Robert Eugene Ricker, Jr. age 65, of Nashville, Tennessee passed away peacefully but unexpectedly in his sleep on July 27, 2020.
Bob grew up in the Mount Ayr area, graduating from Mount Ayr High School with the class of 1973. He married his high school sweetheart, Pam Jackson, in 1974 and they enjoyed a wonderful 45-year journey together.
Bob earned a double major in computer science and business from North Carolina Wesleyan College. Most of his career was spent in telephone including 15 years in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina where he helped create many of the services everyone enjoys today. His teams were proud of their accomplishments with the internet and cell phone technologies they helped to create but probably every one of them would say it was more fun because Bob made it that way.
Music was always a very important part of Bob’s life. Starting on the drums in grade school and guitar in Jr. High school, he loved playing all kinds of music. He organized the Mount Ayr rock bad “Era of Good Feeling” in 8th grade. Forming and playing with many bands fed his music passion and was a great way to pay the bills. Keeping all the money in a cigar box, he paid for a car and much of his college education. In 2000, Bob and Pam fulfilled a lifelong dream of moving to Nashville, Tennessee and founding Waltzing Bear Productions on Music Row. He excelled at recording and production to help music hopefuls try and fulfill their dreams.
Bob had many business and musical accomplishments including winning the World Pipe Smoking contest in 1980.
Bob was one of the most optimistic people around and most any Drake Bulldog fan will agree. He was a faithful fan from the 60’s and just knew they are going to achieve those glory days again. Even in the early years he would sit out in his parents’ car in the cold to listen to the games on the radio. Being able to watch the games online was Heaven to him and he and Pam never missed the opportunity to cheer them on in person. The team’s success wasn’t as important to him as the character the young men brought to the team.
Nothing was more important to Bob than family traditions. The highlight of the Christmas season was Christmas Eve soup supper at Grandma Margie’s and the ever-popular pitch game that followed. No one ever left hungry or broke. Everyone who knew Grandma Margie knows where Bob got his big heart, generous ways and love of horse racing.
Another interest high on his list was open wheel racing. Every Saturday in the summer found him in Section D of the Knoxville, Iowa racetrack cheering on his favorite driver and eating a tenderloin.
Bob’s larger than life personality and love of life was infectious. It pulled everyone to him and he made new friends wherever he went.
Recently he was diagnosed with colon cancer. The doctors were optimistic that it was treatable, there was a treatment plan, and Bob was determined to beat it. However, he never got the opportunity to fight the battle and passed away in his sleep.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Pam; mother, Lucy Evelyn Ricker; brothers, Bruce (Michell) Ricker and Brent Ricker; brother-in-law, Chuck (Kahla) Jackson; nephews: Jaren (Randi) Ricker, Blake Ricker, Jake Ricker, Joe Ricker, Christopher Jackson and nieces: Lindsay Ricker, Jessie Ricker and Ashley Jackson and a host of other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Robert Sr.; his in-laws, Charles and Lila Jackson; sister-in-law, Martha Ricker and nephew, Aaron Jackson.
Bob had a great respect for the current pandemic and would not want to put anyone at risk, so a Celebration of Life will be held in the near future in Iowa. Memorials are to the Ricker Endowment for the Elementary Raider and Maroon Reading programs and the United Church of Diagonal.
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