Samuel Arthur Ricker, Sr., passed away peacefully at his home Friday at the age of 99.
He was born March 6, 1921, a son of the late David Luther Ricker and Tracie Hull Ricker Hux. He was the last surviving child of nine.
At the age of 19, he joined the United States Army. Arthur was a World War II veteran, who served in the United States Army’s 4th Infantry Division. He was a survivor of Operation Overlord, better known as D-Day, which took place on June 6, 1944 and in December of 1944 he fought in the Battle of the Bulge; he was also involved with the liberation of Dachou. Mr. Ricker often downplayed his role; however, he was proud to have fought in a war that safeguarded the freedoms that Americans enjoy today. Arthur’s mother instilled in him at a very young age to have Faith in God and it’s that faith that carried him through the struggles of war and life.
He was a farmer and retired from Ball Zinc. He was a member of First Church of God and taught Sunday School for over 50 years.
He was a lifetime member of American Legion Post No. 64 and VFW Post # 1990. Arthur was a charter member and past president of Doak Ruritan Club. He enjoyed gardening, baseball and attending the Greeneville Astros / Reds games, and spending time with family. Arthur loved talking about history and the war, especially with children and those interested.
Survivors include his children and their spouses: Diane and Danny Crum, Faye and Ronnie Jaynes, Connie and Jerry Smith, James David and Constance Ricker and the mother of his children, Novella Ricker, Arthur and Martha Ricker Jr., Mark and Vickie Ricker, and Christy and Doug DeBusk; 12 grandchildren: Scott Jaynes, LeaAnne Spradlen, Lauren Crum, Ryan Ricker, Brennen Ricker, Trey Ricker, Travis Ricker, Tyler Ricker, Danielle Cutshaw, Dylan DeBusk, Connor DeBusk, and Delana DeBusk; 13 great-grandchildren: Sierra and Sydney Jaynes, Kase and Kinsley Spradlen, Brooklyn, Brieanna, and Bryce Crum, Rhett Ricker, Brayden and Emma Rose Ricker, Thomas Burley Ricker, Travis Ricker II, Emma Kate Ricker and an expected great-grandchild; sister-in-law: Alice Addington of Greensboro, NC; brother-in-law: Walter Shelton; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents and siblings, he was preceded in death by his wife of 72 years: Edith June Snowden Ricker, who died August 3, 2019; his daughter: Martha Kaye Ricker; special uncle: Hayes Hull; and someone he cared for like a son: Jimmy Smith.
The body will lie in state at Doughty-Stevens Funeral Home from 12 – 7 p.m. on Tuesday for family and friends to pay their respects.
Graveside services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at GreeneLawn Memory Gardens. The Rev. Ralph Shipley will officiate. The Greene County Honor Guard will convey military honors. Those attending are asked to wear a mask and observe social distancing. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons. Honorary pallbearers will be Chris Gray, Bobby Collins, Bud Morelock, Ted Wilhoit, Stefan and Teresa Roten, Dr. E. Brad Strange and his staff, caregivers: Ashley Cole, Karen Hagenburger, Vickie Bentley, and Melissa Doolitte, Beverly Barnes, and Ethan Ellis; Dale Thomas, the staff of Amedysis Home Health and Hospice, Dr. Whitaker and staff, his First Church of God family, his fellow Greeneville Astros / Reds fans, his special friends, Sam Babb, Gunther and Donna Eberle, and friends of the Tusculum Community.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to First Church of God Building Fund or to Veteran’s Memorial Park.
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