Ricky Lee Winkles Sr. was born February 5, 1960, to Rev. Carl and Shirley Winkles of Trumann, Arkansas. He was the second of five children with his siblings, Carolyn Winkles Qualls, Sherri Winkles Tribble, the late Patricia Winkles Whitsett, and Pastor Randy Winkles. He lived in Trumann his entire life and graduated from Trumann High School in 1978. In March of 1981 he married Bonnie Gean Holt; and, was still enjoying almost thirty-three years of marriage at the time of his passing. They had two sons, Ricky Jr. and Jeremy, to whom he could not have been a better Dad. He was a proud Pawpaw to Dixie, Shawn, and Kain Winkles. He was a loving uncle to so many nieces and nephews.
Ricky started his career as a firefighter in 1986 when he became a volunteer for the Trumann Fire Department. He became a full-time firefighter at TFD in 1988 and advanced through the ranks to become fire chief in 2004. He was still serving in this position when he passed in the line of duty on January 28, 2014. Trumann’s mayor said many times that “he loved his city,” and he did. Ricky had earned an associate’s degree in fire science. He was a member of the National Guard for thirteen years. He served Poinsett County, Arkansas, as an elected justice of the peace for eight years. He worked as a reserve deputy for the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Department and was a certified EMT. He was a licensed arson investigator and was head of the search and rescue team for Poinsett County. He had been a Freemason for over twenty years and was a member of McCormick Baptist Church in Trumann, Arkansas.
When he was not serving the public, he enjoyed deer and duck hunting, camping and, especially, riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. He was a true family man who loved spending time with each and every one in his family. And he was a true friend to many. He is greatly missed!