Mary Cox Ryckman mother of Mervin and Mark Giacomini, aged 97, died early Tuesday, February 5th, following a brief illness. Mary was born January 22, 1916 at her Aunt Mary's home in Dunsmuir, CA, Siskiyou County, one of four siblings born to Clarence and Halcyon Cox, both descended of early Humboldt County families. Clarence met his wife and new baby daughter Mary with a horse and wagon at the Red Bluff Railroad Depot, Tehama County, and took them home to Bridgeville, where Clarence's parents owned and operated the Bridgeville Hotel and Store. While Mary's father Clarence hauled freight for the hotel and store with a team of horses and freight wagon, Mary's mother Halcyon, who had helped her father haul supplies into the Trinity County gold nines with mule pack teams as a girl, became an example of independence for her daughters as she, in addition to raising her children, became a shipyard worker in Oakland, a small ranch partner with Clarence, and a nurse's aide at a Eureka Hospital. After her schooling at Hydesville Elementary School and Fortuna Union High School both in Humboldt County, Mary married Mervin A. Giacomini of Wolverton Gulch, Hydesville, in 1934. They had two children, Mervin and Mark. In addition to working on the family ranch at Wolverton Gulch, Mary, like her mother Halcyon, also held outside jobs. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" welder at the Chicago Bridge and Iron Shipyard in Fields Landing during World War II and after the war, a waitress at the "Angelina Inn" at Fernbridge. After she and Mervin divorced in 1957, Mary began work at the State of California Developmental Hospitals at Talmage and in Sonoma County as a Psychiatric Technician, specializing in the care of developmentally disabled children and young adults, taking many classes from Sonoma State University in psychiatry, psychology and nursing, for the rest of her career -with the exception of seven years where she lived in Guadalajara, Mexico with her then husband retired vocational school teacher Fred Ryckman. Both returned from Mexico to live in Sonoma where Mary continued to work for the Sonoma State Developmental Hospital until she retired at the age of 72. Mary continued to live independently in Sonoma after Fred died, and traveled the world with friends by ship, train, plane and even camel! In-between she enjoying her work and her friends, and keeping track of "her" favorite 49er and San Francisco Giants team members. Mary or "Gram" always had time to crochet heirloom afghans, baby blankets and ponchos for her children, grandchildren and friends. Her one vanity was her nails and she enjoyed regular visits to the nail salon and going out to eat with her family and friends. In 2007 she moved from Sonoma to Novato, to live with her son Mervin and his family in the studio apartment off their home through 2012. She was surrounded by photos of her family and friends and delighted in showing them off to visitors. Mary was preceded in death by her parents, husbands, niece Janneth Thomas, sister-in-law Betty Lou Cox, brother-in-law Bruce McCloskey, nephew John Cox, younger sister Jane Young, nephew Tim McCloskey, and older sister Cecil McCloskey. She leaves her brother Bill Cox and his wife Mickey; sons Mervin and Mark, and their wives Gail and Mary Jane; grandchildren Laura, Angela, Vincent and Anna Giacomini and Melanie Giacomini Wiseman, Dean and LaVonne Giacomini. She also leaves eleven great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Mary treasured her friends and leaves her dear friends Roseann Rappoport, Janet Siela, and Lynda Bryan of Sonoma, and Edna Black of Texas. We want to acknowledge the compassionate and kind staff of Creekwood Senior Home in Novato, Hospice by the Bay, Jewish Family and Children's Services, and Seniors at Home. For those who wish to give a donation to a charity in Mary's name, the family suggests a contribution in her name to the Marin Humane Society, where her companion dog "Katie-tulla" found her "forever family," or of Saint Anthony's Catholic Church of Novato, whose staff regularly visited Mary with prayer and Communion. Duggan's Mission Chapel Mission Cremation Service 525 West Napa Street Sonoma, CA. www.duggansmissionchapel.com
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