Renault native turns published author - Republic-Times | News

Renault native turns published author

By on May 17, 2017 at 2:57 pm

Andy Rickert

After serving in the military and retiring from government work, Renault native Andy Rickert has found a new passion in life.

Rickert, 80, faced the challenge of publishing his first memoir titled, “Tomorrow: A Memoir of Love, Family and Dealing with Dementia,” in the summer of 2016. The book explains the events that followed his sister Edna developing dementia that required him to serve as her power of attorney.

“There were a series of circumstances that surrounded her with that,” said Rickert, who now lives in Mechanicsville, Md., with his wife, Bessie. “She had no information on her financial situation, so I had to dig through papers and make a lot of phone calls to figure that out.

“She didn’t know what she had to her name, which, she was worth (more than $1 million). Can you imagine that?”

Edna passed away last year.

In publishing “Tomorrow,” Rickert said he hopes that people can be informed on what they will face should they find themselves in his shoes.

“You can read this and get a heads up on what you might run into as power of attorney and what to do in that situation,” he said.

Rickert said he will eventually work on a sequel to “Tomorrow,” but has put that on hold as he works through different legal matters regarding Edna’s death. He is instead typing up his autobiography.

As of now, he does not have a working title for the book that will give a detailed account of his life. He expects the autobiography to be published in six months.

After that, he will be the author of three books. The memoir “A Marine from Renault: An Alternative Start to a Career Path” was published in March to demonstrate that the military can be a career for high school graduates uncertain of their future.

“Since we discontinued the draft, many parents of kids today didn’t do the military. I thought they might be confused on what it’s about,” he said. “I wrote this also as a way to help these kids forego any apprehension they may have about joining the military.”

Rickert said he can attribute any one of his successful ventures to his three years as a Marine, as the experience taught him discipline and teamwork.

He served in the Delta Company and went through boot camp in South Carolina.

During his days at boot camp, Rickert recalls a funny story of someone sneaking in contraband.

“We were required to stock up on toiletries, but they told us not to buy any candy. Well, one guy thought he could get away with getting some ice cream.

“Our sergeant had us line up front and center, and told the guy to take his helmet off, put the ice cream on his head, put the helmet back on and get back in ranks. I felt bad for the guy because he had to go the rest of the day with that on his head.”

Rickert served as a mortarman and was deployed to Beirut, Lebanon in 1957 for combat but did not go into battle since the Korean War had ended by then. He was stationed for a time in Naples, Italy just before that.

Prior to his military days, Rickert grew up on a farm in Renault and graduated from Ss. Peter & Paul High School in 1954. He is the nephew of the late Senator Joseph Rickert, whose home at 216 E. Third Street in Waterloo is now known as the Senator Rickert Residence Bed and Breakfast.

Rickert’s books may be purchased online at

Sean McGowan

Sean is a die-hard Cubs fan, despite the relentless peer pressure coming from the rest of the Republic-Times staff. He and his wife, Jacqui, have been married for two years. Originally from the west suburbs of Chicago, Sean and his wife moved down to Normal to attend Illinois State University and stayed central Illinois residents for the past four years.