Joan B. Rickard, a longtime staff member in what is now WMU's Office of University Relations, died Friday, Nov. 8, in Niles, Mich. She was 66.
Joan B. Rickard
For 19 years beginning in 1981, Rickard was an administrative secretary, managing logistics for the areas of news services, graphics and design, and publications, which were all part of the Office of Public Information, the forerunner to today's Office of University Relations. During much of that period, her responsibilities also encompassed sports information, which was then part of the communication group. Her responsibilities included distribution of news releases and sports stories, coordination and scheduling of office activities, and service as a liaison for the different focus areas of the office.
After leaving WMU in 2000, she remained in the Kalamazoo area for several years with her husband, the Rev. O'Ryan Rickard, who is also a WMU retiree. The pair later moved to Niles. She is survived by her husband, two children and six grandchildren as well as a number of other family members.
Rickard was active with the United Methodist Church, and for many years played an active role with Greyhound rescue groups such as GreyY2 and Second Chance of West Michigan.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to GreyY2, Second Chance of West Michigan, Redbud Area Ministries, the Care House at Goshen-Indiana University Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, PMP Research Foundation, or the Portage Prairie and Arden United Methodist churches.
Visitation is 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at Hoven Funeral Home in Buchanan, Mich. Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 15, at Portage Prairie UMC in rural Niles.