Resident Spotlight: Meet the Ricketts

By Sarah Sexton | Publish Date January 23, 2023

Rick and Jane Ricketts moved to Kirkwood’s Cedar Ridge Independent Living Cottage Neighborhood in Summer of 2022. Rick, born in Atlanta, Georgia, was a high-school athlete and lettered in football and basketball. He graduated from Georgia State University with a BBA in Marketing and was commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1968. Following military service, Rick began a 30-year career in the pharmaceutical industry in Birmingham, Alabama.

Jane was born in Knoxville, Tennessee. She moved to Birmingham her senior year in high school and graduated from Georgia State University in 1968 with a BA in Art.

Rick and Jane were married in 1975 and lived in Birmingham until 1996, when they moved to Destin, Florida. Rick retired as a District Manager in 2000 and sold real estate until 2008. While in Destin, Jane helped establish Feline Friends, a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) rescue organization for the city, and Rick was active with the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge for a three-county area. Rick was the first president of the Emerald Coast Parrothead Club, a social and civic organization for people with similar interests, centered around the tropical spirit of Jimmy Buffett’s music. Rick also served as a Deacon in Destin’s Village Baptist Church. Rick and Jane have a daughter from Rick’s previous marriage and two grandsons, ages 24 and 16, who live in North Carolina.

While browsing online, Jane found Kirkwood by the River and was drawn to the prospect of our continuum of care. Kirkwood is located in Birmingham, a few miles from their previous home off Old Leeds Road. The option of living in a cottage tucked away in a wooded environment helped seal their decision to join our vibrant community.

The Ricketts enjoy camping, river rafting, boating, riding motorcycles, playing tennis, and traveling. Their adventures have spanned from Alaska to Central America with many points in between. They cheer for the University of Alabama sports teams and the Atlanta Braves. They have found respite in the peaceful, natural environment and enjoy stimulating conversation with friends at Kirkwood.


The Residents

Our residents come from different backgrounds and bring their unique qualities, talents, and life experiences to complete the Kirkwood community. Here are just a few reflections from some individuals who call Kirkwood their home.

I fell in love with the cottage and the view from my back porch. I am excited to have a yard for Ginger, my poodle, to play in and my own garage, all within an established retirement community!

Charlotte Hamilton Current Resident

My husband and I looked at a number of places when deciding to move to a retirement community. For the most part, we found communities that said, ‘We’re going to take care of you.’ But Kirkwood was different. It wasn’t just about taking care of us. It was also about having fun, having friends, and living life to the fullest. The attitude at Kirkwood was positive and the atmosphere was comforting. We simply couldn’t resist. Without a doubt, the location was ideal. The Cahaba Room that overlooks the river, the mountains, the trails – there were just so many things about life. The community was lively. It was alive.

Alice Brooks Current Resident

We realized we were approaching an age where we might need more assistance than what just downsizing could provide. Knowing we have my sons nearby and the levels of care should we need it is comforting, and the beautiful hillside, river, and the woods makes it that much more appealing. We don’t know of any other community that has the woods, the various levels of care, and so many different amenities.

Phyllis and John Guschke Current Residents

We were moving my parents down from the Cleveland area to be near us. I looked at almost every retirement place in the Birmingham area. The second I turned into Kirkwood’s drive and drove up the hill, I knew that I’d found the perfect place for my parents to live in Alabama. In the six years that my parents have been at Kirkwood, I have always felt nothing but love and helpfulness from every staff member. Everyone is always helpful with a pleasant attitude. You can truly see and feel the family atmosphere. I’m happy that my parents can call Kirkwood their home.

Brenda Sheehan Kirkwood family member

When we learned that Cedar Ridge was being developed, that seemed to fit our needs very well. It is the ideal place for the next phase of our retirement.

Carol and Arthur Stephens Current Residents

One thing that we feel is very important here at Kirkwood by the River is the relationship that we have between the staff and the residents. They are dedicated to making our life here as safe and secure and pleasurable as possible. That goes a long way.

Fred Rogers Current Resident

The community's cottage living surrounded by a wooded, natural environment with access to future healthcare services is what attracted us to Kirkwood!

Rick and Jane Ricketts Current Residents