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Thelma L. Riccardo

July 16, 1929 September 15, 2018
Thelma L. Riccardo
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Obituary for Thelma L. Riccardo

Thelma Leticia Riccardo of Birmingham died peacefully in her home, September 15, 2018. She was 89 years old. Thelma was born July 16, 1929, in Detroit, Michigan, to Golda (nee Kluwe) and D. Lyle Fife.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 66 years, John J. Riccardo, and her son, Peter Riccardo. Thelma is survived by children, Mary Kay (Bob) Billington, Terry Riccardo, Lynn (Steve) Duffy, Fr. John Riccardo, and her beloved daughter-in-law, Debbie. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Rick, Steven, Micah, Christy, John, Sarah, Rob, Joanna, Peter, Leigha, and Suzy, great-grandchildren, Naomi, Noah, Noelle, Norah, Ashley, Eliana, Sergio, Micah, Ty, Hunter, Ava, Charlee, Gator, Jacob, and Ashlynn. Thelma is preceded in death by her siblings, Donald, Robert, and John D.

Thelma graduated from the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish literature. After a brief stint working at a bank, she dedicated the rest of her life to her husband, her children, their children, and her Lord, Jesus Christ.

According to her children, Thelma was instrumental in inspiring countless men and women to deeper faith in God. She did this through teaching, whether formally or informally, both Scripture and prayer, and above all by the heroic witness of her life, one that was filled with much suffering. Thelma embodied the words of St. Paul, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and I fill up in my own flesh what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, which is the Church.” By her example of heroic suffering, she helped many to understand that suffering need not be meaningless but can, when united to the cross of Jesus, bring about great good.

Thelma was a dedicated member of Holy Name Catholic Church for over 60 years and together with her husband was instrumental in establishing the Life in the Spirit Seminar. A devoted woman of profound faith and goodness, she was deeply loved and will be sorely missed by many. May she rest in peace.

Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Road (between 14-15 Mile Rds.), Monday 3-8pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Holy Name Catholic Church, 630 Harmon, Birmingham, Tuesday 10am. Friends may visit at church beginning at 9am.

Memorials may be made to St. Bonaventure Monastery, 1740 Mt. Elliott Ave Detroit, Michigan 48207 and International Justice Mission,


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