Commercial Record

Obituary: Charles Rickett, 92

Charles C. “Chuck” Rickett, 92, of Evanston, Ill., and for 29 years Saugatuck, passed away on Nov. 18, 2022.
An active and involved citizen of Saugatuck, Chuck in 1988 took over a two-year term on the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library Board of Trustees — and stayed for 25 years (20 as president).
He guided the district through multiple millage referendums, remodeling programs, acquiring the old library building and annex in Douglas, plus was a driving force behind the effort to fund the new Center Street library.
Chuck was elected to the Saugatuck City Council in 1990 and served 10 years, including two as mayor (1995-1996). In 1996, he began representing the city on the Kalamazoo Lake Sewer & Water Authority as a board member and chairman (five years).
In addition, he and his late wife, Patti, were deeply involved in the Friends of the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library organization, a group that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the library.
Chuck and Patti also tutored Saugatuck-area students for many years, volunteered for and managed the downtown Information Booth for a decade, and were longtime supporters of the Art à Loan program and the Saugatuck Chamber Music Festival.
In 2012, Chuck and Patti were named Saugatuck Tony Vettori Citizens of the Year.
Chuck was born Aug. 14, 1930, in Detroit to Lawrence W. and Berneice M. Rickett.
In 1945, the family moved from Detroit to a farm in Washington, Mich. — an experience that gave teenage Chuck an appreciation for hard work and the skills to repair or build nearly anything.
After graduating from Romeo High School (Romeo, Mich.) and a year at Wayne State University, in late 1950 Chuck was drafted and inducted into the U.S. Army, serving a year stateside and a year in Korea.
In 1954 Chuck began a long career in sales and marketing with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, retiring from the health insurance organization in 1985 after roles that took him to Kalamazoo, Traverse City, Detroit and Chicago.
In retirement, at age 55, Chuck and Patti came to Saugatuck. In addition to his extensive community involvement, Chuck worked for local business, Wilkins Hardware Store, started his own drapery installation service, took flying lessons, managed and maintained the condominium building where they lived, helped with the Art ‘Round Town outdoor sculpture installations, worked for a local art framing business, managed a constantly changing trio of cars, and completely took apart and restored a 1954 Century Runabout wooden motorboat (which he did not like to get wet).
Chuck was predeceased (in 2019) by his wife of 65 years, Patricia L. “Patti”. He is survived by his three children, Charles C. Rickett Jr. (Nancy Chapman), Allison Rickett (Tim Green) and Amy Rickett (Jeffery Magnuson); 7 grandchildren, Christopher Rickett (girlfriend Taylor Ward), Patrick Rickett (Torie), Nina Rickett-Green, Brooke Rickett-Green, Cara (Craig) Everts, Samuel Rohloff and Eli Magnuson; two great-grandsons, Arthur Smith and Bennett Everts; his sister, Joan Beneventi; and five beloved nieces and nephews.
Donations in his memory can be made to The Friends of the Saugatuck-Douglas District Library (P.O. Box 205, Douglas, MI 49406). Services will not be held.

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