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					        A Memoir:
By Raechel Rickard in honour
             of
       R.L. Rickard.
My Papa, R.L. Rickard, was born
     in Buffaloe Arkansas on
 February 22, 1930. His parents
 were Leonard Rickard and Effie
    Bazzill and he has three
 sisters, Odell, Opal Ruth, and
            Melva Lou.
He was born to a
  farming family
    and grew up
working in cotton
 and bean fields.
  He joined the
Navy immediately
after graduating
from high school
 at 17 years of
       age.
  While on a 30 day
 leave back home he
  met Gloria Imogene
Gilliland on February
      17th,1953.
They married on March
11th, 1953 and stayed
together for 51 years
 then my Nanny passed
  in 2004. He was so
  heartbroken my mom
 had to make him eat.
When he joined the
Navy they made him
  take on the name
 Robert Lynn which
he would pass down
   to his youngest
         son.
     He had three
  children, Heidi
   Marie Rickard,
      Kevin Brian
Rickard, and Robert
    Lynn Rickard.
  He spent 7 years on the White House
  Staff operating and maintaining the
     Presidential Yacht under both
   Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.
 He knew President Kennedy well and his
  house was decorated with many letters
from the White House. Probably the most
      unique of which was from Mamie
 Eisenhower thanking him for assembling
   basketball goals for her kids. Often
   R.L. and his family were invited to
   Christmas Dinner at the White House.
  Papa is the second from the left and
Dwight D. Eisenhower is the man holding
                the rail.
In 1963 R.L. received orders to move to
Hawaii. President Kennedy asked him how
 he liked his orders and Papa said that
 he would prefer working tugboats on
 the east or west coast. His orders
 were changed to Tugboat Master at
  Treasure Island in San Francisco.
    Everyone knew his tug on sight
because of the dancing bull backed by
a white diamond adorning it’s stack.
He completed 22 years in the Navy and
    retired as Chief Boatswains Mate
 having received the American Defense
      Medal with Fleet Clasp, Navy
   Occupation Service Medal with Asia
  Clasp, China Service Medal, United
     Nations Service Medal, National
Defense Service Medal, Korean Service
   Medal, and the Good Conduct Medal.
Proud of his naval career his license
          tag read BMC RET.
 After R.L. retired he worked a variety
   of jobs and moved back to Paragould
 Arkansas on May 4th 1971. When they got
a house on New Friendship Road he began
working at Darling Store Fixtures on the
maintenance crew, eventually leading it
             before retiring.
 Prior to retiring he was honoured as a
     distinguished senior employee.
He also enjoys gardening and auto repair
as the ‘jack-of-all-trades’ and he has
 little need for repair and service men.
 He built most of the house that he lived
in with his family in Paragould. When they
   first moved in it was a three-bedroom
  house but Papa added a master bedroom,
dining room, utility room, den, oversized
 two-car garage, three sheds, and a storm
                  cellar.
To this day R.L. is a devoted Christian
   and extremely friendly, even to the
  point of inviting a Sear’s Catalogue
 lady to dinner when she called to tell
    him his order had come in. He is a
  teacher, leader, and a man of values
 who hides a soft center behind a gruff
             but quiet manner.
  Earlier this year he had a stroke and
is recovering but has to sell his house
 and belongings and live with Heidi and
Bobby. He may also have Alzheimer’s or
   it could just be the stroke damaging
       This is the end of
            A Memoir:
In Honour of R.L. (Papa) Rickard.




         I love you Papa.

				
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posted:10/4/2011
language:English
pages:15