Obituary: Richard Frederick Rickert | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Richard Frederick Rickert


Richard Frederick Rickert, beloved father, friend and teacher, died a peaceful death in Hyde Park, VT, on Tuesday, October 20, 2015, at the age of 82.

Born Richard Frederick Grønvold in Fargo, ND, on July 21, 1933, to Helen Uhlhorn and Frederick Orning Grønvold, Richard adopted the surname of his step-father, Ray Rickert, during childhood. Richard is the grandson of Dr. Frederick Orning Grønvold (1878-1962) of Fargo, ND, and the great-grandson of Dr. Just Christian Grønvold (1833-1895) of Norway and Goodhue, MN.

Richard is survived by son Arne Joost Rickert (Burlington, ON), daughter Amber Skye Rickert (Los Angeles, CA) and son Colin Blake Rickert (Ottawa, ON), as well as their sons, respectively, Finn Brodie Rickert, Clive Stonestreet Smith, and Magnus James Rickert. He is additionally survived by sisters Doris Stevens and Barbara Russell, and is predeceased by his brother, Bruce Rickert.

Richard attended high school in Washington state, where he and his family had moved when he was a boy. He later attended Concordia Seminary and Washington University in St Louis, MO, and eventually received a Ph.D in philosophy from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his work in aesthetics and symbolic logic. Over four decades as a professor, he taught at Washington College (Maryland), Ohio University, Bennett College (North Carolina), Merrimack College (Massachusetts), and Lindenwood College (Missouri).

Richard was a lifelong practitioner of yoga and Buddhism, as well as Christianity, studying alongside such figures as Roshi Philip Kapleau of the Rochester (NY) Zen Center.

An avid outdoorsman and accomplished photographer, Richard imbued his children with a lifelong love and respect for the beauty of the natural world.

From 1975 to 2010, Richard resided in St. Louis, MO. In the summer of 2010, he transitioned into assisted living at Forest Hill Residential Care Home in Hyde Park, VT, closer to family, and became an active and grateful member of the community.

In September 2015, Richard was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Electing to forgo medical intervention, he returned to Hyde Park Residential Care Home for the final weeks of his life. There he enjoyed the warmth and love of dear friends, family and caregivers, sharing many memories and embraces, before passing peacefully and comfortably the afternoon of October 20.

A memorial service open to family, friends, caregivers and fellow parishioners will be held for Richard at Shao Shan Temple in East Calais, VT, on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. The family requests that all donations be made to Shao Shan Temple (

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