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Peggy Elizabeth (Thigpen) Ricketts

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Peggy Elizabeth (Thigpen) Ricketts entered eternal life on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020, surrounded by those who loved her most, after a courageous fight against cancer. Born in Beaumont, Texas, on June 7, 1960, to Martha and Martin Thigpen, Peggy moved with her parents and younger brother David to Cleburne, Texas, where she would eventually meet the love her life, Jim Ricketts.

High school sweethearts, Peggy and Jim married just three months after graduation on Aug. 19, 1978, at United Presbyterian Church in Cleburne. Peggy and Jim would have celebrated 42 years of marriage this month. The couple moved to Lubbock, Texas, where they attended Texas Tech University. In 1982, Peggy and Jim welcomed their firstborn son to the world, Bryan, and three years later, their beautiful daughter, Laurie. The young family moved to Rockwall, Texas, shortly thereafter, where they became proud members of their community and First Baptist Rockwall.

Peggy was a devout Christian and spent her life living Christ’s word with grace and humility. Those who knew her, describe her as incredibly thoughtful and caring. She had a penchant for finding the quintessential gift, mostly because she was an excellent listener who remembered the tiniest details from conversations, but also because she had an uncanny ability to find the most beautiful piece of hay in the proverbial haystack. As if the present wasn’t expression enough of her love, she wrapped each gift with such precision and spectacle, it was almost as if the wrapping was a gift unto itself.

She loved all God’s creatures and rescued dozens over the years; from horses to dogs, birds and cats – none were too small – including a butterfly cocoon she saved from the clutches of a hungry bird one summer, to which she proclaimed when questioned, “Well, I saw a bird eye it!” Ever the green thumb, Peggy knew every plant, flower and seed that thrived in the Texas sun. She spent her days tilling, weeding and showering her gardens with unfettered love and devotion.

A Texas girl through and through, her and her closest friends would traipse across the state each summer, exploring small towns from Fredericksburg to Hot Springs. But she didn’t stop at the Texas borders; she loved to travel and see the world for all it had to offer. From cruising down the Danube, taking in the sights and sounds of Italian cities to traversing the Canadian Rockies or swimming the mangroves in Mexico, Peggy was an explorer at heart.

After Bryan and Laurie started school, Peggy went back to school to earn a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M University-Commerce, after which she went on to earn a Master of Education from the same alma mater. Leaning into her servant heart upon graduation, she was an elementary teacher for 13 years at Virginia Reinhardt Elementary, where she received teacher of the year for the 2008-2009 school year.

Peggy and Jim became grandparents in the summer of 2010 and wore that moniker with such pride and dedication that even in her absence now, her grandchildren will always know how much she loved each of them. She loved her family fiercely and poured her creativity into fun family gatherings from the Ricketts Roundup each summer to Christmases filled with delicious food and the most elaborately filled and personalized stockings.

The queen of unexpected, yet hilarious one-line zingers, Peggy could go toe-to-toe with even the most sarcastic of folk and not bat an eye. Her laugh was infectious, and her smile brought a calming warmth to a room and will forever be missed.

Her spirit is carried on by her husband Jim; son Bryan and his wife Danielle; daughter Laurie and her husband Michael; five grandchildren, Grayson, Levi, Lillian, Clara and Elizabeth (Ellie Mae); mother Martha and brother David as well as an extended family of relations and friends from every walk of life. She is preceded in death by her father Martin.

A viewing was held Tuesday, Aug. 4 from 5-7 p.m. at Rest Haven Funeral Home in Rockwall, followed by a celebration of life Wednesday, Aug. 5 at 2 p.m. at First Baptist Church Rockwall. In honor of Peggy and her love of animals, donations may be made to Equest, where her beloved Misha went to serve as a therapy horse for children and adults with disabilities. Equest: PO Box 171779, Dallas, TX, 75217 or online at www.equest.org.


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