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February 21, 2006 > In Memoriam: Aurelia Jeannette Ricard

In Memoriam: Aurelia Jeannette Ricard

(Dec 29, 1951 - Jan 18, 2006)

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Jeannette moved to Newark, California on her 12th birthday in 1963. Leaving the segregated South with her parents, Jean and Herman Ficklin, the family planned to live in Hayward but due to discriminatory practices of a local real estate office, settled in Newark instead.

In spite of cultural and racial differences, Jeannette adjusted quickly and graduated with honors from M.D. Silva Intermediate School and then Newark High School. Active in a variety of endeavors, Jeannette participated in student government, Girl Scouts, the choir, after school sports and community volunteer programs. Always busy in meaningful pursuits, Jeannette was the school mascot in her sophomore year, girl's vice president in her junior year and voted most likely to succeed her senior year; Jeannette also formed the first Black Student Union.

As a Law Enforcement major at San José State College, Jeannette first met her future husband Arnold "Ric" Ricard. Both were active in the Black Student Union and community outreach programs. A sabbatical to work and model was followed by a return to school and a change of career choice. She entered the nursing program and graduated in 1976, one of the chosen graduation speakers.

Jeannette and Ric married May 18, 1974 and raised a family including sons, Malík Cabral and Martin Kareem. Jeanette pursued her nursing career at U.C. Moffett, San Francisco, Mills Hospital, San Mateo and finally the Family Birth Center at Peninsula Hospital. She taught Child Birth Preparation classes, was a Clinical Nurse and served on the Unit Council, Sunshine Committee and Perinatal Steering Committee.

Her passion for enjoying life led her to organizing many activities at work and many volunteer activities including work with the March of Dimes, PTA board member, "Baseball Mom and Band Mom," and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society among others. Busy with family and professional work, Jeannette still found time to pursue her hobbies including photography, party planning, traveling, dancing, reading, and more. Her numerous professional affiliations included National and Local chapters of the Black Nurses Association, California Nurses Association and the Association of Women's health, Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing.

A woman of strong faith, Jeannette was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia in 1997 but never used her illness as a crutch. She seized the opportunity to educate others of treatment and regimens available for this illness and support others newly diagnosed with it. She served as an example of strength, perseverance and faith for others in her days of trials and tribulations.

Jeannette is survived by her husband of 31 years, Arnold "Ric" Ricard; parents, Jean and Herman Ficklin of Newark; mother-in-law, Lois Ricard of Santa Monica, California; sons, Malík (Shinura) of Elk Grove and Martin Ricard of Hayward; granddaughters, Zaria Jordan and Olivia Simone Ricard; sisters, Freida (Joe) Green of Union City, Janice Morris of Hayward, and Patricia Lee of Arlington Heights, Illinois; brothers, John Wilkinson of San Jose and Lawrence Matthews of Santa Monica.

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