Seven years ago, we lost Ricki Stahl, our dearest mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, but find comfort that she is now at peace in eternal life with her husband Ernie and son Craig and all the other family members and friends who have gone before her. April 13, 2018 would have been her 100th birthday. Each year on this special day, both my brother Brian and I celebrate her memory by planting something special. She is always near to our thoughts and hearts, but even more so on her birthday. If you ever had the chance to meet Ricki in person, you know she exuded life and was always more concerned about the well-being of others than herself. As my wife Mary mentioned in her heartfelt eulogy, Ricki was always thinking of others. Even though Ricki had an impoverished childhood, losing her father at age 12 and growing up during the Great Depression, she was always a hard worker who contributed to her family’s well-being and also became a competitive swimmer. She was tenacious and loved life.
Ricki was instrumental in the founding of Stahls’, cutting the first letters on the kick press and doing countless other jobs, both at the company and on the home front to support the success of this now world-renowned group of companies. During her lifetime, Ricki literally touched and improved thousands of lives around the world over the years. Her legacy and spirit will always be remembered. A true giver, Ricki was always involved with supporting not just her family, but also trying to enrich the lives of others. She helped bring a hot lunch program to an area middle school and was involved in various charities such as Habitat for Humanity and The Humane Society. As a person, she was always loving and forgiving. She had a huge heart, especially for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Another thing we always remember when we think of Ricki is that she loved the woods, the outdoors, the warm sun and the water. She was an avid fisherwoman, golfer and could not leave a domino unturned. As a golfer, she never made her “hole in one” here on Earth, but if they have golf courses in heaven, we know that she is up there working on that. We are all thinking of you Mom, and wishing you a very happy 100th birthday up in heaven.