Friday, September 18, 2009

Jack C. Rickels Navy Seabee

Jack C. Rickels, 79, a Navy captain who was deputy commander for military readiness in the Seabees, the Navy's construction battalion, died Sept. 3 of congestive heart failure at his home in Great Falls.

Capt. Rickels held the deputy commander post in the Naval Facilities Engineering Command from 1976 to 1982, when he retired. In retirement, he was active in the Seabees scholarship association.

Jack Clinton Rickels was born in Albany, N.Y., and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He received his Navy commission in 1952 and received a master's degree in management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., in 1964. He graduated in 1968 from what is now the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk.

He served in locations from Italy to Guam, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Washington. During the Vietnam War, he was twice deployed to Vietnam, once in support of Marines at Dong Ha along the Demilitarized Zone and later in support of the Army's Americal Division at Chu Lai and the Marines at Landing Zone Baldy.

His military decorations included three awards of the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star with Combat V.

Survivors include his wife, Helen Rickels of Great Falls.

-- Patricia Sullivan

Robert E. Robinson Federal Employee, Journalist

Robert E. Robinson, 89, the chief of the publications staff in the research, statistics and international policy office for the Social Security Administration from 1967 until his retirement in 1985, died Sept. 5 at Suburban Hospital of congestive heart failure. He was a Silver Spring resident.

Before working for the Social Security Administration, Mr. Robinson was the director of news and editorial operations for WWDC (1450 AM). He started working for the radio station in the mid-1950s, when he moved to the Washington area, and covered the White House, Congress, political conventions and presidential inaugurations.

He began his journalism career as a freelance writer in the early 1950s, selling articles to Good Housekeeping, Reader's Digest and Redbook magazines.

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