Barbara Ricker Egan


Barbara Ricker Egan, 97, of Beverly, and formerly of Manchester-by-the-Sea, passed away peacefully on June 21.  Barbara was predeceased by her husband Leonard W. Egan, Jr., with whom she shared fifty years of marriage. 

Born in Boston on March 9, 1926 she was the daughter of James Wesley Ricker and Elinor (Price) Ricker of Poland Spring, Maine.  Barbara grew up on the property of the Poland Spring Resort Hotel and Water Bottling Company, both of which were owned and operated by the Ricker family.  Her great-grandfather, Hiram Ricker, was the founder of the Poland Spring Water Bottling Company.  At the age of fourteen, Barbara moved to Beverly, Massachusetts, with her family.

Barbara graduated from Beverly High School, class of 1944.  She continued her education at the Boston School of Occupational Therapy, graduating in 1947. She was a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, practicing OT for many years.  She was an OT instructor at North Shore Community College and was employed by the Visiting Nurse Association of the North Shore.

Barbara was a veteran of the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Women’s Medical Specialist Corps, U.S. Army Reserve, serving during the WWII period.

Barbara married her husband Leonard in 1955 and lived in Manchester-by-the-Sea for 63 years. Barbara was always interested and eager to try new things: from archery and marksmanship to art, cabinetry making, horseback riding and waterskiing, still giving new things a try well into her 80s!  She was an avid downhill skier, imparting her enthusiasm to her husband and children. She found much enjoyment in gardening, eagerly dividing her plants and seeking neighbors or friends with whom to swap them.  For some reason she was always waiting for that tiny cutting to grow to full bloom (maybe a little more water, mom?).

Her real passion, however, was golf.  Taking up the game when she was an army nurse in her early 20s, she played well into her 80s.  She regularly played on the Women’s Golf Association of Massachusetts circuit, enjoying different courses across the State. Her favorite course, though, was Wenham Golf Club, where she was a member for many years and where she made a large circle of friends with whom she enjoyed the game of golf and all the laughs that went along with it. She had a wonderful smile and made a great blueberry pie.

Barbara leaves her son Peter of Southington, CT, and her daughter Abigail and favorite son-in-law J. Stanley Reeve of Prides Crossing, MA.  She leaves two grandchildren, Gretchen Hillstrom (Kenneth) of Wellesley, MA, and Benjamin Egan of Southington, CT. Barbara also leaves her older brother Wesley P. Ricker, formerly of Beverly, her younger brother James P. Ricker of Whitehall, Michigan, and many nieces and nephews.  She was predeceased by her sister, Elinor R. Anderson, and her daughter-in-law, Beth Fordiani.  A private memorial service will be held. Donations in Barbara’s name may be made to the Employee Appreciation Fund, c/o The Herrick House, 89 Herrick Street, Beverly, MA 01915.