Cover photo for Alison Scott Ricker's Obituary
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1953 Alison 2024

Alison Scott Ricker

June 13, 1953 — May 14, 2024

Oberlin

Alison Scott Ricker, former Head of the Science Library at Oberlin College, died on May 14 at age 70, following an accidental fall at her home.
Born June 13, 1953, in Canton, Ohio, she lived previously in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Battle Creek, Michigan. She received the BS in Biology degree from Alma College in Michigan in 1975 and the Master of Library Science degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1977. Prior to coming to Oberlin in 1983, she was Librarian at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, Georgia.      
During her 40-year career at Oberlin she played a pivotal role in the Science Library’s transition from a primarily print-based collection to being an invaluable resource for online research. She was known for her responsiveness to faculty and student needs and was skilled in teaching the use of scientific information resources. She was instrumental in planning the current science library, which opened in 2001 with the completion of the then-new Science Center, and she coordinated the library’s move into its new space. She retired in August 2023.
Alison was active in a wide variety of professional contexts, including the Special Libraries Association, the Academic Library Association of Ohio, the Science and Technology Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), and the College Library Section of ACRL. She served on library advisory boards for the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and regularly contributed reviews for Choice, ACRL’s review journal of new academic titles. She authored or co-authored numerous articles on topics such as teaching information literacy in the sciences and the role of academic libraries in promoting science literacy. In 2001 she was honored with the Academic Library Association of Ohio’s Jay Ladd Distinguished Service Award.
            She was a devoted member of Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin. Over the decades, there wasn’t a parish title that Alison didn’t hold at one time or another. She served on the vestry and as senior warden, she sang in the choir, she served as an acolyte, and she was the church sacristan. She was president of the Lorain County chapter of The Order of the Daughters of the King. For over two decades she delivered Meals on Wheels to Oberlin residents.
            An active member of the League of Women Voters, she served as president of the Oberlin area League and as co-president of the State of Ohio League. A believer in democratic participation, she worked consistently to register voters both in Lorain County and on the Oberlin College campus. She was recently participating in efforts to gather signatures for the Citizens Not Politicians Ohio constitutional amendment designed to create fair Ohio legislative and U.S. Congressional districts. 
Alison played many roles in the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL), a nonpartisan volunteer organization that works at local, national, and international levels to address the challenges posed by climate change. She was co-leader of the CCL Lorain County chapter, she worked in a variety of ways to promote climate change action, and she regularly attended CCL’s national conference in Washington D.C., where she lobbied Congress for climate change legislation.  
A longtime member of Oberlin’s Musical Union, she proudly took part in the Oberlin Conservatory’s January 2023 performance at Carnegie Hall where she sang in the chorus for Oberlin College alumnus R. Nathaniel Dett’s oratorio The Ordering of Moses. She participated in numerous other Oberlin College and community organizations. 
Alison loved musical performance, especially attending the Cleveland Orchestra at both Severance Hall and on summer evenings at Blossom Music Center with her family. She enjoyed biking and she loved the outdoors, reveling in wilderness areas near her home and seeking out nature preserves when traveling. In retirement she was becoming an avid bird watcher. She liked to cook, especially for others, and was a strict vegetarian. 
Alison is remembered by all who knew her for her kindness, cheerfulness, and good nature. Her life was characterized by family, faith, professionalism, compassion, action, and service to others. She was a good human being who lived a good life. 
She is survived by her husband of 38 years Ray English, sons John English (Ketty Etienne) and Michael Kennedy-English (Mariah), granddaughters Noni English and Willow Kennedy-English, sister Margaret Ricker Fritz (Warren), brother Robert Lane Ricker, Jr., and four nephews.  She was preceded in death by her father Robert Lane Ricker, her mother Janet Scott Ricker, and her sister Dana Ann Ricker.   
Services are planned for Saturday, June 22, as follows:
10:30 a.m., Solemn Requiem Mass, Christ Episcopal Church, 162 S. Main St. in Oberlin
1:00 p.m., Celebration of Life, the Meeting House, First Church in Oberlin, 106 N. Main St.
2:00 p.m., Reception, First Church Fellowship Hall.
Both the requiem mass and the life celebration will be live streamed and recorded. Links will be available through the First Church website (https://firstchurchoberlin.org/media/) and the Christ Church YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@christchurchoberlin2404/streams).
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Christ Episcopal Church in Oberlin, the Oberlin College Science Library Special Book Fund, the Citizens Climate Lobby of Lorain County (email: loraincounty.oh@citizensclimatelobby.org), or the League of Women Voters of Lorain County (https://my.lwv.org/ohio/lorain-county).
 
Reichlin Roberts Bollinger Funeral Home assisted the family.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Alison Scott Ricker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Mass

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

The Meeting House - First Church in Oberlin

106 N. Main Street, Oberline, OH 44074

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