Ricketts, a Springfield veteran will be remembered as ‘devoted Buckeye, coach, teacher,’ son says

Ricketts, 79, was Vietnam vet, Ohio State football captain.

Private services were held Friday for a Springfield veteran who was a “devoted Buckeye, coach, and teacher.”

Ormonde B. Ricketts, 79, passed away in his home Tuesday, according to his obituary.

Ricketts completed two tours in Vietnam earning a Bronze Star and served as a team captain for Ohio State University football team in 1963.

He had three sons – Darrin, Jason and Sam – with whom he made many memories, his oldest, Darrin, told the Springfield News-Sun.

“He was a devoted Buckeye, coach, and teacher,” Darrin said. “He always wanted to create great memories with his three boys. We all spent time with him last week. He wanted to hear all our great memories. We went over all that and said, ‘Dad, you accomplished that.’”

Darrin said he and his brothers kind of followed in the footsteps of their dad. He said he was in the Army for 25 years, Jason was in the Air National Guard for 20 years and Sam played football at Miami University.

“He would teach me, my brothers and all our neighborhood friends all kinds of sports techniques, we would play war and use his Vietnam gear, he would take us hunting and fishing – that’s what got me interested in the Army,” Darrin said.

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Springfield Athletic Director Michael Dellapina, a 1983 South High School graduate, had Ricketts as a coach for three years at Schaefer Junior High School.

“He was definitely an old-school, dyed-in-the-wool coach,” Dellapina said. “He was a disciple of Woody Hayes, a harder worker, but he made it fun. He definitely loved his line guys and got the most out of us.”

Several others also left condolences for Ricketts on his obituary page.

“I have had the great pleasure of spending a lot of time with Ormonde over the years, on and off the football field. Coach Ricketts cared deeply for his players, and they loved the intensity and manner in which he coached those young men,” Jim Dimitroff said.

“Coach Ricketts was a positive influence in my life, and contributed greatly to the positive development of his players and students. I always admired and greatly respected his military service during the Vietnam War, a hero in my book,” he added.

After Ricketts completed his master’s degree, he was a teacher and coach for the Springfield City School District for 22 years before retiring in 1993.

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“Mr. Ricketts was my PE teacher at Schaefer Jr. High in the early 80s. He was a tough teacher and had some of the most colorful stories. He and Mrs. Barringer were probably two of the most influential teachers that I had. My sincere condolences to the family,” Jeff Yinger said on the condolences page.

He is survived by his children, Darrin, Jason and Sam; 10 grandchildren; sister Linda Nolten; brother Charlie; friend and caretaker Ann Hensley; and many nieces and nephews, according to his obituary.

Visitation was held Friday at Conroy Funeral Home in Springfield, followed by a private funeral service for the family and interment in the veteran’s section of Ferncliff Cemetery.

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