On July 28th 2010, Charlene H. Riccardi 67, of Jaenicke Lane, Hamden passed away peacefully after a short illness. Loving mother of Richard (Stacey) Riccardi of Hamden, ex-wife of Richard Riccardi of Petaluma, CA. Charlene was born in New Haven, CT on May 13, 1943, daughter of the late Charles and Helene Hill. Charlene attended Putman Avenue Elementary School, Michael J. Whalen Junior High School and Hamden High School, the same schools as her son. She was a graduate of the first class to receive Bachelor of Arts degrees at Southern Connecticut State College, and then continued her education at Yale University, completing Masters work in Vocal Performance and Honors in piano. She began her career as an English teacher and drama coach at Moran Junior High School in Wallingford, before moving to Hamden to become an English/Music teacher at Sleeping Giant Jr. High School. After returning to Southern to complete her Masters in Library Science, she became a Library Media Specialist, opening the library in Hamden's first open-space school, Shepherd Glen. While there, she became known as 'the Instant Button' lady, integrating buttons into the library curriculum, presenting her creative work at the American Library Association's convention, and becoming an educational consultant and designer for the Instant Button Company. Once completing her Sixth Year in Educational Leadership at Southern, she moved to the administrative ranks in West Haven, becoming an Assistant Principal for Bailey Junior High School, Acting Principal for Thompson Elementary School, and Language Arts Coordinator for the entire system. Her love for books drew her back to the library, where she completed her career as an Elementary Library Media Specialist at Thompson, Mackrille, Stiles, and Molloy Schools in West Haven. Retiring in 2003, she continued to serve as a substitute teacher in West Haven and Hamden, performing Title 1 testing and servicing at St. Lawrence and Our Lady of Victory Schools in West Haven the past two years. She also was active in the West Haven Retired Teacher Association and the Women Redefining Retirement group in Milford. While her son was a student at Southern, she created and directed the Residential Academic Assistance Program for on-campus students at Southern, proudly having her future daughter-in-law serve as her assistant. Her dedication to Southern's Alumni Association was tireless, serving as a member of the Board of Directors, co-chair of the Awards Committee, member of the Finance Committee, and volunteer at almost every Alumni event; receiving the Alumni Service Award was one of her greatest honors. Her commitment to her church was boundless as she wore many hats at Hamden Plains United Methodist Church, from administrative council chair to staff-parish chair to worship chair; she even preached sermons as a certified lay speaker. Music was a integral part of her life: her beautiful soprano voice and flute playing adorned weddings and special services, and she played in her son's handbell choir at Mary Taylor Memorial UMC in Milford. She was well known for her handmade cards, candles, and rubberstamping. Her life was filled with many 'loves', which included family, cats, dogs, good food and travel (Florida, Colorado, Arizona, Hawaii). But no words can describe the incredible love and devotion she had for her son. And no words can describe his incredible love for her. Friends are invited to attend a memorial service celebrating Charlene's life on Sunday, August 1st at 3:00 p. m. at Hamden Plains UMC, 15 Church Street, Hamden, CT, 06517. There will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to one of the following: The Hill/Riccardi Fund at Hamden Plains UMC (address above; make checks payable to 'The Book of Remembrance' and note Fund name in memo) or The Charlene Hill Riccardi Memorial Scholarship at Southern Connecticut State University (501 Crescent Street, New Haven, CT, 06515; make checks payable to SCSU Foundation and note the scholarship name in the memo). There will be a time of fellowship and food following the service. And she and her family want to thank the CICU staff of St. Raphael's Hospital for their care and support; they are living proof that there are angels among us. BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden in care of arrangements.

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  1. Dear Rick and Stacey, I am so very sorry. Your Mom was a special lady with very special talents and we will all deeply miss her. What a gift she was to all of us! I pray that God will wrap his arms around you, comfort you and give you peace. With deep sympathy and love, Faith

  2. Dear Rick and Stacey, We are so sorry for your loss. We know that she was so much a part of your lives and will be dearly missed. You are all in our prayers. Love, Bill and Jo-Anne

  3. Dear Rick and Stacey, Words can’t convey the depth of our sympathy. We know what a champion your Mom was for you and how much she will be missed. WE will also miss her ready smile, musical gifts, and friendship. May God’s grace give you peace and comfort during this time of great loss. Our heartfelt sympathy and love, Dave & Eileen

  4. Rick and Stacy, I am very sorry for your loss, your Mom was such a great Southern Alum. She will be missed. My prayers are with you. Betsy

  5. Charlene’s friends at Women Redefining Retirement in Milford would like to express their sympathies at this unexpected loss. Please know that we are thinking of you, her family, at this very sad time.

  6. Words alone can’t express the sadness that those close to you are feeling for the passing of your loved one.May you find peace in knowing that you have friends. Love Marguerite Williams&Family

  7. Our very deepest sympathies to Rick and Stacy Riccardi and all the Riccardi family. We pray God will give you the strength to get through these hard times. In the few years that we knew Charlene we saw that she was an amazing women and had a lot of love for her family and friends. God Bless You All. Mr. and Mrs. Walter Faulkner

  8. Rick & Stacy – I am so sorry for your loss. She was a special friend to everyone that ever knew her and she will be remembered with love and a smile by us all.

  9. Rick and Stacy, I am so sorry for your unexpected loss. I only know how difficult it is to lose a parent. She was a wonderful person and your were blessed to have her as your mother. Our sincere sympathy, GiGi Bonazzoli Chris Barretta

  10. My dear friend has left this earth but I am sure she is teaching crafts in heaven. I will miss our long conversations sharing our 30 year friendship. God be with you.

  11. I am deeply sorry that I did not know that Charlene had pasted away. I was shocked to only find out on November 20th when an inquiry about plants for Hamden Plain Church for Christmas. Please forgive me for not being there for you. Karen from Stop and Shop.

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