ShareThis Page
Outgoing Sister Rickie, an avid bicyclist, ‘broke the mold’ |

Outgoing Sister Rickie, an avid bicyclist, ‘broke the mold’

Rick Wills
| Wednesday, May 4, 2011 12:00 a.m

Sister M. Ricarda Husava, an avid bicyclist who attended beauty school, did not fit the profile of a nun who took vows in 1950.

“She broke the mold. She was just so outgoing that some people were surprised that she was a nun at all. And people could not believe that a nun rides a bike. But Rickie was always a free spirit,” said Sister Jean Marie Ulica, who met Sister Husava in 1960, when the two were teachers at Holy Family Elementary School in Erie.

Sister M. Ricarda “Rickie” Husava, a member of the School Sisters of St. Francis of the United States Province for 61 years, died on Monday, May 2, 2011, in Mt. Assisi Convent Motherhouse in Bellevue. She was 79.

One of eight children born to a McKees Rocks family of Slovak descent, Sister Husava was born Amelia Husava on Oct. 14, 1931, to the late Ignatius and Julia Husava. She was educated by the parish schools of St. Mark Parish in McKees Rocks and professed her first vows in 1950 at Mt. Assisi Convent.

“She was educated by the same sisters she later joined and influenced by her mother’s devotion to the Virgin Mary,” said Sister Elaine Hromulak, community minister for the School Sisters of St. Francis, who knew Sister Husava for 50 years.

Sister Husava received a bachelor’s degree in education from Carlow University and a master’s degree in library science from Duquesne University.

She served in various locations in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Arizona as an elementary and secondary schoolteacher. She spent about a year in Rome in the 1990s, organizing her order’s library.

For years — no matter what time of year it was or what the weather was like — Sister Husava made a daily bike ride between Canonsburg, where she lived, and Immaculate Conception Parish School in Washington, where she taught.

“That was after Vatican II that she started riding a bike. You never could have done it before. She was a very independent person for someone who lived in a community with many rules. I think the bike and the beauty school were her ways of being independent,” Hromulak said.

Sister Husava is survived by two brothers, Rudolph Husava of Hazelwood and Joseph Husava of San Dimas, Calif.; and two sisters, Agnes Bechtold of Ross and Ann Mehan of Carnegie.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Steve, John and James Husava.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today in Queen of Angels Chapel, Mt. Assisi Convent.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.