Lisa Reticker died on October 31st surrounded by family at her home in Rhinebeck, New York after an extensive battle with cancer. She was 69 years old.
She was born June 22nd, 1952 to Dick and Mary Reticker and was raised as the third of eleven children in Deerfield, Illinois in the northern suburbs of Chicago. She often took on the role of family confidante, listening to others with curiosity and compassion, never being shy about telling them what she thought.
Growing up during the Women’s Liberation, Anti-War, and Civil Rights Movements inspired Lisa’s enduring commitment to women’s rights and social justice. That commitment was sustained by her 40-year membership in the Feminar, a Marxist feminist group of women that formed in Madison and combined consciousness-raising and social support. In 2016, Lisa helped to convene the Re-Sisters, a group of women who met regularly to discuss pressing social justice issues and take on political action on the local and federal level and support women candidates for office.
In her 20s, after traveling the world and getting involved in the burgeoning women’s health movement, Lisa moved to Madison, Wisconsin to pursue a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Wisconsin. She went on to have a long career as a counselor, including a 16-year tenure with the Vassar College Counseling Service, where she facilitated the growth and healing of thousands of Vassar students. While there, she was an early participant in contemporary movements integrating spiritual and psychological insight and practice. Her warmth and capacity to understand the nuances of interpersonal and organizational dynamics led her to be a valued and trusted consultant, mentor, and friend for her colleagues and clients.
Lisa met the love of her life, Mark Fuerst, while she was working as a medical Social Worker at Meriter Hospital in Madison. They later moved to Philadelphia and married in 1988. After overcoming a battle with ovarian cancer, Lisa was elated to welcome the arrival of her only child, Marta. When Marta was three, they resettled to Rhinebeck, New York where Lisa would become an engaged community member and close friend to so many. She served on the board of the Starr Library and was a founding member of CollegeConnect, a group formed to guide and support students who are the first in their family to go to college. She joined the Resisters political action coalition in 2017.
With her sharp wit and fierce intelligence, Lisa took great pleasure in engaging in all forms of discourse. She displayed phenomenal tenacity throughout her multiple battles with cancer, sustained by her enduring interest in Buddhism, yoga and other spiritual practices. Her grace in the face of the illness inspired all that knew her.
She is survived by her beloved husband Mark Fuerst and treasured daughter Marta Fuerst; her sister Gini Reticker (Jerry and Michaela Kupfer); brother Bob Reticker (Mary and Kade Reticker); sister Mary Beth Reticker (John, Lauren, and Brian Esterle); sister Theresa Reticker-Schultz (Les, Ali, and Taylor Schultz); brother Peter Reticker (Claire Reticker); brother Paul Reticker (Virginia and Mary Stuart Reticker); brother Tim Reticker (Aleyda, Anesia, and Jordan Reticker); sister Meg Reticker; sister Amy Reticker (Dave, Dylan, and Laney Radke); and brother-in-law Jack Flynn (Julia and Nathan Reticker-Flynn); and her Aunt Laurene McKirnan.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the CollegeConnect in Rhinebeck to honor and continue Lisa’s life work as a counselor, educator, and advocate.
Graveside services are Monday, November 1st, 1:00 PM, at the Natural Section of Rhinebeck Cemetery, 55 Mill Rd., Rhinebeck, NY 12572
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