Ryckman, DeVere W

In Memory of
DeVere W Ryckman

BIRTH: 1924

DEATH: 14 Sep 2004 Creve Coeur, Saint Louis, Missouri

Thank your for your service

DeVere W. "Rick" Ryckman, founder of an environmental firm and responsible for setting up the environmental engineering department at Washington University, died Sep 14, 2004, of complications of lymphoma at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur, MO. He was 80 and a resident of Ballwin, MO. 

Mr. Ryckman was reared on a farm in South Boardman. He attended the University of Maine before enlisting in the US Navy as a member of the Construction Battalion, stationed in the Pacific while serving in WWII. 

After his military service, Mr. Ryckman earned a bachelor of science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, one of the nation's oldest technological universities. 

Mr. Ryckman received a master's degree from Michigan State University and a doctorate of science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in environmental engineering. 

In 1956, Mr. Ryckman moved to St. Louis, where he was in charge of setting up a new department in environmental engineering at Washington University. He would teach there for the next 15 years. At the university, Mr. Ryckman was the A.P. Greensfelder professor of engineering. 

In 1962, Mr. Ryckman helped organize a graduate program at the University of Hawaii. 

From 1963 to 1975, Mr. Ryckman was a partner in the environmental consulting firm RETA (Ryckman Edgerley Tomlinson and Associate). In 1975, he founded REACT (Ryckman Emergency, Action and Consulting Team) which continues today on Sixth Street. His son, Stewart Ryckman, of Ladue, is president of the company. His other son, Mark D. Ryckman of Atlanta, is the principal engineer of Remtech. 

Recently, the environmental engineering department at Washington University established the Rick and Betty Rickman lecture series. The annual lecture series invites individuals to further promte environmental engineering science education. 

Mr. Ryckman was a member of the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, St. Louis downtown Rotary Club, the Engineer Circle Blue, and the Washington University Eliot Society. He served on the board of the Salvation Army. 

A memorial service was held Sep 18 at First Congregational Church of Webster Groves. Interment was private. 

In addition to his sons, among the survivors are his wife of 55 years, Betty J Ryckman; daughter, Jill Ferguson of Chicago; brothers, Seymour Ryckman of Dayton, OH, Willard Ryckman of Kalkaska, and Clesson Ryckman of South Boardman; sisters, Gene Woodhams of Fife Lake and Virgil Uitvlugt of Battle Creek; and seven grandchildren. 


The Leader and Kalkaskian
Kalkaska, Michigan




Memorial Garden of the First Congregational Church
Webster Groves, Missouri


No Parents Listed


No Spouse Listed


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Military Branch

U.S. Navy

War Served In

World War II