Rickey Thomas Herren

December 7, 1952February 10, 2021
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Rickey Thomas Herren: A Celebration of Life

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.” This lyric from a song by Rick’s favorite songwriter and Beatle, George Harrison, encapsulates Rick’s adventuring spirit and love of life. Born on December 7, 1952 on Maxwell Air Force Base near Montgomery, Alabama to Oscar “Jerry” Thomas Herren and Eleanor Bailey Herren, Rick and his sister Brenda, spent their childhood, like so many Air Force “brats” do, traveling throughout the United States and attending five different high schools. Moving so often, Rick remarkably attained the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest achievement in the Boy Scouts of America. After graduating high school in Omaha Nebraska, Rick attended Jones County Junior College in Mississippi. He spent much of his time there performing with the traveling Christian vocal ensemble, “A Joyful Noise”. His junior year, Rick transferred to the University of Georgia in Athens, and later graduated with a BA degree in Marketing. As a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi business fraternity, he developed many lifelong friends whom he cherished. He played trumpet in UGA’s Redcoat marching band—Go Dawgs! His senior year, Rick met and fell in love with the love of his life, Melani Morris, with whom he spent the next 43 years raising three beautiful children, Alison, Matthew and Brittany.

After graduating from UGA, Rick and Melani moved to Martinez, Georgia. Rick worked in the telecommunications field with Georgia Power Company at Plant Vogtle for fourteen years. After the terrible attack against our nation on 9/11, his love of country compelled Rick to seek employment with General Dynamics, where from 2004 to 2012, he served four years as a defense contractor in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. The birth of his beloved granddaughter, Julia, motivated Rick to transfer with GD to Colorado Springs, CO in 2013. He retired from General Dynamics on December 31, 2020.

Rick, a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod since 1987, attended Prince of Peace Church in Martinez, GA for thirty-three years. He loved serving as both a member of the church council and on the church’s Board of Elders. He most especially loved the lasting friends he met there. Rick transferred his church membership to Eternal Rock WELS church in Castle Rock, CO, in 2014. Rick’s favorite bible verse was Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Understanding that he could not on his own merit heaven, Rick stood on God’s promise of salvation through his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Rick lived his life for family, God and country. Witty, compassionate and kind, Rick had the soul of a poet. He was loved by everyone who met him. Rick loved riding his Harley, exploring the outdoors, and attending live music concerts as often as he could. He was looking forward to road-tripping as a newly retired man on the hunt for adventure and a good dad joke.

Rick’s life will be celebrated in a private memorial service at 2:00 pm on Saturday, February 20, 2021 at Eternal Rock WELS church in Castle Rock, Co. The family invites all of Rick’s extended family and friends to view the service which will be streamed live from the church website at


  • A Celebration of Life

    Saturday, February 20, 2021



Rickey Thomas Herren

have a memory or condolence to add?

Shawn Kerlin

February 20, 2021

I remember camping trips together. Drinking Shnapps and sharing family time. Some funny stuff Rick said when the kids were not at their best. Never raised his voice or became upset. He always rolled with whatever happened. Truly an individual that followed the road that rose to meet him. You will be missed until we meet again at Jesus’ feet❤️

Stacey Warner

February 19, 2021

I worked with Rickey for his first 8 years with GDIT. He was always so nice and had a kind word for everyone. I appreciated his positivity and how he forced me to slow down and take a breath. I pray for comfort and healing for his family.

Scott Schneider

February 16, 2021

Rickey was always there to listen and had great insight that he would share if you asked. He never failed to listen. I worked with Rickey on GDIT contracts ever since he moved to Colorado. He would do whatever it took to support family, friends, and coworkers. He will be sorely missed in this life. God Bless his wife and kids...their loss is so much greater than ours. I will pray for their healing from this great loss. God Bless.

Chris Pizzitola

February 16, 2021

Rick’s Been A Friend

Since my college days
Rick’s been a friend
The memories we made
Shall never end

Like a brother
We shared good times
Rafting and fishing
We cast our lines

Go with the flow
Gently downstream
The Pink Floyd show
And McCartney’s Wings

Bicycle rides
In the countryside
8 Miles High
Like Byrds we fly

And so the years
Did quickly pass
But now our tears
Too long will last

Gentle and kind
And a friend for life
Now gone to find
His Eternal Light
Chris A. Pizzitola - a friend for life


Melani Herren

February 16, 2021

A message to Melani from Michael Bombard, North Augusta, South Carolina:

"I worked with Rick in early 2000's at WSMS in the IT dept. and remained in touch. He is as you described one of the most kind and honorable men I've met. We shared a similar sense of humor of not taking ourselves too seriously and being able to enjoy the little things in life that God granted. Thank you for informing me. I will pray for you and your family that God will help you through this period."

Melani Herren

February 16, 2021

A text message to Melani from Cesar and Terese Abreu:

"I worked with Rick while we were deployed to Afghanistan...we developed a friendship that transcended the boundaries to time And distance. My wife and I are sending love and prayers down your way! Hoping you find solace in knowing Rick is the person you described. A true and honorable man! Rest In Peace my dear will always live in our hearts."

Melani Herren

February 16, 2021

A text message to Melani from Larry Hall, Augusta, GA:
"It saddens me to the utmost today after hearing about the passing of my best buddy and lifelong friend Rickey. We've been roommates in Sumter, deployed together abroad, and my confidant and mentor. He had the most serene and gentle heart of anyone I've ever known. We went through a lot together and not one time have I ever seen him mad or upset . He took whatever situation with GOD first and all else could wait. I still have my last email from Rick informing me of his retirement from GDIT at the end of last year. I was so happy for him and the family. He was ready to finally have some good family time now since relocating there to Colorado. I'm truly going to miss my friend. Melanie he loved you dearly. Whenever he came to Augusta, we always ended up at the Salsa restaurant and had those Margaritas. He is at peace now and I will always remember his smile and happy voice. Your family will hold a special place in my heart always."

Michael T Morris Sr.

February 16, 2021

I am so proud to call Ricky T my brother-in-law.
Melani, out of the tree of life you picked yourself a real plum. Never in my life have I ever known a man with more goodness, kindness and selflessness as Rick. I remember beginning with the outdoor wedding at Crane Cottage on Jekyll Island and the swarming Georgia no-see-ums through the years Rick was more than a brother to me.
He was a dedicated husband and father and together with Melani was able to raise three children Ali, Britt and Matt that I know made him so very proud.
Rick, you will be sorely missed.

Kevin and Marilyn Swindall

February 15, 2021

Our hearts are broken at the thought that we will not see our sweet friend again! When we think of Rickey, we think of his smile and sense of humor--always kind, always considerate, always remembering and asking about you before talking about himself. Whenever we got together, even though it might be a year or several inbetween, in just a few minutes it was as though we had not been apart. We met in 1974 at Alpha Kappa Psi fraternity (Marilyn met Rick the next year), and have many great UGA memories that he wouldn't want me to talk about here! We shared lots of musical interests, and we were looking forward to taking him up on his invitation to visit him and Melani in Colorado. Rickey was a one-of-a-kind, and we are so glad to have known him. He will be always missed. Our prayers and sympathies are with Melani and their children.

Ray Wright

February 15, 2021

Ricky and I lived in the Alpha Kappi Psi fraternity house together in 1974 and 1975. Always with a huge smile and a quick laugh, he was a delight to be around. We had lost touch over the years, but he will be missed.