Mary Lou (Vagele) Riccardo - May 23, 2011

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 GLENMONT – Mary Lou (Vagele) Riccardo of Glenmont passed away Monday, May 23, 2011 peacefully with her family by her side. She was 71 at the time of her death. Mary Lou was predeceased by her father Charles E. Vagele of Glenmont. Survivors include her husband of 49 years, Frank J. Riccardo; her loving daughters Lori Ann Nichols of PA and Rebecca Gorman and her husband Mark of Delmar; grandchildren, Leanna Marie and Canden Francis whom she loved dearly; step-grandchildren, Mark Jr, Kyle and Derek Gorman; brother-in-law, Robert C. Riccardo; and several nieces and nephews.
Mary Lou graduated from Bethlehem Central High School in 1958. After graduating she worked for years in the business field as a supervisor for the Retail Credit Company in Delmar. She left to raise her family.
Mary Lou was passionate about nature and the wildlife that goes with it. She became a wildlife rehabilitator in 1979 and founded a group called Wildlife Rehabilitation & Educational Network, Inc. Its purpose being to help injured, distressed and orphaned wildlife. She remained active in this field for many years. Mary Lou is perhaps better known as an instructor at the Five Rivers Environmental Education Center in Delmar where she volunteered for 32 or more years. Her love for children and nature led her on this path of wanting to be a teacher and she felt she did this by teaching thousands of school children throughout the years. In 2009 she was inducted into their “Wall of Fame” to be recognized for all her years of contributions and service to the nature center. She would always reach out to people and would drop everything to help someone else in need. She leaves behind a legacy of devotion to family and friends. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Services will be private at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in her name to the First Reformed Church of Bethlehem, 38 Church Road, Selkirk, NY 12158 where she was a member for many years or to the Friends of Five Rivers, 56 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054-9776 where she spent many years as a volunteer instructor.