James Laney Ricker, age 87, of Abilene passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 21, 2018 at his home in Abilene, Texas.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, July 27, 2018 at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road, with Pastor Jeff Reid of Pioneer Drive Baptist Church officiating. Burial will follow in the Eagle Colony Cemetery, 3400 FM 1750. Visitation will be 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, July 26, at The Hamil Family Funeral Home.
James was born in Breckenridge, TX to James ‘Pete’ Ricker and Susie Wilson Ricker on March 18, 1931. The years of his youth were spent in Eastland county in the towns of Eastland and Cisco, he attended Cisco schools. James was known to his family and friends as ‘Smiley’, an appropriate nickname that followed him for his entire life. James later moved to Abilene where he worked as a welder for Central Texas Iron Works, Automation Industries and General
Dynamics. James completed his career in the oilfields of West Texas as a welder for geologist John Chalmers and Sojourner Drilling. After retirement, James enjoyed performing welding jobs for friends and family and playing his prized Martin D28 guitar. James was a faithful member of the Intergenerational Bible class at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, where he had a near perfect attendance record.
James was preceded in death by his parents.
James is survived by his sister Jane Voris of Llano, former spouse and mother of his children Winona Migliavacca of Abilene, son Mike Ricker and wife Phyllis of Abilene, son Dale Ricker and wife Patty of Abilene, and daughter Lori Ann Griffis and husband Craig of Abilene. James has 7 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.
Pallbearers will be grandsons Austin and Connor Griffis and Stephen Ricker, grandson-in-law Mike Miller and great-grandsons Janson and Payden Miller.
The family requests in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to Hospice of the Big Country/West Texas Rehabilitation Center. The family also wishes to express sincere and heartfelt thanks for the loving care provided by Dr. D. Allen Schultz and his staff, the nurses and staff of Hospice of the Big Country and to the loving, supportive church family at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church.
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The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.