Former Buena Vista resident Mary Katherine Ricard, 55, of Ordway died Sept. 24, 2012, in Ordway.
She was born Dec. 25, 1956, in Mountain Home, Ind., to James and Geraldine Leidal.
She married Timothy L. Ricard on Nov. 28, 1984.
Although she trained to become a nurse, her career changed to full-time mom when she began her family.
For 14 years Mrs. Ricard was a pastry chef at Copper Mountain.
In her mid-40s she began working with inmates and prisoners. She said she considered it a religious calling more than a job.
She was a correctional officer at the Buena Vista Correctional Complex from 2003 to 2007, then transferred to the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility and was promoted to sergeant.
An accomplished cook, Mrs. Ricard was known for her wedding cakes, potato salad, white bread and dinner rolls. She cooked, canned and dehydrated foods and baked cookies with her grandchildren.
Her hobbies included tending her vegetable garden and rose bushes, spinning wool, weaving and knitting. She spun angora wool from her own rabbits to make baby blankets for all her grandchildren.
Mrs. Ricard also raised chickens, geese, horses, pigs and, once, an emu. Her prized pet was a poodle called Joshua.
She loved to sew, making her own bridal gown and bridesmaids dresses as well as shirts and pants for her husband-to-be and groomsmen.
Every year she continued a tradition started by her grandmother of sewing pajamas for her daughter, granddaughters, husband, sons, nephews and grandsons.
Mrs. Ricard attended the Agape Life Church in Arvada.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Geraldine Leidal, and sister, Lisa Gross.
Survivors include her husband; daughter, Katie (Kelvin) Smith, Denver; sons, Jack Benson, Ben (Andria) Ricard and Joey Benson, all of Denver; and nine grandchildren.
Viewing will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Sept. 28, 2012, at Runyan Mortuary in Buena Vista.
Her graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 29, 2012, at Mount Olivet Cemetery, Buena Vista.
Memorial donations may be made to the family through First National Bank, 300 Main St., No. 301, Ordway, CO 81063.
A Fallen Correctional Facility Officer Memorial Service will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 1, 2012, at Crowley County High School in Ordway.
Arrangements are with Runyan Mortuary, and online condolences may be offered at www.RunyanMortuary.com.