Dr. Glennis Speary Rickert, a World War II veteran and longtime resident of Mountain Lakes, N.J., passed away peacefully Oct. 24, 2011. He was 87 years old.
Born Aug. 27, 1924, in Halifax, to Glennis and Edna Rickert, and raised in Kane,, Dr. Rickert attended the University of Michigan for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1943. During World War II, “Rick” served on PT Boat 490, stationed in the Philippines. PT-490 and PT-492 were credited with sinking the Japanese destroyer Uzuki during the Battle of Leyte Gulf on Aug. 12, 1944. Rick and the crew of PT boat 490 ferried General Douglas MacArthur to the Island of Los Negros where MacArthur delivered his “I shall return” speech in August 1945. Along the way, Gen. MacArthur spoke to Rick and asked, “Am I in your way son?” to which the young sailor replied, “No sir.”
After the war, armed with an honorable discharge and the rank of Quartermaster (third class), Rick completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan, where he met his future wife, Nancy Bailey. Earning his medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. & Mrs. Rickert moved to Mountain Lakes, New Jersey in 1954 and opened his family medical practice in neighboring Boonton.
During his 34 years of private practice, Dr. Rickert is credited with delivering over 800 babies, and served as the team physician for the Mountain Lakes High School Football team during the 1970s. He was a Charter Fellow in the American Academy of Family physicians.
An excellent golfer, Dr. Rickert recorded seven hole-in-ones, and was a founding member and past President of the Rockaway River Country Club in Denville, N.J.
When he retired from private practice in 1988, Dr. Rickert became the medical director at Sunrise House in Lafayette, N.J. Rick officially retired in 1998 and devoted himself to playing more golf, entertaining family and friends with his sharp wit and endless supply of jokes, relaxing on the porch of his family farm in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania, and enjoying his growing family.
A man of many talents Dr. Rickert had his eggnog recipe published in “Gourmet” magazine; and rode his motorcycle to the Daytona Beach, Fla. bike rallies. Author and fellow WWII veteran, Robert Leckie, dedicated his book “Delivered from Evil” - “To Glennis Rickert, M.D. Witty Friend and Wise Physician.”
Dr. Rickert is survived by his wife of 63 years Nancy; his sister Marion Rickert Swanson of Sonestown, Pa.; his six children, Laura Robinson, Darcy Adams, Gary Rickert, Leslie Pennick, Bruce Rickert, and Bradley Rickert and their spouses; and nine grandchildren, Eamon and Corey Robinson, Bailey and Julia Pennick, David, Anna, and Christopher Rickert, and Ashley and Kyra Rickert.
A private service is planned, in lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made in Dr. Rickert’s name to the charity of your choice.