Wanda Louise Rickaby, 84, of Arvada passed away on March 30, 2021. Born on March 13, 1937 in Hardinsburg, Kentucky, she was the only child of Arvel and Katherine (Bruner) Basham. Wanda’s family moved to central Illinois where she attended schools in Sullivan and Decatur, Illinois. After high school, Wanda enrolled in a nursing program at Memorial Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, obtaining her RN in 1958. It was while attending this program that she met her future husband, Gerald Rickaby. Wanda and Jerry married on March 1, 1958, “the first day we were allowed to marry,” and shared 56 happy years together until Jerry’s passing in 2014.
Wanda worked as a registered nurse and settled on ophthalmology as her preferred specialty. She became a fulltime homemaker once 3 children came along. Wanda later worked in the public school system and as an insurance rater and with her family in Jerry and son Mark’s insurance agency prior to retiring.
Jerry’s job led the family to move several times throughout the Midwest and New Mexico, eventually settling in Arvada, Colorado in 1976. Throughout the moves Wanda always made sure the kids were settled into their preferred activities (sports, music, scouts, etc.) quickly after each move. As a child Wanda had made her own paper dolls that she pretended were her “wished-for” siblings. Consequently, she made friends easily everywhere she lived and kept in touch with old friends wherever she went.
Wanda enjoyed meeting new people and always settled into new friend groups easily in the neighborhood and through various church and volunteer activities. Wanda was “crafty” and became quite skilled with tole painting and many kinds of crafts. She was a long-time quilter, a talent she shared with her mother and several friends in her quilt group.
Wanda volunteered with husband Jerry providing relief to hospice caregivers as they had firsthand experience with it when Wanda’s late mother received hospice care. She and Jerry were also avid sports fans. They and their family built a vacation cabin in the Colorado mountains and enjoyed time there before transitioning to “snowbird” status in Phoenix during retirement. Wanda downsized in 2018 and moved into a senior living community in Arvada.
Wanda will be remembered for her kindness, gentleness and concern for others. She was always there to lend a helping hand with her time, skills and love. She will be missed greatly by family and friends.
Wanda is survived by her sons Mark Rickaby and wife Debbie of Arvada and Michael Rickaby and wife Joya of Fort Worth, Texas, and daughter Gail of Arvada, along with grandchildren Jared (wife Kayla), Sam, Ben, Allie Reno (husband Joe) and Nori, and great-grandchildren Eli, Zeke and Abel Reno.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Peace Lutheran Church, 5675 Field St. in Arvada, CO 80002 followed by burial at Crown Hill Cemetery, 7777 W. 29th Ave. in Wheat Ridge, CO 80033.
Memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, which supports the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease and other devastating dementias.
Alzheimer's Association of Colorado
455 Sherman Street, Suite 500, Denver CO 80203
Legal name: The Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Association, Inc., Colorado Chapter.
Tax ID Number: 13-3039601