Rickey Gerald Wyatt, 65, of Ellenboro, NC, passed away on October 13, 2020 at Spartanburg Medical Center. Rickey was the son of the late Gerald Franklin and Ruby Lowery Wyatt of Ellenboro.

In addition to his mother he is survived by sisters Deborah Wyatt Funderburk (Brent) of Starkville, Mississippi and Mealie Wyatt Macmurphy (Chuck) of Charlotte, NC; nephews Wyatt Funderburk of Nashville, TN and Jackson Funderburk of Austin, TX, and his niece, Vada Macmurphy of Charlotte, NC.

A native of Rutherford County, Rickey lived much of his life in Ellenboro and Forest City, NC. He was retired, having worked at AFA Products and General Fireproofing. He was a member of Temple Baptist Church.

Rickey was a graduate of East Rutherford High School and Isothermal Community College, as well as attended the University of North Carolina- Charlotte. As an ERHS student, Rickey played trumpet in the marching band that won many honors, including a 1973 National Championship.

He was an expert and archivist on the life of Muhammad Ali and professional boxing, often being quoted and having his letters published by Sports Illustrated and other publications. Rickey loved animals, often adopting strays. He enjoyed many hobbies, including reading biographies, researching classic movies, television and sports history, as well as listening to music and following sports.

Rickey was very close to his niece and nephews, spending much quality time with them, sharing his great patience, sense of humor, and generosity. He taught them to do impressions of famous people, helped them build models, and played board games. “Uncle Rick” was greatly admired and loved by Wyatt, Jackson and Vada.

Memorial donations in the name of Rickey Gerald Wyatt may be given to the Rutherford Animal Shelter, PO Box 1957, Rutherfordton, NC 28139 (828-287-6025).

The family will hold a private memorial service at a later date, with burial at Rutherford Memorial Cemetery. Harrelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been entrusted with the arrangements. An online guest registry is available at www.harrelsonfuneralhome.com.

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