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Obituary: William Thomas “Billy” Ryckman, Sr. – Basketball 1950-54 & Baseball 51-53 – Feb. 10, 2018

Obituary for William "Billy" Ryckman

June 13, 1933 – February 10, 2018
William Thomas “Billy” Ryckman, Sr. died peacefully of natural causes on February 10, 2018. A private family memorial service was held to celebrate his life; he will be interned in New Orleans.
“Pal,” as he became known to family and friends, is survived by his children, William Thomas Ryckman II, Tara Ryckman Callais, and Ralph B. Ryckman and his wife Kathy Veron Ryckman; nine grandchildren, Ryckman C. Callais and his wife Kristen, Mallory Ryckman O’Neal and her husband Grant, Sara Callais, Bennett B. Ryckman and his wife Leighanne, Callie Callais-Rusich and her wife Taylor, Morgan T. Ryckman, Spencer C. Ryckman, William B. Ryckman, and Quintin D. Ryckman; and two-great grandchildren Winifred Ryckman and Arie Ryckman. He is also survived by his cousin Dale Caplan Strickland and her husband Mike. He was predeceased by his mother Mari Louise Ryckman Phillips and her husband Dr. William J. Phillips, his son-in-law Ronnie Paul Callais, and the mother of his children Barbara B. Ryckman.
Billy was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on June 13, 1933. He spent his first 13 years there before moving to Lafayette for the remainder of his life. He was a graduate of Lafayette High School and SLI, now ULL. While in school, Billy excelled in many sports and was a dual letterman in both basketball and baseball at Lafayette High School. He attended SLI on athletic scholarships for basketball and baseball. He was drafted out of college by the Detroit Tigers baseball organization and played professional ball for several years before returning to Lafayette. He was a member of the Lafayette High School Sports Hall of Fame and was honored to be inducted into the ULL Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.
He worked in sales for IBM from 1963 until his retirement in 1986. At the time of his retirement, he was a top ranking officer and member of the 100% President’s Club and had achieved several national top salesman of the year honors.
Billy began volunteer coaching baseball when his children became active in sports and continued to volunteer coach for over 30 years with American Legion Baseball, Lafayette Youth Baseball, and Lafayette Little League. He always enjoyed teaching and coaching kids with any sport. Upon retirement, Billy became a dedicated golfer and tennis league player. He also became an enthusiastic Cajun and Zydeco dancer and spent many nights dancing to his favorite local bands. He cherished his children, wanted the best for his grandchildren, and was a good Pal to all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the UL Baseball program at myrcaf.org or the Lafayette Little League, 4400-A Ambassador Caffery Pkwy #316, Lafayette, LA 70508. Condolences may be sent to the family at P. O. Box 51723, Lafayette, LA 70505. The family would like to thank the staff at Cornerstone Village South for their dedicated care and kindness to Billy.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of William "Billy" Ryckman please visit our Sympathy Store.

Source of obituary: Delhomme Funeral Home Website.

Athletic Network Footnote by Dr. Ed Dugas.

Click on  www.athleticnetwork.net , Photo Gallery, Men’s Basketball 51-54 and Baseball 51-53 (Gulf States Conference Champions for the 51-53 seasons). to view photos of Billy’s teams.

Click here for a photo of Billy with his 1952  baseball teammates.

Click here for the photo gallery of  the 2012 Baseball Alumni Crawfish Boil and view Billy, Gene Brackin, Gene Bacque, and Charlie Spell (top row on the right – click on thumbnail to enlarge photo and again on the enlarged to reverse the process).