo, of Tualatin, Ore.; Matt Ricketts, of Livingston, Mont.; Samantha (David) Watnes, of Murray, Utah; Logan Ricketts, of Fairbanks; and 20 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
There will be no public memorial service. Condolences to the family may be addressed to Beverly Ricketts, 666 11th Ave. No. 208, Fairbanks, AK 99701.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to Hospice of the Tanana Valley or The Salvation Army would be appreciated.
Arrangements entrusted to Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home.