GROTON, Vt. - Paul Nelson Ricker, 87, a former longtime Woodsville, N.H., resident and most recently of Naples, Fla., died on Saturday, June 9, 2012, at his camp on Lake Groton.
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Paul was born in Haverhill, N.H., May 4, 1925, the son of Nelson Crown Ricker and Dorothy A. (Miller) Ricker. He was raised in Woodsville and graduated from Woodsville High School, class of 1943. He served an apprenticeship with the former Rouhan & Swan Funeral Home in Woodsville and later graduated from the American Academy of Mortuary Science in White Plains, N.Y., in 1946. Returning to Woodsville, Paul worked with Mr. Rouhan and became a partner in 1953. He acquired sole ownership in 1963, changing the name to Ricker Funeral Home, and later acquired ownership of funeral homes in the nearby communities of Groton and West Barnet, Vt., from his cousin, Carroll Ricker. In his early business career he also owned the Woodsville Furniture Store, as well as operating the local ambulance service until 1973. He retired from the funeral business in July 1986.
Paul served in many civic capacities: as a commissioner of the Haverhill Cemetery Association, commissioner of Woodsville Water & Light, president of the Cohase Lions Club, and past president and trustee of Cottage Hospital. Along with being a member of the Woodsville United Methodist Church, he served on the Administrative Council, was a director of the former National Bank of Newbury in Wells River, and was a former President of the New Hampshire Funeral Directors Association, and former member of the New Hampshire State Board of Funeral Service.
Paul's true passion came with the Masonic Order. He was a member and Past Master of Grafton-Kane Lodge 46 of North Haverhill, N.H., where he joined on Jan. 8, 1947, and held a dual membership in Pulaski Lodge 58 in Wells River. He was a past presiding officer of all Scottish Rite Bodies in the Valley of Littleton and Lancaster, N.H. He served as the Potentate of Bektash Shrine Temple AAONMS of Concord, N.H., in 1977. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children in Springfield, Mass., and was a former Worthy Patron of Iona-Lafayette Chapter 39, Order of the Eastern Star. Later he served as the Most Worshipful Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire in 1986 and 1987. On Sept. 27, 1961, he was created a Sovereign Grand Inspector 33-degree member of the Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Paul was the recipient of two distinguished Masonic service medals from the New Hampshire Grand Lodge, the Major General John Sullivan Medal and the Jeremy L. Cross Medal.
He married the former Patricia Page on June 27, 1948, in St. Johnsbury.
He was predeceased by his brother, Philip J. Ricker, and by a brother-in-law, Gordon Smith Page Jr.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, "Patty" Page Ricker of Groton and Naples, Fla.; a son, Philip P. Ricker of Naples, Fla.; a daughter, Paula R. House and husband of Woodsville, N.H.; two grandchildren, Christopher House and wife, Samantha, and Kimberly House; a brother-in-law, Charles Elkins Page; several nephews, one niece, and several cousins.
services:Private funeral services will be held at the convenience of the family. For more information or to sign an online guest book go to www.rickerfh.com. Ricker Funeral Home, Woodsville, N.H., is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Union Leader on June 11, 2012