Obituaries & Condolences

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Shirley L. Ricker

April 10, 1947 - May 12, 2018

Service Date: May 17, 2018

Funeral Services honoring Shirley’s life will be held on Thursday, May 17, 2018. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, 7400 39th Ave. Relatives and friends are asked to meet at the church for Mass. Interment will follow in St. James Cemetery.

A visitation for Shirley will be held at Piasecki Althaus Funeral Home, 3720 39th Ave., Kenosha, WI, on Wednesday, May 16th from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Memorials to the family would be appreciated and will be distributed among charities important to Shirley.

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Shirley Louise Ricker, age 71, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at Froedtert South St. Catherine’s Campus with her family by her side.

Shirley was born on April 10, 1947 to Lester and Lucille Ricker in Kenosha.  From a young age Shirley knew that she would one day become a teacher.  She graduated from St. Joseph High School and in fact did go to Union Grove Teachers’ College. She graduated at the age of 20 and began her teaching career.  In 1972 she earned her bachelors’ degree from Carthage College.  She followed with a masters’ degree from Cardinal Stritch College in 1993. After 42 years and over 1,200 students, St. Mary’s school was the one and only place that was blessed with Shirley’s teaching abilities. Shirley taught many different grade levels, focusing on math, reading and religious education. She also opened St. Mary’s first computer lab.  She was a teacher who taught with her mind but even more so, taught with her heart.  She held the belief that any child (and adult for that matter) could learn.  “Use it or lose it” was a familiar phrase one would hear. Shirley followed in her father’s footsteps and became a life-long Sears employee, working part time in the business office for over 40 years until the store’s closing this past year.

As an avid reader, Shirley attended a woman’s book club for several years.  She was also an avid bowler, bowling in a league for many years. Shirley enjoyed traveling to Door County with family every year.  Outside of teaching, Shirley was a very involved aunt, sister, niece and friend.  Her family was very important to her, as was her lifelong walk with God. She walked the walk of Jesus in her life.

Shirley was a proud breast cancer survivor, having beat the disease in 2006.  She could often be seen with breast cancer survivor apparel, blankets and other items.  Shirley was also an animal lover, having several special dogs over the years including Annie, a small Schnauzer, and Alaskan Huskies Nikita and Alaska.  She will be overjoyed to see them in heaven.  Since retiring Shirley didn’t stay away from teaching as she tutored several special kids.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents, Lester Ricker, Lucille Ricker and a special friend Scot Miller.  She is survived by a sister Roxanne (Dave) Cieszynski of Milton, WI, a brother Fred (Kathy) Ricker of Kenosha, an uncle, Marvin Ricker and an aunt, Betty MacLaurin. She is also survived by nieces, Joy (Craig) Torpy and Amy Vincent, nephews, Nick Albertson, Brent (Louisa) Ricker and Jay Ricker, great nieces Jordan Richardson and Faith Vincent and great nephews Austin Richardson and Blake Vincent along with many cherished friends.

If Shirley were here today she would encourage everyone to take her death as an opportunity to show love to others.  She would probably say “well you have to go on after I am gone.  Of course, you do, there are many others that need you.  God has a plan for you and you need to look to Him for it.”  Easier said than done, Shirley. You have touched so very many people and your kind of touch leaves a person only wanting more.  We will never be the same without you here, but we can at least crack a sassy comment once in a while in your honor while playing a great song from Barry Manilow.  We will always Love you Miss Ricker, Shirl, Sam, Shirley Louise Ricker!

Shirley’s family would  like to express sincere gratitude to P.A. Joshua Stacy, the hospitalists and ICU staff at Froedtert South-St. Catherine’s for their compassionate care of Shirley.