Rosalie J. “Ricki” Rheaume (nee: Nuccio), 91, passed away on Wednesday at Shorelight Memory Care at Siena on the Lake, into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Ricki was born in Chicago, Illinois on August 12, 1926 to Samuel and Gioseppina Nuccio, and had eight siblings.
Ricki graduated from high school at the age of 15. Ricki obtained a full scholarship to the University of Illinois, but needed to forgo it in order to help support the family after her father’s passing. After taking business courses she began a job she loved as the assistant to the purchasing manager at Chicago’s illustrious Palmer House. It was during that time that she was given the nickname “Ricki” by her mother because she loved to spend her paycheck in the dress shop on the hotel premises. The Italian version of the name means “rich girl”.
On September 6, 1947 at Santa Maria Addolorata Church in Chicago, IL she was united in marriage to her beloved Roland “Ray” Rheaume. They spent 67 wonderful years together and raised their 5 children. Ricki was a loving wife and mother. She stood proudly by her husband with his very active career and parish involvement. They also loved to entertain and opened their home to many, treating everyone as ‘family’. Her culinary skills were superb and the cuisine varied, though she is renowned for her Italian recipes, which have been handed down to her children.
Each of her children have special memories and stories of treasured time with her.
Despite an active family life, Ricki found time to volunteer in her Parish and her community. She was an active member of St. Mary’s Parish (now Racine Catholic Charities) providing secretarial support to the elementary school principal. Ricki also co-founded the parish food and clothing bank, and enlisted many community contacts to donate goods and services. She was also active in the Cursillo movement for many years.
Like her husband, Ricki deeply enjoyed family gatherings, and delighted in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Ricki is survived by her five children: Antoinette Drier (fiancé Martin Gierut), and Michael of Racine, Patrick (Jackie) of Alamosa Colorado, Suzette (Christopher) Magruder of Milwaukee, and Martin (Kelly) of Racine; her twelve grandchildren: Brian and Daniel (Jana) Drier, Carli (Kenny) Rodrigues, Erika (Jose’) Jiron, Katie (Martin) Chavez, Adam , Kamala (Christopher Harrison) and Caitlin Rheaume, Christopher Rheaume Woodworth, Matthew (Whitney), and Nathan (Jenna) Magruder, and Anamarie DiTulio; her eleven great grandchildren: Owen and Evan Drier, Anthony Malak, Finn and Baby Boy Liam (due in July) Harrison, Taylor, Aiden, Zooey, Harper, and Jason Magruder, and Baby Boy Magruder (due in October); her brothers in law: Melvin Bost and James Constantine, nieces, nephews, and other relatives and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, 6 brothers: Frank, Louis, Joseph, Phillip, James and Angelo, 2 Sisters: Frances Talarski and Angela Smith, Her Father and Mother-in-law: Odilon and Mary Ann Rheaume, 3 Sisters-in-law: Jeanne (the late Fred) Power, Germaine Bost, and Jacqueline Constantine; and son-in-law Thomas Drier.
A private Memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date. Ricki will be entombed with Ray at Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove, WI. Donations to: Our Lady of Guadalupe Conference Society of St. Vincent De Paul P.O. Box 1733, Racine, WI 53401; Health Care Network Inc. 904 State Street, Racine, WI 53404; Milwaukee Rescue Mission 830 N. 19th St. Milwaukee, WI 53233; Sisters of St. Dominic Benevolent Fund 5635 Erie St. Racine, WI 53402; or your favorite Charity are suggested.
The family would like to express deep appreciation to all of the caregivers who provided wonderful and compassionate care to our mother over the last 6 months of her life, especially those at Shorelight Memory Care at Siena on the Lake, where she has lived for the last 10 months, and her Aurora Healthcare Physician Teams and Palliative and Hospice Home Care Teams.