Dorothy Davis Ricks

"There's no place like home."

Dorothy Davis Ricks, 72, of Hattiesburg, died Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, after a fall at her home.

Dorothy was an advocate for animals and was a longtime volunteer with Southern Pines Animal Shelter and its Healthy Pet Clinic, where she adopted her beloved pets, Sam, Stella, Stanley and Ryder.

She spoke her mind and was very committed to her opinion on a number of topics, including politics.

Dorothy wanted us to say she was very happy to be able to live long enough to see responsible government restored to the White House.

She fought for education, civil rights, animal rights and for anyone who was not treated fairly. Now after a lengthy battle with lung cancer, pneumonia, respiratory failure, dodging the coronavirus and months of hospitalization, she can rest.

Before she retired to Hattiesburg in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dorothy was a speech/language pathologist who taught children with language disorders in the Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, school system for more than 30 years. She earned a master's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi after transferring from William Carey University. She went to work in Jefferson Parish School System in the early 1970s.

Dorothy was preceded in death by her husband, Van Dewey Ricks; parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Frank Davis; sister, Susan Davis Gawthrop and nephew, Guy Gawthrop III.

Survivors include her son, Van D. Ricks and fiancee Ginger Taylor; two nieces, Tracy Nalezinek and husband Randy, and Sondra Thornhill and Matt Simon; two grandchildren, Alanah Ricks and Liam Ricks; two grandnephews, Brandon Gawthrop and Lance Smith; a grandniece, Misty Bourque; eight great-grandnieces and nephews; and her dear friends Lici Beveridge, Gerard "Pooney" Autin and Betty Myers, whom her family loves very much.

Dorothy's family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Forrest General Hospital and the Skilled Nursing Unit, FGH Home Health, Hattiesburg Clinic and the friends who supported Dorothy in her time of need. She appreciated your kind thoughts and deeds, even though she never wanted to be the one who received any help.

A memorial service for Dorothy will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, October 23, 2021 at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home.

Visitation will begin at 9:00 AM Saturday, October 23, 2021 at the funeral home.

Memorials may be made to Southern Pines Animal Shelter's Healthy Pet Clinic, <>.