James Edward Rickstrew, 72, of Sierra Vista, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, June 19, 2014, after a very courageous fight with Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), which he had been diagnosed with in March 2014. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. A celebration of his life will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 11, at Village Meadows Church of Christ in Sierra Vista, with Cecil E. Price, minister, officiating.
Mr. Rickstrew was born on April 9, 1942, in Stillwater, Okla., to Roy E. Rickstrew and Pauline C. Riley Rickstrew. He attended school at Wellston, Okla., through November of his sophomore year. He moved to Clovis, N.M., with his family where he finished high school, graduating in May 1960. He attended college at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales until June 1963 studying biology, range management and soil science.
He was fortunate to have three careers in his adult life: he worked for an irrigation company for 13 years in the states of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona; then he spent 13 years in the agricultural/farming area as a pesticide control advisor, primarily in Willcox and Buckeye, Arizona, and finally, he spent 13 years working as an Appraiser II for the Navajo County Assessor’s Office in Holbrook. He had been prepared well for all these jobs working with his dad on farms in Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Mr. Rickstrew married Anne Brissee Alford on June 17, 1989. They spent 25 wonderful years together traveling, exploring and working side by side in whatever they did. They lived both in Holbrook and Winslow from 1989 to 2006, before spending the last eight years as full-time RVers. They were blessed with the friendship of some of the nicest people in the world.
He was a life member of both the NRA and the Single Action Shooting Society (Alkali, 2663 Life). He spent several years in cowboy action shooting competition. In the past few years he enjoyed playing his 12-string guitar and singing at jam sessions in the area.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Pauline.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Anne; two daughters, Diane Kay Allaire of Lake Havasu City and Linda Elaine (Jeff) Stoddard of Willcox; as well as five stepchildren, Jeffrey Alford of Gallup, N.M., Scott Alford of Peoria, Kevin Scott (Lisa) Nance of Lake Placid, Fla., Roberta Ann (Brian) Garver of Lapeer, Mich., and Tammy Luna of Aurora, Colo. He and Anne are proud of the 11 grandchildren they share together. He is also survived by his brothers Thomas R. Rickstrew of Salina, Kan., and George A. Rickstrew of Albuquerque, N.M.; as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
The family requests memorial contributions be made in lieu of flowers to: Valor Hospice, 1048 E. Fry Blvd., Suite E, Sierra Vista, Ariz. 85635.
Hatfield Funeral Home in Sierra Vista was in charge of the arrangements.