Lillie Ricketts Fitzhugh, 99, of Farmington, was called home to the Lord on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. She was born on Sept. 27, 1916 in Farmington. She was the first child of Orval and Bertha Ricketts. Her parents were early settlers and homesteaders in Farmington. Her father, Orval, was the founder and editor of Farmington’s first newspaper. She was raised in Farmington and graduated from Farmington High School. She went on to earn her BA in Business from New Mexico State College A&M, which is now NMSU in 1940. After graduation she worked for the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce. She joined the WAC (Women’s Auxiliary Corps) in July 1943. She served in the Pacific as a statistical clerk under the command of General Douglas MacArthur until her discharge in 1946. She was awarded the Bronze Star for her excellent service. After the war, she married Leon R. Fitzhugh whom she met while attending NMSU. They were married for 54 years until his death in February 2001. Lillie was preceded in death by her husband, Leon R. Fitzhugh; her two younger brothers, Colin “Jack” Ricketts and Robert O. Ricketts. This much beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother is survived by her children, Vicky Byars (Larry), and Richard Fitzhugh (Denise); her grandchildren, Eric Byars, David Keith Fitzhugh (Nanette), Keri Salazar (Michael), and Darlinda Fitzhugh; and sixteen great-grandchildren. They have two children, Vicky L. Byars and Richard L. Fitzhugh; five grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren. Her years after the war were spent as a homemaker, mother, and serving in the church and community. She had a great love for the outdoors and enjoyed drives in the country, family reunions in Colorado, and mountain hikes. She was a talented seamstress and made many beautiful quilts which she gave to her friends and family. She loved to play games and tell stories about her amazing life.
Published in Farmington Daily Times from Mar. 8 to Mar. 15, 2016–