Margaret Riccards (nee Finelli), 100 years of age, returned to the arms of her Creator on Saturday, March 31, 2018, at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, surrounded by loving family members.
Margaret was born to Raffaele and Luisa Finelli, two immigrants from Italy, on November 11, 1917, at 81 Main Street in Madison, New Jersey. [She had seven siblings – Salvatore, Mary, Louise, Anna, Rosie (who died as an infant), Ralph, and Michael.] She later graduated from St. Vincent Martyr School in Madison and, four years later, from Madison High School.After graduation, Margaret’s mother urged her to become a nurse. She, consequently, enrolled at St. Elizabeth Hospital’s Nursing School in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and, three years later, earned her nursing cap.
One of her most vivid memories while at St. Elizabeth’s was riding in the ambulance to take care of those injured in the explosion of the Hindenburg aircraft at the Naval Air Station Lakehurst in Manchester Township, New Jersey.
Upon graduation in 1938, Margaret became the supervisor of the Emergency Room and Clinic at St. Elizabeth (which since then has become Trinitas Regional Medical Center). Margaret’s career then evolved into industrial nursing at Conwar Zipper and Purolator. It was at Purolator that she met her future husband, Patrick, whom she married in 1943. They shared 46 years of marriage until Patrick’s death in 1989.
Margaret also went on to have other careers – a saleswoman and personnel assistant at B. Altman & Co. in Short Hills, an assistant at a small employment agency in Summit, and a member of the Insurance Department at the Summit Medical Group.
Looking back over her long life, Margaret told others she was most proud of her two children – Michael, who served as president at three colleges in the U.S. and is also a prolific author of books and plays; and Diana, a former communications/marketing professional, who is currently a college administrator.
Michael and his wife, Barbara, also gave Margaret more to be proud about – three grandchildren, Patrick, Catherine, and Abigail. In addition, Margaret was the great-grandmother to five children – Michael, Anna, Madison, Thomas, and Owen.
Besides residing in Madison, Margaret has also lived in Hillside, Summit, and New Providence. In 2015, she became a resident at Juniper Assisted Living in Chatham Township, where she enjoyed playing bingo and participating in arts and crafts activities, particularly in painting.
On November 11th of last year, Margaret shared her 100th birthday celebration with family, friends, and the other residents at Juniper Assisted Living. In addition, Rev. Msgr. George F. Hundt, pastor of Margaret’s hometown parish, St. Vincent Martyr in Madison, stopped by to deliver a special blessing.
Family and friends are welcomed to gather on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home, 106 Main St., Madison, N.J. 07940. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 5, 2018, at 9:00 AM at Burroughs, Kohr & Dangler Funeral Home in Madison, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10:00 AM at St. Vincent Martyr Church, Green Village Road, Madison. Interment will follow at St. Vincent’s Cemetery, Shunpike Road and Noe Avenue, Madison. In lieu of flowers, donations in Margaret’s name can be made to the charity of one’s choice.