H. Norman Ricker, 81


Our beloved husband, father, and friend passed away peacefully on July 2, 2022 after a long and difficult journey dealing with a stroke that gradually took him away from his family.

H. Norman Ricker

H. Norman Ricker was born on March 11, 1941 in Maine. The family moved to New Canaan where Norm attended NCHS and moved on to the University of Connecticut. This is where he met his wife Janet, and soon after graduating from UConn married Janet in 1964. He returned to New Canaan to work as a math teacher at the high school and later on became the math department chair. He retired in 2001  after 38 years of service. Upon retirement, Norm continued driving from Oxford, CT to New Canaan, CT several days a week to tutor students, many of whom were younger siblings who had been looking forward to having him as their teacher and mentor. Here are some remembrances from the hundreds of young lives and colleagues:

“Norm will always have a special place in my heart. He perseveres with kindness, laughter, and hope each day. Every time I saw him, he’d greet me with a big smile on his face and support all of my accomplishments and dreams. He never let me down and will always be my dear friend.” – Alexa Orndahl

“…Mr. Ricker to me during my formative years, was a wonderful, special, big-hearted man who positively affected my life for many years. He touched so many people. His legacy will ripple forever…” – Charlie O’Hearn

“Mr. Ricker was truly one of the most amazing and influential people I have ever met. Every day I spent with him was a good day as he always greeted me with a smile on his face. He has had the greatest impact on my life and career aspirations…” – Henry Pohle

He leaves behind his devoted spouse, Janet of 58 years, his eldest son Ken who lives in Colorado, his youngest son Adam, who moved from Colorado to help his mom attend to Norm’s needs when he came home from his hospital, his sister Jane Chase who lives in Keene, New Hampshire, and her husband Dave Chase. A private service will be held in Maine. The family suggests that a good way to remember Norm is to send a contribution to the H. Norman Ricker Scholarship Fund at New Canaan High School, 10 Farm Road, New Canaan, CT 06840. ATTN: William Egan, Principal.

12 thoughts on “H. Norman Ricker, 81

  1. Mr. Ricker was a great and engaging Math teacher with high expectations for his students. I use the math he taught me every day at work. Thanks again Mr. Ricker and my deep condolences to all his family. Sven Englund NCHS’71

  2. My heart aches and is saddened this evening seeing this news, Mr Ricker is one of my all time favorite teachers in NCHS. The attention and care given to me in his math class was unparalleled during my time in NCHS. I love Mr. Ricker! May the joy and happiness shared be everlasting, and may our circle which has no beginning and no end be Eternal.

  3. I’m not a “math” person and Mr. Ricker saw that and really helped me get through! He was a wonderful teacher!

  4. I have so much fondness and appreciation for Mr. Ricker, who was beloved by me and so many others. My condolences to his family, he was such a wonderful man.

  5. Such sad news. Mr Ricker was one of my favorite teachers at NCHS. He was always so upbeat and positive…finding the best in all of us. Heartfelt condolences to his family

  6. Mr Ricker’s enthusiasm for math and his students was inspiring. He made such a big impact on me and many others. Sending love to his family.

  7. Sad news indeed. Norm Ricker created an environment where I embraced math and information technology. His influences formed not only my studies at NCHS, but at university and further into my career. God bless you Norman.

  8. My children were privileged to have Mr. Ricker as a teacher at NCHS and remember him fondly. We took a picture of him surrounded by the three of them at our son’s graduation. He was radiant. A great teacher.

  9. My condolences and prayers go out to the Ricker family. Mr. Ricker was my Calculus teacher at NCHS and got me through Calc. I, II & III without having to take it again in college. Mr. Ricker taught the course so we would learn the fundamentals and not just what was needed to pass the next exam. He used to call problems animals. “How are we going to solve this animal!” His reference for my college application definitely helped. Looking back after a long career as an electrical engineer, I can say Mr. Ricker had the greatest impact on me of any other teacher. I also remember running into him at Rip Van Winkle Bowling lanes on the weekend. Wonderful teacher and person. NCHS was lucky to have him in the Math Department. He will be missed.

  10. Mr. Ricker was a great man, a great human being. I want his family to know – he spent *countless* hours with me, helping me get through his classes. It was a struggle for me to be in his classes, I was right on the edge, and he offered to meet me a few mornings early every week, which I took him up on. For months! During these sessions, in class, and around school in general, he was always cracking a joke, lifting up someone, patting them on the back, using colorful analogies and turns of phrase. He made a great impact.

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