Ray Rickert

Nov. 1, 1922 - Feb. 2, 2009

Ray (Reinold) Rickert, retired highway design engineer for the State of Illinois, died Feb. 2, 2009, in Marengo, Ill., in the house that he built in 1954. He was 86.

Mr. Rickert was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the College of Engineering. He was a former member of Bel-Mar Country Club and an avid patron of the Marengo, Woodstock and Crystal Lake public libraries. He also volunteered at the Keen Age Center in Belvidere, Ill., helping fellow seniors access the Internet.

Mr. Rickert served in World War II with the 15th Air Force in Bari, Italy, as a bombardier. He flew more than 55 missions over enemy territory, including four over Berlin. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and four Oak Leaf Clusters. His group also received a presidential citation. While in Italy, he was awarded a $1,000 war bond.

Born Nov. 1, 1922, in Shawano, Mr. Rickert grew up during the Great Depression, which made him a very practical, creative and frugal man. According to his daughter, Claudia Garrison, "He lived very much in the moment, yet kept an eye on the future. Every time we got together, he had Value Line reports on our stock portfolios for us, along with hand-drawn graphs."

His daughter Kitz Rickert added, "We found plans for re-insulating the house and a library book on small cap stocks alongside a 14-point checklist with detailed instructions to help us sort out the house and accounts. He remained, to the end, very much in control, and I know, as is his way, he continues to guide Claudia and me through this transition."

In addition to his two daughters, Mr. Rickert is survived by two grandsons, Matthew and Christopher Garrison of San Francisco, and a sister, Martha Adams of Waukesha, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Arrangements were made by Marengo-Union Funeral Home, (815) 568-8131.