Marian J. Ricker (nee Jones)
Marian Ricker died peacefully Sept. 1, 2015, in her home surrounded by her family.
As a wife, mother, friend, teacher and Waukesha County supervisor, she left a legacy through love and service.
Born Marian Jones in Wolverine, Mich., on June 27, 1924, Marian lived a blessed and significant life. The seventh of eight children born to David Downing Jones and Mary Jane Jones, Marian was a town sweetheart and devout member of the Congregationalist Church.
She began her life of advocacy in high school by winning a national 4-H competition speaking about protecting forestland; then she was valedictorian of her high school graduating class, and the first person in her hometown to attend college. The town of Wolverine sponsored her and gave her going-away party.
During the summers during World War II, she lived with her beloved sister Fay Cradit and worked in a bomber plant.
When the Navy sent young officer candidates to Alma College, Marian met the love of her life and husband of more than 60 years, Bob Ricker. They married on June 21, 1947, and were blessed by children: Robert Jr. (Carole) [1949-1980], Mike (Maryann), Waunakee; Debra Ricker France (Michael), Austin, Texas; Veronica Isherwood (Gary), Plover; and Anne Ricker Cunningham (Bill), Highlands Ranch, Colo.
They lived in five states, but chose Oconomowoc as their true home.
Marian taught school until she and Bob started their family and then focused on raising their children and contributing through numerous school, church and civic projects, including serving as president of the Oconomowoc Nursery School during the years that the organization built its first permanent facility.
In 1982 Marian began her public life when she was elected to the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors. During her tenure she served as first vice chair of the board, Executive Committee, Finance Committee chairperson, chairperson of the Unified Community Service Board, and numerous other challenging and distinguished appointments.
As chairperson of the Health and Human Services Committee, she was a champion of the county building the Waukesha County Mental Health Facility. The county executive and department labeled the project “Marian’s Dream,” and she considered the successful building of the facility and the quality of services it enabled to families in the county to be one of her life accomplishments. She served on the board until 1996, and continued to advise and coach members of the board for many years past her direct service.
While Marian’s professional accomplishments were significant, she considered her relationships with family and friends to be her greatest blessings.
Her five children blessed her with 20 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.
Marian was preceded in death by her husband, Bob, her son Bert, and great-grandchild Abigail Bourne.
Marian was an accomplished, lifelong bridge player. She was a member of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Oconomowoc for more than 50 years and a charter member of the Women’s Church Circle the entire time. These close friends enriched her life immeasurably. She documented her life and the lives of her children by writing her life story, and she captured the high points of events with family and friends as an avid photographer.
In the last two years, she enjoyed the company of those she resided with in the Lake Terrace Apartments on the Shorehaven-Oconomowoc campus.
A funeral service will be at St. Jerome’s Church in Oconomowoc on Friday, Sept. 4. Visitation begins at 10 a.m. with the funeral Mass at noon and reception following — all at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to St. Jerome’s School — special support for children with hearing needs.
Schmidt & Bartelt Notbohm- Kreutzmann Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family. For more information, call 262-567-4459 or visit online at