Memorial garden, service for Virginia ‘Ginny’ Rico

A memorial garden dedication service for Virginia “Ginny” Rico, longtime principal of Cider Mill School, will be held at Hillside Cemetery, 165 Ridgefield Road, on Saturday, May 30.
Rico spent 35 years in service to the children and educators in the Wilton public school system before, in June 2013, she lost her 14-year battle with multiple myeloma — a type of cancer that affects plasma cells of the bone marrow.
“She had style, she had class, and there was nothing she couldn’t do,” said her husband, Frank Rico. “She was an excellent mother [and] she had managerial courage.”

Dedication service

Located in Hillside Cemetery’s new Spruce Section, Ms. Rico’s memorial garden features cement stones formed into a circle with stone seating, surrounded by plants, flowers and trees.
Frank Rico said a number of people will speak during his wife’s dedication service.
One of her Cider Mill colleagues will read a poem.
Their son and daughter will read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, because they believe it symbolized who their mother was.
There will be two readings from the Bible — one by Ginny’s sister, who will come from Long Island, and one by one of Ginny’s former students.
The memorial service will take place at 1 p.m., followed by a reception.

Early years in Wilton

Frank and Ginny got married in Garden City, N.Y., on June 27, 1964.
“Ginny and I got married two weeks past her 20th birthday,” said Frank. “She passed away a day before our 49th wedding anniversary.”
The Ricos moved to Wilton with their son and daughter in 1971 and Ginny began teaching in the Wilton public schools as a long-term substitute seven years later.
In 1985, she became a teacher and technology instructional leader at Cider Mill, before becoming assistant principal in 1997.
Ginny was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 1999, but never let the disease stop her. In 2002, she became principal at Cider Mill and served in that position until her death on June 26, 2013.
“Ginny had managerial courage,” said Frank. “She did not hesitate and she made tough decisions.”
Frank said Ginny wasn’t afraid to stand up for her students and staff, even if it was to Gary Richards — former superintendent of Wilton Public Schools and neighbor of the Ricos.
In a statement following her death, Richards said Ginny was “enormously dedicated to her students and staff,” “an outstanding instructional leader,” and “an effective mentor, who established a warm and supportive school culture.”
“She was a visible and effective leader both in her building and throughout the school system. Throughout her lengthy illness her commitment to, and affection for, her students and staff never wavered,” Richards said.

RSVP information

If it rains, the ceremony will take place in Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road.
To RSVP, call 203-762-5591 or email