Etta Marie Ricci, age 90, entered into eternal life peacefully on March 4, 2020. Her life was a testament to the strength of family, faith and food.
Etta’s faith gave her strength. Thanks to her deep connection with God and the Catholic Church she possessed the power to navigate 9 decades of life and all that came with it. Through ups and downs, great joys and great losses, Etta never wavered in her faith and never lost her ability to hope. She said the rosary with conviction and if she knew you, she probably earnestly included you in her nightly prayers.
Out of Etta’s clarity of purpose and personal strength, grew an indestructible family and a wide circle of friends. At her core, Etta was a caretaker. She lived a lifetime defined by service to others. Her affection and attention spanned generations. She cared for aging family members and delighted in watching over and teaching her grandchildren and great grandchildren as they grew. She was a matriarch, a mother, a mentor, a Grammy and a friend. Etta held her family close, in her heart, in her prayers and at her table. And she always had room for more.
Etta’s nature was evident in her cooking. All that knew her can attest to her legendary skill and expertise in the kitchen. The meals were not fancy or fussy, but she poured her heart and soul into them. In her charge, frittatas, chicken cutlets and meatballs became acts of love. Anyone lucky enough to experience them could taste it in every bite.
Born and raised in Providence, Etta was a 1947 graduate of St. Xiaver’s High School. She married Benjamin P. Ricci in 1949 and raised her family in North Providence. She worked as a bookkeeper for many years at Technodic, Inc in Providence and then at The Herald Press in Pawtucket, until her retirement in 2001. She was a regular communicant and active member of St. Pius Parish in Providence for decades, where she studied her faith under the Dominican Order. When she relocated to Walpole, Ma in 2005 she joined St. Mary’s Parish where she became a CCD teacher and Eucharistic Minister. Her greatest joy was attending mass on Sunday with her grandchildren in tow.
Etta’s life will leave an enduring legacy and a permanent imprint of faith, hope and love for all who knew her. Now as she enters Heaven, those that knew her will do their best to live in her example - to say the prayers, to hold family close and to cook the recipes.
Cherished mother of Margaret M. DeGuilio of Smithfield, James P. Ricci (deceased) and his wife Elizabeth of Cranston, Benjamin J. Ricci and his wife Lori of Warwick and Lisa Marie Stearns and her husband Dana of Walpole, Ma. Adored grandmother of Christopher, Richard and Mark DeGuilio, Tiffany Ricci Gidney, James, Robert (deceased), William (deceased) Jamie, Jessica, Jennifer, Kyle and Cameron Ricci and Sam, Tyler and Faye Stearns. Great-grandmother of Nicholas, Calvin, Coen, Eleanor, Leo, Charles, Gianni, Lucas and Ruby. Favorite Aunt to many nieces and nephews. Daughter of the late B. James Ricci and Agnes (Allen) Ricci. Sister of the late Thomas, Basil, Joseph, Nicholas, John and James Ricci; and the late Gemma Magnano and Christina A. Watson.
Etta's funeral will begin on Wednesday, March 11, at 8:45 am from the Russell J. Boyle & Son Funeral Home, 331 Smith Street, Providence. Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am in Saint Pius V Church, 240 Eaton Street, Providence. Burial will follow in Saint Ann Cemetery, Cranston.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, March 10, from 4:00 -7:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Etta’s charity of choice, The Guardian Angel Fund, Mercy Home for Girls and Boys, 1140 W Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60607-2890 or donate here: https://donate.mercyhome.org/page/12242/donate/1?locale=en-US
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The Guardian Angel Fund, Mercy Home for Girls and Boys
1140 W Jackson Blvd., Chicago IL 60607-2890