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Helen A. Rickert

March 1, 1925 March 6, 2018
Helen A. Rickert
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Obituary for Helen A. Rickert

Helen A. Rickert
Middletown, NY

Helen A. Rickert, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died peacefully on March 6, 2018 just 5 days after her 93rd Birthday, at Middletown Park Manor. She was born on March 1, 1925 in Port Jervis NY to Bernard and Melissa Burns. Helen graduated from Port Jervis High School in 1943, and became engaged to her life-long love, Julius “Doug” Rickert, by proxy while he was serving overseas in the US Army. They were married shortly after his discharge on July 22, 1945, and moved to Middletown in 1947 after their new home was completed.

Their home was always open to friends and family. The backyard was the frequent location of badminton matches and ball games while the basement became an indoor basketball arena where the grandchildren spent hours playing together. The walls were filled with family photos, and the house remained Helen’s home until she moved to Park Manor in 2016.

Helen's life was symbolized by the concepts of loyalty and service to others. Helen worked at Tompkins Dry Goods in downtown Middletown from 1963 until the store closed in 1984. After her retirement, she and Doug were regular volunteers at Meals on Wheels. Helen and Doug loved to support their 11 grandchildren, cheering at sporting events, sending cards and emails, and traveling to visit those that lived farther away. After Doug’s death in 1997, Helen continued her volunteer activities, becoming a daily volunteer in the kitchen preparing food at Meals on Wheels. She was also a volunteer at Horton Hospital, where she could be found as a friendly helping hand in the gift shop, and was always available to cover an extra shift at a moment’s notice. In 2006, she was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award for Horton Hospital in recognition of her professionalism, positive attitude, dedication, and service excellence.

Helen loved to cook and bake; family would travel across the country to enjoy her famous pumpkin and apple pies. She enjoyed puzzles, knitting, and organizing her photos and the momentos sent by her grandchildren. Helen embraced technology and became extremely proficient on her computer, keeping in great touch with her large family across the country and the world. She had a love for both travel and the ocean, which led to her large collections of mugs and lighthouses from everywhere she visited.

A ninetieth birthday celebration book compiled by family and friends described Helen as a positive role model. Her life is remembered as one that helped bring joy and hope to others all while putting a smile on their face. Everyone who had the joy to know Helen recalled that deep and special impact she had on them. She was a person who could be counted on to help anyone in any way. What she enjoyed most was seeing family and being around those she loved. Her smile and the twinkle in her eye will be missed by all.

Helen is survived by her daughters, Susan (Peter) Nelson of Corvallis, OR, Jeanne (Charles) Parrella of Middletown, NY, and Barbara (Scott) Mackie of Lebanon, OR; her 11 beloved grandchildren; and 22 precious great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews

An interment will take place at Pine Hill Cemetery at the convenience of the family. Arrangements were made under the direction of Applebee McPhillips. Please visit to express online condolences. Memorial donations can be sent to the charity of your choice.

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