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James 'Jocko' Rick: 1958-2018


OTTAWA — James “Jocko” Rick, 59, of Ottawa, passed away Sunday, Feb. 4, at OSF St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at St. Columba Church with the Revs. David Kipfer and Jeff J. Windy officiating. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7, at Ottawa Funeral Home. Burial will be in Ottawa Avenue Cemetery.
Jocko was born May 13, 1958, to Art and Helen (Kuzmich) Rick Sr. He attended Hill School in Naplate and graduated from Marquette High School in 1976. During his high school years he played football, worked at Anne's Hide-A-Way and became a volunteer fireman for the Naplate Fire Department. When asked about his future plans in his senior yearbook he stated “To have my own business one day.”
Jocko met his wife Janeen (Stalker) in 1977 and they married on Sept. 29, 1979, at St. Mary’s Church in Naplate. Shortly after they were married, he achieved his goal and purchased his first business, The Oasis Restaurant, Gas Station and Truck Stop. In 1989 he continued his ambitions and purchased Anne's Hide-A-Way in Naplate from Annie Bray, the original owner. He owned and operated Anne's Hide-A-Way for 28 years creating an establishment that is more than just a restaurant, but a proud family run business. He prided himself on customer satisfaction and was known to always give a bite size Snickers to every lady at the end of a wonderful meal.
Along with his goal of owning his own business Jocko’s passion was always for his family, faith and service of others. Jocko could always be heard throughout the restaurant telling stories of his grandchildren and boasting of their accomplishments, often times stopping customers to point out his grandchildren's pictures on the wall.
Jocko was an active member of the Men’s Club of St. Mary’s Church. He served as a board member of Marquette High School. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, The Naplate/Ottawa Hospitality Association as well as many other various boards, committees and volunteer organizations.
Anyone who knew Jocko knew his first love was the village of Naplate. To say Jocko was involved in the village would be an understatement. Jocko served as a volunteer fireman for the village for 43 years, 12 of those as chief. Following in his father’s footsteps he became mayor of Naplate in 2011. During his two terms as mayor he helped to create the Art Rick Memorial Field and Park and The Veterans Memorial Monument in Vittone Park. He also helped to acquire the land west of the village for future developments and the St. Mary’s Parish Center which will be used as business incubator. His greatest accomplishment as mayor was leading the village through the tornado recovery efforts from the devastating tornado on Feb. 28, 2017.
He is survived by his wife, Janeen; one son, Justin (Brooke) Rick, of Ottawa; one daughter, Jordie (Colin) Rickelman, of Ottawa; grandchildren, Kealey, Jerrick, Kinley, MacRae, Kooper, Kylin and Jorgia; three brothers, Art (Connie), Bob (Linda) and Craig (Dawn); one sister, Nancy (Bob) Janis; and his beloved dog, Bella.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his nephew, Aaron Rick.
Pallbearers will be Art, Bob and Craig Rick and Jim, Jeff and Jon Stalker. His grandchildren will be honorary pallbearers.
Memorials may be directed to his family.
The online guest book may be viewed and remembrances shared at

Ottawa Funeral Home & Crematory
1111 La Salle St., Ottawa, IL 61350

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