Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
James Edward Rickards, Jr.
March 3, 1938 - November 2, 2023
James "Jim" Rickards of Philadelphia, PA, passed away quietly in his sleep on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Jim was 85 years old, according to his birth certificate, but if you asked him he was only 39. Jim was born in Philadelphia and raised in the Old Bustleton section of Philly, until he moved to the Far Northeast after marrying Gloria. Jim was a passionate person, whether it was working under the hood of a car at his first job at Erwin Chevrolet, hanging off the side of Bryn Athyn Cathedral fixing stones for over 40 years, or perfectly matching colors for stucco working for Gurney-Kerr.
Jim married Gloria (Metz) in August of 1967 and they had three children. He was a caring and gentle father and husband. Jim was so proud of Gloria's cake decorating skills that he always offered up her baking skills to friends for Gloria to make their wedding cakes, without checking first. Jim's love for Gloria clearly showed as he took care of Gloria through her battle with cancer. He sat by her bed every night during hospital stays and until he brought her home to go peacefully while holding her hand.
Jim had a love for NASCAR, airplanes, and of course, his trains, which he passed down to his grandsons. You could always find a train set around Jim's Christmas tree every year. If you couldn't get hold of Jim, he was out fishing at Souderton-Harleysville or out hunting with his buddy Art, like he did after the birth of his son.
Jim had an eye for detail that helped him build Soap Box Derby cars with Jamie, Gail and Heather. Jim and Gloria continued to travel for years after to help at different races and help new racers. He was always his proudest when he was working with his hands and even more so with his kids and his six grandsons. He was patient and kind while he was teaching one of his many trades to his children and grandsons. If a mistake was made, he would say "So what did we learn from that?"
Jim was a man of his word; when asked to take care of his nieces, Donna and Diane, Jim did just that. Jim always had a handshake and a smile for all and would help in any way possible. He would give you the last dollar in his wallet if you needed it. During Jim's last few years he renewed a relationship with his girlfriend Betty Brzoza from high school, where they went on many adventures together. Betty brought a renewed happiness to Jim along with love and joy over the past years.
Jim is survived by his son James I. Sr. (Kris), daughters Gail Hunsberger, Heather (the late Fran Fischer III), and his grandsons Michael, Jimmy, Jon, Franny, and Anthony. Jim will be dearly missed by many nieces, nephews, family, and friends. He will also be missed by all of his furry four-legged grandchildren.
Jim will be greeted at the Pearly Gates by his wife Gloria, his grandson Kyle, his parents, along with his son-in-law Fran and his sister Joycee.
Relatives and friends are invited to Jim's Viewing Friday, November 10, 2023 from 11 AM to 1 PM at the Fletcher-Nasevich Funeral Home, 9529 Bustleton Avenue, Phila., PA 19115. Prayers and words of remembrance at 1 PM. Interment and Military Honors at 1:45 PM at Wm. Penn Cemetery. Memorial Service immediately following at 4 PM in Bryn Athyn Cathedral, 900 Cathedral Road, Bryn Athyn, PA 19009.