Martha Gracellen Ricklefs passed away Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, at 7:45 p.m. in Phoenix, Ariz. Her husband, Neil Ricklefs was at her side.
Martha Gracellen Ricklefs (Forde) was born in Decorah Feb. 13, 1945, to Gerhard Forde and Ruth-Agnes Forde (Keefe). Marti graduated from Decorah High School in 1963 and subsequently attended AIB in Des Moines. Neil and Marti were married in 1973. She worked at Bankers Life, now Principal Financial Group, Equitable of Iowa, taught arts and crafts for Easter Seals of Iowa at Camp Sunnyside and was secretary to the Iowa State Legislature in Des Moines. Subsequent to Neil's retirement they made their home in Estes Park, Colo., where she worked for hotels and downtown shops. Neil and Marti also had a home in Sun Lakes, Ariz. and spent half their time in Colorado and the other half in Arizona. Marti was very fortunate to have family, not just all over the U.S., but all over the world too.
She is survived by her husband Neil and her two sons, John (San Francisco, Calif.) and Adam (Clive,). On Marti's side of the family she is survived by her sister Barbara Forde (Des Moines), niece Chelsea Adams (Decorah), brother Kent Forde, his wife Pam (De Soto, Mo.), and niece Kelli Forde (League City, Texas). On Neil's side she is survived by Merle and Margret (Sydney, Australia) and two nephews: Charles (Sydney, Australia), and Norman (UAE, Dubai).
She will be missed by all her friends and family.