Date of death: July 31, 2021
Saint Meinrad Class: O 1963
Kevin was born in Delphos, Ohio on February 23, 1937, to Hubert and Mary (Downes) Ricker. Kevin was always an optimistic, confident child growing up. His compassion and caregiving toward others began at an early age. He was active in scouting, earning his Eagle Scout Award. After attending St. John Grade School, Kevin entered St Meinrad Seminary to complete his high school education and prepare for the priesthood. He continued his education at the Pontifical American College in Rome where he spent 6 years embracing the Italian culture. He was ordained a Catholic Priest in Rome in December 1962. He returned to the Toledo Diocese where he initially worked with the Mexican migrant workers at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Bono, a ministry he valued.
His next assignments took him to Parishes in Lima, then Tiffin as an associate. He taught in the high schools there and worked with the young adults. He brought the Young Catholic Students Group (YCS) to both Lima and Tiffin. He became Diocesan Chaplain of Specialized Movements, YCS, YCW (Young Catholic Women), and CFM (Catholic Family Movement). He also served as the National Chaplain of Scouting. While in Tiffin, he learned of the TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) movement in Michigan and brought it to Carey, Ohio. He was transferred to Toledo Blessed Sacrament Parish where his desire to be a counselor led him to petition the bishop to further his education. He received his Master’s in Family Therapy, became a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, and a certified family life educator with the National Council on Family Relations. He began his counseling at Catholic Charities where he became the Family Life director. He was also the first President of Rescue Crisis. It was during this time that he eased out of the Priesthood and into full-time counseling at Elliott and Associates. He married and assisted in raising four stepchildren. He loved having his family and embraced his stepfather role. He continued his counseling and served on the boards of AAMFT (American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists), OAMFT (Ohio division), was newsletter editor, President, and received an award of honor in 1989. Following that, he became part of the National Association of AAMFT and was representative to the Divisional Affairs Council. He received an award at the National Conference. For three years, he gave presentations at the National Conference of Separated and Divorced Catholics at Notre Dame under Father James Young.