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John W. Rickers, attorney for more than 50 years <br> May 22, 1926 -- Sept. 23, 2009

John W. Rickers, 83, a practicing lawyer in Buffalo for more than 50 years, died Wednesday in Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

A native of Corry, Pa., Mr. Rickers entered the Navy less than a month after graduating from high school in 1944. During World War II, he served as a sonarman on the destroyer USS Owen (DD-536) in the South Pacific.

Following the war, Mr. Rickers graduated from the University of Buffalo with a degree in business management before earning his law degree from UB's Law School.

For many years, Mr. Rickers practiced law with the firm that became Hellings, Morey, Kresse & Rickers.

After retiring from the general practice of law, he served as a pro bono attorney for more than 10 years with Legal Services for the Elderly and Disabled of Western New York.

Mr. Rickers and his family, who were members of the old Murray Hill Ski Club and other skiing organizations, spent many ski vacations in this country, Canada and Europe. He was a life member of the Buffalo Canoe Club.

He also was active in several civic organizations, including the Ismailia Shriners, the international organization that operates orthopedic hospitals and burn-treatment centers for children. Mr. Rickers was a member of both the Shrine Chanters group and the Royal Order of Jesters.

His wife of 45 years, the former Joan Sanderson, preceded him in death in February 2003.

Survivors include one son, Christopher J., and one daughter, Heidi Van Everen.

A memorial service will be held at noon Tuesday in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave.


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