Walter Allyn Rickett

October 26, 1921 ~ April 18, 2020 (age 98)


Walter Allyn Rickett (known to all as Rick), 98 years old long time Medford Resident, passed away peacefully, in his Medford, NJ, residence on Saturday April 18, 2020.

He was a very humble and caring person and showed this every day to those that came into contact with him, his two long marriages (first to Adele Rickett and then to Lois Rickett) and to his two adopted children. He loved to go fishing in Northern Quebec in the summers and traveling throughout the country in his motor home.

He was World War II Veteran and he served in the Navy and Marines during World War II and studies at the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School in Boulder, Colo. from 1943-1944. He use Japanese language skill during the engagement at Iwo Jima.

In 1951, he (a former naval intelligence officer), was arrested and charged in China for espionage and served 4 year in a Chinese Communist Prison – at the time of his arrest, he was engaged in intelligence work for the United States Naval Intelligence Service while in Beijing during his Fulbright Fellow studies. He released in 1955 and returned to the United States.

Upon returning to the United States, he became a Professor Emeritus of Chinese and Asian, Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Pennsylvania (Retired). He was a Guggenheim and Fulbright Fellow as well as the author of several books on Chinese history, including “Prisoners of Liberation” which he co-authored with his first wife, Adele Rickett.

He is survived by an adopted son, Jonathan Chen; an adopted daughter, Rebecca Lai Long and his 4 grandchildren.

The family requests that all contributions be sent to The W. Allyn Rickett Endowed Fund Administered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilization, University of Pennsylvania, 847 Williams Hall, 255 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305.

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