The following obituary was written by the deceased a number of years ago and at his request appears largely without change.
Robert Dale Rickert, a Yankee converted to the Southern way of life, died on June 24, 2022 at the age of 97. He was grateful for having lived beyond his life expectancy in spite of enjoying some pleasures not conducive to longevity. What finally got him was old-age leukemia. Mr. Rickert was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 22, 1925 to Wayne and Amy (nee Ama Bell Clark) Rickert, Hoosiers who had moved to New York. He grew up in various parts of Westchester County, New York. He graduated at the age of 19 from Duke University in February 1945 after a 2-1/2 year grind during part of which he was managing editor of The Chronicle. He was then commissioned as a Navy Ensign, having been in the Naval ROTC program. Because he had made Phi Beta Kappa, he was tapped for the Navy's Japanese Language School. World War II ended before he completed that program, and he was transferred to the military government on Okinawa. Upon release from the Navy, he elected to stay on Okinawa an extra year as a civilian employee of the military government. He banked almost every penny he made there, and on that and the GI Bill, he went through Harvard Law School. He practiced law in Manhattan for ten years with Vick Chemical Co. and Davis Polk Wardwell. In 1960 he moved to the Legal Department of R.J. Reynolds in Winston-Salem, NC, where he became an Assistant General Counsel and was corporate secretary and/or director of several subsidiaries including Archer, Glenn Tobacco and Penick Ford. Mr. Rickert retired Jan. 1, 1987, and enjoyed thereafter a life of indolent ease, travelling much of the world with his wife Barby, playing golf several times a week, reading extensively, and eating well. Because he was a clumsy athlete in his youth, he was more satisfied with having beaten his age in golf than with some other accomplishments. Ladies said they enjoyed dancing with him. He also improved his performance at the bridge table and made a hobby of handling his investments. However, he had nowhere near as colorful a personality as the tone of may imply. On May 16, 1954, Mr. Rickert married Barbara Butler, a Texan he had met in New York City. They have two daughters, Mary Ann (Mrs. J. Matthew) Lennon of Andover, MA, and Elizabeth Jean Rickert of Winston-Salem (Clemmons), NC, and five grandchildren: Duncan, Alex, and Molly Lennon, and Mary Byrd (Ewell) Pettenati and Annie Ewell. All of them survive him, as does a brother, Thomas E. Rickert of San Francisco, CA and his family. They all know he loved them. After Barby passed away in 2010, Bob married Evelyn Moore Horton, a close family friend, and they enjoyed five wonderful years together, travelling and enjoying a new life in their later years before Evelyn passed away. Bob is survived by a stepdaughter, Rosalie Horton. Mr. Rickert was a member of the Old Town Club, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, the Y Men's Club, and the Torch Club, and had been a member and director of the Twin City Club. He had also been President of the YMCA when its former downtown property was sold, and its present property acquired. He also did volunteer legal mediation work in his retirement. A memorial service will take place in the fall, and a date will be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the YMCA, 775 W. End Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27101 or The Winston-Salem Foundation, 751 West Fourth St., Suite 200, Winston-Salem, NC 27101. Bob Rickert had a happy, easy-going personality, and had many wonderful, loyal friends. He is missed by them and by his family, who loved him dearly and appreciate the legacy he left us.