Obituary: Sgt. James Ricklefs, 75, of Ludington

April 3, 2023

James Ricklefs

Obituary: Sgt. James Ricklefs, 75, of Ludington

Sergeant James “Chico” Ricklefs of Ludington passed away on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at the age of 75. 

The youngest of seven siblings, Chico was born on February 13, 1948 to Charles and Anna (Bentz) Ricklefs. He was proud to serve his country as an automotive repairman in the US Air Force from November 1966 to November 1970, following which he obtained degrees from West Shore Community College, Ferris State University, and Central Michigan University. He enjoyed working at the Clark Gas Station with his brother Michael, and went on to be a dedicated automotive teacher for Baldwin Community Schools, with a penchant for fostering trust and excitement in his students.

His home away from home was on the water: Chico was passionate about boats and sailing, and his loved ones have many fond memories of adventures on Lake Michigan and in Florida. He was an active member of the community and was part of several local clubs, and was regularly involved with the Ludington Boat Club and Ludington Yacht Club. He was a proud father who deeply loved his son, Jimmy. He was known for a warm smile and generous nature, and had a knack for adapting to all of the changing tides and winds of life; he lived by his favorite quote: “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust our sails.”

Chico will be forever remembered and missed by his son, Jimmy; sister, Sheryl O’Brien; and many friends, in-laws, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Charleene Cooper, and brothers Michael, Gary, Richard, and Raymond.

A service will be held at Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington this spring, with a celebration of life to follow. Details will be available at a later date.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.OakGroveLudington.com.

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