An Autiobiography

Jo Fay Ricketts (nee Gunn)

My life seems to divide itself into four chapters, each built about my life in a different part of the country:

1. Mississippi (21 years)

  • Born on January 2, 1909 in Helena, Arkansas (across Miss. River from mother's home).
  • Grew up in Grenada, Mississippi, finishing grade and high school there (salutatorian).
  • Was active in Girl Scouts and extra-curricular activities (went to camp each summer).
  • Graduated from Millsaps College with B.A.
  • Was very active in athletics and dramatics ( favorite part was Jo in "Little Women")
  • Spent summers during college in camps as councelar (Miss., Tenn., Ala., North Carolina, and Montclair, New Jersey.
    - never dreamed would live in N.J.!)

2. Missouri (15 years)

  • Employed as Girl Scout Executive Director on Completion of Girl Scout professional training at Macy Training
    Center, Pleasantville, N.Y.
  • Included among duties was the directing of summer camp(for 9 years including war period was in charge of large camp on
    Lake of Ozarks with 100 girls and 40 staff).
  • Met and married Robert E. Ricketts on June 1, 1936 (he was high school principal; we both were quite active in community
    activities and had too many well meaning "matchmakers" in the begining of our acquaintance).
  • Spent vacations with Bob at University of Chicago where he got his Masters Degree.
  • Built first house and moved into it August 1941(had all new furniture most of which we still have).
  • Initiated as P,E, Chapter BW the spring of 1935; State Convention held in Jefferson City in May of that year; dimited
    to Chapter FS which met in eve.
  • Continued professional training (Girl Scouts, seminars, etc).

3. Illinois (10 years)

  • Moved to Evergreen Park, Illinois, where Bob was employed as Supt. of Schools.
  • Became half time member of National Field Staff of Girl Scouts, based in Chicago, working in metropolitan Chicago and
    doing special jobs for Nat. Org.
  • Dimitted to Chapter GI in Beverly Hills, adjacent to Evergreen Park.
  • Had mother and father with us until their death (one in 1947, the other in 1952).
  • Had a number of wonderful trips including two to Mexico during this period.

4. New York and New Jersey (4-1/2 years)

  • Came to Teachers College, Columbia University,for Bob to get his doctor's degree.
  • Transferred to Executive Staff, National Headquarters of Girl Scouts.
  • Lived in Bogota, N.J., for year Bob served as Supt. of Schools.
  • Moved to Paterson when Bob became Professor of Education at Paterson State College; he is now Director of Graduate