June 3, 2019
Billy D. Rickman, of Ridgeway, Va., passed away Monday, June 3, 2019, at his residence surrounded by his loving family.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at Fair Funeral Home with the Reverend Rob Keaton, officiating. Burial to follow in Woodlawn Cemetery, Eden, N.C. with full military honors performed by the Rockingham County Veteran's Honor Guard and the US Navy Honor Guard. He will also have Fire Department honors. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from1 to 2 p.m. at the funeral home and other times at the residence.
He was born August 14,1925, to the late Fred Rickman and Emma Gilbert Rickman in Leaksville, N.C.
In 1943, Billy was drafted into the United States Navy at the age of 18 where he served on the USS Wisconsin and fought eight major battles against the Axis Powers during World War II. Billy was then Honorably Discharged in 1945.
In 1948 Billy married Mary Ann Kirkman Rickman and they were blessed with one daughter, Risa Rickman Coleman. Billy and Mary Ann were married for 64 years until the passing of Mary Ann in 2012.
After the birth of his daughter, Risa, Billy served as the president of the PTA at Ridgeway Elementary School for a number of years.
Billy also served as a member of the Ridgeway Ruritan club where in 1956, Billy, and several other members discovered the need for a fire department in the Ridgeway community. Billy and these other members founded the Ridgeway District Volunteer Fire Department in 1957 and Billy was instrumental in the purchase of the first fire engine (Truck #1) in 1959. Billy remained an active member with the Ridgeway Fire Department until 1974. Throughout his 18 years of service to the fire department, Billy held the office of President of the Board of directors in the fire department as well as the rank of Assistant Fire Chief.
Billy was Operations manager over CSI Services (a subsidiary of Dupont) where he remained for 19 years until his retirement in 1992.
He enjoyed being surrounded by his family and friends. He especially loved spending time with his two precious great-granddaughters, Emily and Abigail Coleman. Billy also enjoyed socializing with his friends, going out to dinner nearly every weekend prior to receiving his diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme (an aggressive brain tumor), which caused him to become very weak and remain in bed most of the time.
Billy was a true fighter as he had successfully beat prostate cancer and three bouts of squamous cell carcinoma with great strength. He also powered through having both knees replaced without it causing him to stop doing the things he enjoyed such as working in the yard.
He is survived by his daughter, Risa Rickman Coleman and her husband Jimmy Lee Coleman; two grandsons, Andrew Nicholas Coleman and his wife Chelsie Coleman; and Matthew William Coleman and his wife Jessica Coleman and two great-granddaughters, Emily Madison Coleman and Abigail Rose Coleman. He is also survived by several beloved nieces and nephews.
Billy was preceded in death by his parents, Emma Gilbert Rickman and Fred Lee Rickman; two sisters, Mildred Lennis Rickman and Mabel Francis Rickman, and three brothers, Jack Raymond Rickman (Sue), James Robert Rickman (Ruth) and Herman Lee Rickman (Louise).
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Cancer Society, Henry County Fire Association, or Mountain Valley Hospice.
Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.fairfuneralhome.com