David Edward Rickard

June 12, 1953 - October 29, 2011

"May Perpetual Light Shine Upon You"

HARTWICK - David Edward Rickard, 58, of Hartwick, ended his life's journey at home on Saturday evening, October 29, 2011, surrounded by his loving family.

Dave was born to Mary Theresa Ferris and Olin B. Rickard on June 12, 1953. He grew up in Little Falls where he loved to trap and hunt and roam the hills with his dog at his side. His Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) heritage was central to his identity and he participated in the ceremonies and festivals of the people. For many years he was a member of the Woodland Confederacy engaging in historical reenactments of the French and Indian War.

Dave earned a Masters in Divinity from Washington Theological Coalition and an MSW degree from SUNY Albany. He was in religious life, first as a Benedictine in a secluded priory in Vermont and later, after feeling a call to more direct service, he joined the Franciscan Order and worked in the Bronx and Boston.

In 1980 he married Mary Bergen and they made their home in Hartwick with their sons, Mark and Andrew.

He indulged his passion for history through his many years of work at the New York State Historical Association in numerous roles and personas, among them printer, pharmacist, militia leader, pracktical phrenologist and patent medicine salesman. During his tenure in the Native American Program, he was responsible  for the construction of an 18th century bark longhouse on the shore of Lake Otsego and the procurement of an 18th century Seneca log cabin. He also worked in the psychiatry department at Bassett Hospital.

Active in scouting, Dave achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and served as assistant scout leader for Troop 1254.

Dave is survived by his wife, Mary Bergen, their son Andrew Rickard and his fiancĂ©e, Elizabeth Fury, all of Hartwick; his sister, Ann Rickard, of Little Falls; and his wife's family, whom he embraced as his own:  mother and father-in-law Anne and Charles Bergen, Patricia and Ray Williams, James Bergen and Vikki Jones, Charles and Jerolyn Bergen, Michael Bergen, William and Allison Bergen, Richard and Marcia Bergen, Matthew Bergen, Timothy and Heather Bergen, Thomas Bergen and Joseph and Betsy Bergen. He is also survived by numerous cousins, nieces and nephews, his special Aunt Betty and cousin Barbara and a large and loving circle of "framily".

Dave and Mary's beloved son, Mark Rickard, who passed in July  2007, and Dave's parents, predeceased him.

A Celebration of Dave's Life was offered at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2, 2011, at the Upper Susquehanna Cultural Center, North Main Street, Milford, with Quaker Minister Jim Atwell, officiating.

In appreciation of the sensitive care from the devoted staff of hospice, Dave's family requests that  expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial gifts be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY  13820.

Arrangements were under the guidance of Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, Cooperstown. 

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers, or call them at (607) 547-8822.