Sept. 27, 1919 – Dec. 8, 2012
Joan G. Ricotta, who was active in Catholic organizations with her late husband, Dr. Joseph J. Ricotta, died Saturday in her Buffalo home. She was 93.
Mrs. Ricotta and her husband were deeply involved with the Family Life Movement, the Bishop’s Council of the Laity, the Catholic Physicians Guild, Boys Town of Italy and the Order of Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre, into which she was inducted in 1966.
The Ricottas made many trips abroad as ambassadors of these organizations, visiting India, Mexico, New Zealand, Italy and Israel. They also led a cultural initiative in the Philippines for the U.S. State Department on family planning and the role of the family in Philippine society.
Born Joan Tarantino in Buffalo and known as “Bebe” to her family and friends, she attended Sacred Heart Academy and Buffalo State Teachers College, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She taught elementary grades in the Batavia and Buffalo schools.
Mrs. Ricotta also served as a Eucharistic minister at Blessed Sacrament Church and at Deaconess Nursing Home. She and her husband endowed scholarships at Sacred Heart Academy and Canisius College, and supported many charitable organizations.
Her husband of 44 years died in 1990.
Surviving are two sons, John J. and Paul J.; and two brothers, Anthony and John Tarantino.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Friday in St. Michael Catholic Church, 651 Washington St.