Mary Ellen Rickard, 72

Feb 28, 2018

Mary Ellen Rickard, age 72, of Rochester, died February 27, 2018 at the New Bedford Jewish Convalescence home after a lengthy battle with early-onset dementia. She was the wife of Peter H. Rickard.

Born and raised in Brockton, the daughter of the late Thomas and Mary C. (Brennan) Joyce, she lived in North Attleboro, MA for 28 years, raising her two daughters there. She is survived by her daughter Nicole C. Rickard, DVM and her husband David Lempert of Marion and Bridget A. Foley and her husband Thomas P. Foley IV of Braintree. She was a proud Nana to her three grandchildren, Shanley Lempert, Callum Lempert and Patricia Foley. She was the sister of the late Michael Joyce, Thomas Joyce and Neil Joyce. Mary Ellen was also close with her extended family including her cousins and numerous nieces and nephews.

Mary Ellen was a caring and kind person. She loved her family and her beloved pets. She loved to golf and garden. She was an adept crafter, creating beautiful jewelry and sewing and knitting. Mary Ellen taught Physical Education at Southeastern Regional Vocational School, Bristol-Plymouth Regional Vocational School, and spent many years as an elementary PE teacher at the Roosevelt Avenue School in North Attleboro.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Dr. Dickerson’s Dementia Research Program in the Massachusetts General Hospital Frontotemporal Disorders Unit. Your generous gifts support the clinical care and research efforts for individuals living with early onset dementias.

Donations may be made online at

They may also be sent by mail to the MGH Frontotemporal Disorders Unit. Attn: Raseeka Premchander, 149 13th Street, Suite 2691, Charlestown, MA 02129. Checks payable to “MGH Dr. Dickerson Lab” and in the memo line, please put “Dementia Research."

Visiting hours will be celebrated on Friday March 2 from 4-8 p.m. at the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Road, Route 6, Mattapoisett.

Her memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday March 3, at 10 a.m. in St. Anthony’s Church. A family celebration of her life will follow. For directions and guestbook, please visit


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