Major William E. Ricken

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Major William E. Ricken was promoted to Glory Dec. 1 from Wheatridge, Colo.

Ricken was born April 17, 1926, in Wichita, Kan. Introduced to The Salvation Army in high school, he entered the School for Officer Training in 1944 and was commissioned early with the Fearless Session because of food shortages at the college during the Depression.

His first appointment was at the Denver Scandinavian Corps where he met Violet Hart, a secretary there. Hart applied to the School for Officer Training and was commissioned with the King’s Messengers Session in 1948. Ricken and Hart married and were appointed as corps officers to Idaho Falls, Idaho.

Subsequent appointments included Coos Bay, Portland, Salem and Medford, Ore.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Denver. They served in social services positions in Portland, Ore.; San Jose and Santa Ana, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Denver. He retired from his final appointment as Intermountain Division Service Extension director in 1991.

After retirement the Rickens resided in Lakewood, Colo., continuing to serve as chaplain at Denver’s Adult Rehabilitation Center, leading Bible studies at Denver Silvercrest residences, counseling and preaching along the Front Range and as a chaplain at High Peak Camp for its senior camps. He was an active participant in Salvation Army West Retired Officers Association and a member and officer of the Denver Capital City Kiwanis Club until its dissolution in 2008.

Ricken is survived by his four children: Richard (Pat), Keith (Joan), Paul (Fi) and  Judith Fields; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years; daughter Patricia (Snider); and grandchildren: Jana (Ricken) and David (Snider).

The Denver Citadel Corps held a Celebration of Life service Dec. 6 with Lt. Colonel Douglas O’Brien presiding. Ricken was buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Denver with Lt. Colonel George Church presiding.

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