June 3, 1928 - June 3, 2020
On June 3, 2020, James C. Ricca, loving husband, father of five children, fourteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, passed away peacefully at the age of 92, in Naples, Florida. James was born on June 3, 1928 in New York City to Frank and Rosalie (Tringale) Ricca. He received his law degree from St. John’s University, Brooklyn, NY, in 1951, thereafter served in the U.S. Army and rose to the rank of Captain in the Army Judge Advocate General Corp. After being honorably discharged in 1954, James pursued a successful career in private practice, concentrating in banking law. He was a principal of the law firm, Ricca & Donnelly, headquartered in Woodhaven, NY for over 40 years. On June, 3, 1950, James married his high school sweetheart, Lillian Reiter (deceased 2003). They raised four sons, Richard, Gregory, Mark and James II, and one daughter, Karen. On March 13, 2004, James married his beloved, Bernice Messina, who survives him and was with him as he passed away. James was known for his warm and charismatic personality. He was a natural leader, a great communicator and a very positive person. Whether it came to practicing law or in social situations, no matter whom he was interacting with, he made people feel at ease with his relaxed sense of humor and impressed people with his charm and intellect. He was respected and beloved by many. James believed in serving his community. He was elected to the Huntington School District 3, Board of Education, and served as its president in 1973. He was also an active member and director of Indian Hills Country Club in Northport, NY and the Wilderness Country Club in Naples, FL. In addition to being a gifted athlete and student (he was captain of his high school baseball and basketball teams and was elected class president), Jim was an avid golfer and sports fan. He especially rooted for his alma mater, the St. John’s University Men’s Basketball team, for which he was a season ticket holder. Jim was blessed with many talents and was good at many things. The scope of his talents included carpentry, landscaping, masonry, clarinet, public speaking, and of course practicing law. But Jim’s greatest gift was his humanity. He viewed everyone as equal and treated all with patience, dignity and respect. As an attorney, Jim counselled a variety of clientele - from sophisticated financial institutions and businesses, to small mom and pop shops, to individuals and families. He earned a reputation for excellence among his clients, colleagues and within the community. Jim was generous of his time with clients and with colleagues, who would seek him out for advice. Jim shared his enthusiasm for life, the law, learning, sports and music not only with his children, but with those fortunate to know him personally and professionally. He was a mentor and protector to many. A memorial service for friends and family will be announced. Rather than flowers or charitable donations to honor him, the Ricca family requests we follow Jim’s example by treating our fellow man with respect, kindness and understanding.
On June 3, 2020, James C. Ricca, loving husband, father of five children, fourteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, passed away peacefully at the age of 92, in Naples, Florida. James was born on June 3, 1928 in New York City to... View Obituary & Service Information
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