Joan Bennett Rickard, 66, of Niles

Published 9:17 am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Dec. 26, 1946 — Nov. 8 2013

Joan Bennett Rickard, 66, of Niles passed over to be with her Lord Friday evening, Nov. 8, 2013, after a courageous battle against appendix cancer.



She was born Dec. 26, 1946 in Evansville, Ind. to John and Phyllis Bennett, who proceeded her in death. She is survived by her husband, the Rev. O’Ryan Rickard. They were married June 26, 1965, in Indianapolis, Ind.

She retired from Western Michigan University in 2003 as an administrative assistant in the Communication Department. She also served the Lord on the staff of Portage Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Portage, Mich. where she was a ministry assistant. While in Portage, she had been very active in Second Chance for Greyhounds, a rescue group, and the Food Bank at the Portage Chapel Hill UMC.

Joan also served at other Methodist Churches in the Kalamazoo, Mich. district where she and her husband served.

Joan also is survived by a brother John (Irene) Bennett of Candler, NC, a daughter Kimberlee (Matthew) of Davie, Fla.; a son, Major Kyle (Trish) Rickard, who is stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio; six grandchildren, Kaitlyn and Jacob Krinsky, Kolton, Savannah and Scarlett Rickard, and Alex Crane; nieces Jenny (John) Wares, Melissa (Ryan) Kane and Holly Bennett, an aunt Hilda (Paul) Edwards, grandnephew Riley Wares, grandniece, Addie Kane, and her beloved cousins Elizabeth Wilson, Mary Alice (Rick) LeMay, Janet Morgan, Bobby Edwards and Heather Wilson.

Joan deeply loved and enjoyed her children and grandchildren, and was proud of all their accomplishments and being called “Mammam” and grandmother.

Joan was surrounded by a host of family members and friends during her illness, including her children and brother, other immediate family members and friends, and members of the Portage Prairie and Arden United Methodist Churches and cousin Elizabeth Wilson, who Joan lovingly called “her sister.” Joan also appreciated the loving care of Hospice at Home. The family would like to thank Dr. John Abad and the Cancer Center family at Goshen IU hospital for their loving care and support.

A celebration of life will be held at the Portage Prairie United Methodist Church in rural Niles at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov., 2013 with Pastor Sue Petro officiating. Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 at Hoven Funeral Home, Buchanan, MI.

In lieu of flowers, Joan wanted memorials to be given to the Redbud Area Ministries (RAM), Grey Y2 or Second Chance of West Michigan (both of which are Greyhound rescue groups), the Care House at Goshen-IU Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center or PMP Research Foundation, and Portage Prairie and Arden United Methodist Churches.

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