Ernest C. Ricci, 91, of Riverside entered into eternity on Tuesday, November 13, 2018. He was the husband of the late Norma D. Ricci for 68 years. Born in Providence, a son of the late Ernest and Mary (Di Iorio) Ricci.
Ernie was a graduate of LaSalle Academy (1945) and received a BA degree in Political Science from Providence College (1949). In 1950, he proudly served his country in the US Army during the Korean War, where Sergeant Ricci received an accommodation for his excellence in reorganizing the Army Post Office at Fort Eustis, VA. On his return to Rhode Island, Ernie was proprietor for Ricci’s Farm, the family business in Riverside. He received his real estate license in 1963, and embarked on a career selling local and Florida real estate (with General Development and the Deltona Corporation) and owner of Florida Realty. He later embarked on a career as a financial consultant for Integrated Resources, LPL Financial Services, and Financial Insights, his own business in Riverside. Ernie was a member of the Lions Club, American Legion Post 10, and was a life member of the East Providence Council #1528 of the Knights of Columbus, and 4th Degree Knight of the St. Pius X Assembly #1060. He was a daily communicant since his college years, and was an active member of St. Brendan Parish where he served as Lector, Server and Eucharistic Minister for numerous years. He proudly volunteered his time as Eucharistic Minister at Rhode Island Hospital from 1997-2005, and continued to bring Communion to the homebound of the parish until May, 2018. He was a professed member of the Holy Spirit Secular Franciscan Fraternity since 1980. For 35 years, Ernie and Norma were custodians of a Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima that weekly visited homes and churches. A man of deep prayer, an avid reader of the Scriptures, Ernie lived his faith as reflected in his generosity, compassion and love.
He leaves his daughter, Virginia (Ginny) Ricci, his son, Thomas J. Ricci, and his brother Raymond L. Ricci. He was the father of the late Mary-Chris Ricci. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, November 20th at 10:00 AM at St. Brendan Church, 60 Turner Avenue, Riverside. Burial will be private. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Brendan Parish, 50 Turner Avenue, Riverside.
Ernie was proud to be a soldier from the 3rd Platoon. His humor is reflected in this poem, created by he and his soldiers:
The Men From Fort Eustis
Down near that Virginia border
Fort Eustis is the spot,
Where we are doomed to spend our time
in the Land that God forgot.
Down with the snakes and the lizards,
down where a man gets blue,
right in the middle of nowhere,
a million miles from you.
You sweat, you freeze, you shiver;
it’s more than a man can stand.
we are not a bunch of convicts,
just defenders of our Land.
We are soldiers of the T.R.T.C.
earning our monthly pay,
guarding our people’s millions,
on two-fifty a day.
In this time spent in the army,
our lives’ best years we missed.
I hope they don’t get the rest of you boys,
and, for God’s sake, don’t enlist.
Living for our memories,
wanting to see our gals,
and hoping that while we are in here,
they don’t marry our pals.
When we die and go to heaven,
Saint Peter’s sure to yell,
“Dear Lord, they are from Fort Eustis
and they’ve spent their time in hell.”
Soldiers from the 3rd Platoon