Mary Karen Ricciardelli, longtime teacher in the Diocese of Trenton, died Nov. 17 surrounded by her beloved family after a prolonged illness. Mrs. Ricciardelli was sister-in-law to Father Albert Ricciardelli, a retired priest of the Diocese.
Mary Karen Ricciardelli, teacher in diocese, sister-in-law of priest
When sharing the news of Mrs. Ricciardelli’s passing with her former colleagues at Trenton Catholic Academy, Anne Reap, Lower School director, said, “Karen was a teacher her entire life – it didn’t matter what grade was open, she would step up and fill the void. Her faith was deep, and may we learn from her passing some life lessons in tenacity, dedication, commitment and love.”
Mrs. Ricciardelli earned her bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), Ewing, and dedicated her professional career to Catholic education, serving in the Diocese of Trenton for 38 years. During this time, she taught numerous grades in schools in Mercer County, including Holy Cross School, Trenton, and Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton. She taught in Immaculate Conception School (now closed) for 20 years before moving to Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, after school consolidation in 2005. In June of 2012, she retired from teaching after nearly four decades.
During her time in education, Mrs. Ricciardelli served on many diocesan committees and Middle States evaluation teams. She was a true life-long learner and continued to stay informed on best teaching practices and innovations in education by attending conferences and conventions annually.
Most recently a resident of Wrightstown, Mrs. Ricciardelli was a member of St. Mary Parish, Bordentown (now Mary, Mother of the Church Parish). In 2002, she was accepted into the Institute of Lay Ecclesial Ministry for Catholic School Leadership and was commissioned in 2004 by the late Bishop Emeritus John M. Smith. That same year, she also received a certificate in Catholic School Leadership from Georgian Court University, Lakewood.
Upon retirement, Karen enjoyed many activities including traveling with family and friends, kayaking, knitting and quilting. Most important, she cherished the moments with her family.
Mrs. Ricciardelli was predeceased in 2008 by her husband, Anthony, after 38 years of marriage. She is survived by sons, Albert and Michael, her daughters, Sara and Jennifer, their spouses, and children; Father Ricciardelli; her sisters, several nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements were private.