Cover photo for Karen  Fay Ricker's Obituary
Karen  Fay Ricker Profile Photo

Karen Fay Ricker

July 20, 1944 — April 9, 2011

Karen Fay Ricker, 66, died April 9 at her home in Union surrounded by family and friends. Her memorial service will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lighthouse Church in Island City. Burial will be at the Highland Cemetery on Cricket Flat east of Elgin.

Karen was born July 20, 1944, at La Grande to Harry and Irene (Geiger) Gilliam of Elgin. She attended grade schools in Elgin and went on to graduate from Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton with an associate degree in nursing.

Karen married William "Bill" Ricker and had two children, Kamie and Lee. The couple later divorced.

As a young woman, Karen loved riding horses. In 1960, she served as the queen of the Elgin Stampede Court. She later took up golf and was frequently seen playing the Buffalo Peak Golf Course near her home with her twin sister, Sharen. She loved cats, and her yard was often filled with strays looking for a free meal, or perhaps even a warm bed.

Karen had a lifelong career in nursing. She served as a nurse in the short-stay surgical unit at Grande Ronde Hospital. She was recently honored at a reception hosted for her by the hospital staff, celebrating her 40 years of service to that institution.

Karen is survived by her children, Kamie Ricker and Lee Ricker of Union; her sister and spouse, Sharen and Steve Anderson of La Grande; her brother, Larry Gilliam of Elgin; a cousin; an uncle; her former in-laws, JoAnne and Ronnie McMurphy, Carol Weaver and Lori Peard; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Karen was preceded in death by her brother, Guy Gilliam; and her parents, Harry and Irene.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Grande Ronde Hospital Foundation for the Karen Ricker Scholarship.

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