Debra Jean (Fischer) Rickard died on June 19, 2020 at the age of 64. Born in Philadelphia, Debra was the daughter of Dorothy (Rubright) and William Fischer. She lived in Dover, DE with her beloved husband of 43 years, Thomas John Rickard, Sr.
Debra graduated with honors from Wesley College with a degree in Liberal Studies and then earned a Master’s degree in English at Washington College. She was a proud Air Force wife who not only supported her husband’s military career, but also encouraged the academic pursuits of airmen and women through her work as Director of Wesley College’s program at Dover Air Force Base as well as for Wilmington University’s program on Base.
In addition to steering students toward completion of their degrees, she taught Writing and Introduction to Literature to many of them as an English instructor for Wesley’s Base program. Debra was an avid reader who brought to the classroom her infectious love for learning. She was also an inveterate traveller. One of her favorite journeys took her to France’s Normandy Beaches, where her father, a radio operator during World War II, had landed during the D-Day invasions. During the trip, she stayed at Chateau Colombieres where he had been based and contributed to the small museum maintained there by the family. Her one and true interest was the love of her life whom she met in 9th grade Biology, Tommy Honey. They married on Valentine’s Day 1977.
Debra was the loving mother of Krystal L. (Rickard) McCoy (Jason), Amber J. (Rickard) Dickson (Michael), Thomas J. Rickard, Jr., and Wesley W. Rickard (Kristina). She was the cherished grandmother of Abigail, Brenna, and Cullen McCoy, Cole and Owen Dickson, and Willow Rickard. She is also survived by sibling William Fischer (Maria) and her sisters-in-law: Margaret Rickard, Karen Sheerin (John), and Sheila Aquilino (Chris) and her brothers-in-law: Raymond Rickard (Jean), Daniel Rickard (Judy), Brian Rickard (Jill), and Keith Rickard (Christopher). She was a loving aunt to Bryan, Karl, and Kathryn Fischer, Julia, Rachel, and William Fischer, Stephen Rickard, Lauren Mansell and Kelly Rickard, Johnny and Ryan Sheerin, Anthony, Amanda Santee, and Alisha Aquilino, and Jordan and Sean Rickard. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother Bryan E. Fischer.
A funeral service will be 11:00 A.M. Friday (by invitation only and an attempt will be made to livestream) at the Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming, DE 19934 where there will be a viewing from 10:00 until 11:00 A.M. Friday (by invitation only). Burial will follow in Barratts Chapel Cemetery, Frederica. The family will accept flowers and suggest that memorial contributions be made to ALS Association DC/MD/VA chapter or The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. Online condolences may be made via www.pippinfuneralhome.com.
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