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Helen 'Jo' Ricketts

Helen “Jo” Ricketts, 94, of Thayer, formerly of Kansas City, died March 16, 2020, at Shady Oaks Healthcare Center in Thayer.

She was born on August 8, 1925, to Elmer and Emma (Huffman) Cornelius, in Thayer. During her childhood her family lived in Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska. She graduated from Thayer High School in 1943 and was immediately employed by the Bank of Thayer.

Jo married Wayne Ricketts, June, 26, 1948 and was married for 59 years. After marriage she worked in the University of Missouri Law Office in Columbia to help support her husband who was attending law school at MU. After his graduation, they moved to Kansas City, where Wayne practiced law and Jo began working from home raising two children. She enjoyed being active in her children’s elementary school PTA and singing in the school’s Mother’s Chorus.

Over the years she worked from home assisting her husband with all of his business ventures including office administrator for his law practice, real estate business, and retail carpet sales, until his death in 2008.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Wayne Ricketts; step father, Elvie McDonald; brothers, Herschell Cornelius and Hervel Cornelius; sisters, Betty Lou Cornelius and Sue Earnest. Survivors include her two children; Ann Ricketts Keeton (Bruce) of Belton, Tom Ricketts of Thayer; sister-in- law, Zoe Comer, of Kansas City; four grandchildren; Michael Keeton, Smithville, Greg Keeton, Belton, Heather Rogers, Thayer, and Tom Ricketts II, Poplar Bluff; and seven great-grandchildren, Chandler, Avery, Lexia, Brooklynn, Mackenzie, Lucy and Wyatt.

Services will be held at a later date.


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