Thomas (Tom) Patrick Ricketts, 70, unbeknownst to him, went on his final joy ride with his beloved dog, Mackie (Mackie's fine) on March 6, 2018. Tom was born on January 11,1948, to Edward and Rita Suzanne Ricketts in New London Connecticut. Tom's parents were very busy, given that he was the second oldest of 11 children. He graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1967 and from Thames Valley Technical College in 1974. Tom served as a Staff Sargent in the United States Marine Corps in the 4th Marines (1/4) from 1967 to 1971, where he frequented the rice patties and jungles of Vietnam for probably longer than he cared to. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal W/V, Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal (1st Award), National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal W/3 Stars, RVNMUC W/Palm, Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Navy Unit Commendation. He was a Marine until the day he kicked the bucket. After returning from Vietnam, Tom was stationed in Washington D.C. where he met the love of his life, Virginia Parker. Tom and Virginia were married on May 29,1971. Tom is survived by his wife, Virginia; daughters, Christine Ricketts and her Fiancé, Jonathan Houde of Plymouth, MA, Sarah (Jonathan) Baldi of New London, CT, Emily (Christopher) Temple of Colchester, CT, and Elizabeth (Joshua) Amburn of Maryville, TN. He liked to blame his baldness on his daughters instead of bad genetics. He was known as Popop to his grandchildren; June, Lena, Owen, Molly and Georgia. Tom adored his grandchildren and they him. He was famous for his stories he told them and the adventures he took them on. Tom is survived by his brothers; Daniel, Jack, Gerald, and Jimmy Ricketts, sisters; Kathleen (David) Dickson, Margaret ( Arthur) Kerr and Sally (David) Banning. Tom's brothers, Joseph, Kenneth, and Timothy Ricketts and William Roth will not be attending his services since they already beat him to the pearly gates. Tom retired after 33 years of working at Millstone Nuclear power plant as a health physicist before finishing his final years on the maintenance FIN team. Tom was a devote member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, where he served as bishop of the Norwich ward for several years. He will be remembered wearing his fedora, walking through the church halls with a bounce in his step and a ready smile, sneaking into the nursery to visit his grandbabies and imparting his wisdom to the youth. Tom was an avid fisherman, and in his retirement years could be found daily at the Norwich harbor attempting to catch the big kahuna with his fishing buddies, or on his boat or in his garden. During the winter Tom and his wife were snowbirds in Maryville, Tennessee where he took up fly fishing. He was always in search of a good feather to make the perfect fly and he enjoyed sharing his fly tying talents with the Boy Scouts. Those of us who were lucky enough to call Tom, Husband, Dad, Popop, Brother, Uncle and Friend, realize how much we all just lost. He always had a smile on his face and a story to tell, he always gave more than he took and he led by example in all aspects of his life. He was a simple man, but not to be confused with a simpleton. The mold was broken after they made him, he was truly one of a kind. He didn't walk on water, but he was perfect to us. It is official, Tom has gone fishing. Please join us in a celebration of life on March 16, 2018, at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 597 Scotland Rd, Norwich, CT. The family will receive friends and family at 3:30pm and a celebration of Tom's life will begin at 5:00pm. Please join us in sending him home with love and laughter.
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