WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A woman who is the golden standard in the non-profit world in our area and a dear friend of so many is stepping down from her beloved role.

Bettye Ricks is retiring from her job as Camp Fire of North Texas Executive Director after more than 60 years of service within the organization.

“Incredible, just a fantastic person,” Camp Fire President Commissioner Jeff Watts said of Bettye.

“Bettye Ricks is Camp Fire,” Summer Camp Director Anastasia Green said. “You say Camp Fire, and immediately your brain goes Bettye Ricks.”

That’s what colleagues of Bettye Ricks have to say about the legacy left behind in her more than 60-year career within Camp Fire of North Texas.

After decades of hard work and dedication, community leaders, friends and former campers came out to help give Bettye a proper farewell.

“My mom sent me off to Camp Fire – she just knew what a good program it was – and of course, Miss Bettye, I didn’t even know her, but I ran up to her and hugged her,” Green said. “That’s the kind of energy she gave off.”

Bettye has inspired so many along her journey, but if you ask her, she’ll tell you she’s just doing her job.

“I have been blessed, that’s all I can say,” Ricks said. “I have been blessed to be here with so many wonderful people, including people like you all, and I’m gonna miss every one of you, though, I can tell you that. There’s been so many people who have come that I haven’t seen for years also,” Ricks said.

People like Mary Lynn Boyd, who was at Camp Fire with Bettye back in the 1960s, attended the farewell celebration.

“She worked with everybody,” Boyd said. “It was just never too hot, never too cold; I’ve been there with her through all kinds of things.”

Bettye’s decades of work are something that’ll never be forgotten at Camp Fire, but everyone is excited for the next phase of her life.

“It’s just going to be good for her to get to eventually slow down, if she does,” Watts said.

But slowing down isn’t exactly in Bettye’s retirement plan.

“I’ve got to be busy,” Ricks said. “I can’t sit at home, no.”

“Because she’s Bettye Ricks, and there ain’t nobody that can take her place,” Boyd said.

We congratulate Bettye Ricks on a job well done, and we all wish her a very happy retirement. There is now a pavilion named after Bettye on the Camp Fire grounds, and May 12 has now been declared as Bettye Ricks day.

Erica Mundt will be replacing Ricks in the position. Mundt most recently served as the Volunteer Coordinator for CASA of Red River.