In memoriam:
James “Dean” Rickman and Hugh Forrest

Beloved Shocker supporters who will be greatly missed and fondly remembered

James D. “Dean” Rickman

James Dean Rickman

James D. “Dean” Rickman

James D. “Dean” Rickman, an enthusiastic supporter of Wichita State University for many years, passed away on June 16 in Wichita. He was 95.

Although he was not a graduate of Wichita State, Rickman championed the university in both academics and athletics. He served on the WSU Foundation’s National Advisory Council for 25 years, was a Fairmount Society Life Member and received the 1997 Fairmount Founders’ Award for his dedication to Wichita State. Among his contributions, he established the Nettie and J.W. Rickman Scholarship in 1980 in honor of his parents and the J. Dean Rickman Scholarship in 1987.

“Dean had an enormous heart for creating opportunities for students to be successful,” said Elizabeth King, WSU Foundation president and CEO. “When his health allowed, he loved attending luncheons at which he would meet the students who were the recipients of the scholarships he had established.”

Rickman also contributed to the Shocker Athletic Scholarship Organization for years and was a men’s basketball season-ticket holder, but frequently gave away his tickets — he wanted others to see the Shockers in action.

Born in Newton, Kan., Rickman grew up in Wichita, attending Wichita East High School and then Kemper Military School in Boonville, Mo. He attended the University of Southern California on a track scholarship but did not complete his degree. In 1941 he joined the Air Force, where he was commanding officer for a motion picture outfit that filmed scenes from World War II.

Returning to Wichita after the war, Rickman founded Freight Ways Inc., a trucking company, with his father and brother, Jack. He served as its president for 20 years.

He was married to Mary Brown Rickman, who preceded him in death. Rickman had four children. One son, Charles Edward Rickman, died at age 19. His surviving children are Whit Rickman, James Dean Rickman Jr. and Patricia Deane Rickman.

“Dean was humble, intelligent and caring,” King said. “We are grateful for his dedication and commitment to Wichita State.”

Hugh Forrest

Nathan and Hugh Forrest

Nathan and Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest, a plane enthusiast who immersed himself in all aspects of flying throughout his life, died on March 12 at the age of 76. He passed away at home in Olathe, Kan., from complications of multiple myeloma.

Forrest loved airplanes and was determined from an early age to be a pilot. A native of Aiken, S.C., he joined the Navy after graduating from high school in 1953 and served 22 months during the end of the Korean War and another year in the reserves. He was a flight instructor and a charter pilot for the Augusta School of Aviation in Georgia for three years and flew for Stevens Aviation before joining Trans World Airlines (TWA) in the Kansas City area. For two years of his career with TWA, Forrest was selected to fly charter flights for the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs.

He retired from TWA in 1987 to spend more time with his wife, Pat, and his son, Nathan, while also running his own airport, Cedar Airpark, in Olathe.

In 2006, Nathan Forrest, who shared a passion for flying with his father, died in the crash of a plane during a test flight for Spectrum Aeronautical. Nathan had graduated from Wichita State University in 2003 with a degree in aerospace engineering. Upon Nathan’s death, his family, friends and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers established the Nathan Bedford Forrest Memorial Scholarship in the WSU College of Engineering.

Zulma Toro-Ramos, dean of the WSU College of Engineering, said she got to know Hugh Forrest during a visit to his home after the scholarship was created.

“It became very obvious to me how important this scholarship was to him,” she said. “It represented a testimonial to the legacy of his son. He was very interested in helping young people who had the same passions as his son had, and that’s why this scholarship was so important to him. He was a kind, caring person, and also passionate about opening doors for young people.”

Forrest’s family suggested that donations be made to the scholarship fund, in lieu of flowers.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Hoyt and Susie Forrest. He is survived by his wife, Pat Hockett, as well as a sister, several brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and many friends.

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Wichita State University Foundation

1845 Fairmount St., Wichita, KS 67260-0002
Phone: 316-978-3040 | Fax: 316-978-3277

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