Peacefully at his home Bert Edward Ricard, age 86, of Palestine, joined his loving wife in Heaven on Sunday, the 18th day of April 2021. Mr. Ricard was born on the 3rd day of October 1934, in Mims, Florida, to parents Bert Ivy Ricard and Elsie Sikes Ricard.
Mr. Ricard grew up in Florida where he learned citrus farming from his father. He also learned ranching from his best friend, Billy Marr, whom he worked side by side. In high school, Mr. Ricard excelled in football and baseball. He signed with the Chicago White Sox his senior year of high school and was offered a full scholarship to play football at the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was a hard choice, but baseball was his decision. However, his career ended after an ankle injury in the first few months.
He then began a job at the Space Center at Cape Canaveral, near Titusville, Florida, as a fireman. He saw Astronaut Alan Shepard go into space and met President John F. Kennedy while working at the Space Center. In 1957, Mr. Ricard was drafted into the United States Army. He was sent to Fort Hood, Texas where he met Dee Ricard and they later married in 1958. After completing his Army service, he returned to his job at the Space Center and worked on a cattle ranch until moving to Texas.
Mr. Ricard was an active member of Florida Farm Bureau and Texas Farm Bureau throughout the years. He was one of the founders of the Anderson County Youth Livestock Association and the President of the Independent Cattleman’s Association in 1974. Mr. Ricard was an active member of the Crockett Road Church of Christ since 1975. He was a Christian who centered his life around the Lord, always serving Him in all areas of his life. Mr. Ricard was a devoted grandfather who took interest in his granddaughters, supporting them in all their school activities. He also taught them how to work cows and raise winning livestock animals in the Anderson County Youth Livestock Shows.
He is preceded in death by his parents Bert and Elsie Ricard; wife, Dee Ricard; sister, Lorreta Austin; sister-in-law, Dolores Ricard; and brother-in-law, Gerald Austin.
Mr. Ricard will live forever in the hearts of his family. He leaves behind his daughter, Deena Ricard and son, Jim Ricard, both of Palestine; brother, J.C. Ricard of Mims, Florida; granddaughters, Taylor Ricard and Emma Ricard. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
A Celebration of Life service to honor Mr. Ricard is to be conducted at three o’clock in the afternoon, on Saturday, the 24th day of April 2021 in the Rhone Memorial Chapel with Dan Manuel and Jeff Stockton officiating. The singing will be led by David Sparks.
Friends are invited to visit with the family one hour prior to the start of the service at Rhone Funeral Home.
At noon on Saturday, all extended family members are invited to have lunch in the Activity Building at Crockett Road Church of Christ.
PLEASE NOTE: For those unable to attend the service, a live stream will be accessible through Rhone Funeral Home’s Facebook Page.
At a later date, the family will have a private interment service where Mr. Ricard’s ashes will be scattered on their family ranch, joining the love of his life, Dee.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in Mr. Ricard’s memory can be directed towards St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, Anderson County Youth Livestock Association, or Crockett Road Church of Christ, P.O. Box 288, Palestine, Texas 75802.
Memorial and cremation services for Bert Edward Ricard are in care of Rhone Funeral Home, 3900 S. State Highway 19, Palestine, Texas.
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