Rica Hussa Raymond was born on April 30, 1934 at Emanuel Hospital in Portland, Oregon to Leopold and Rica Kelsey Hussa, joining her older sisters Billie and Jana.
Rica attended St. Helen's Hall, Grant High School, and studied piano and harp at Lewis & Clark College. She was a life-long lover of classical music, an avid reader, and had a wonderful sense of humor.
In 1954 she married Dennis L. Wolken from Vancouver. They started a family in the Portland area and then moved to Bellevue, WA in 1962 where Dennis began a long career at Boeing while she wrangled four children and was very involved in the effort to save King FM as a member of “Classical Music Supporters, Inc”. Always creative and strong-willed, Rica also designed the family home in Issaquah, WA.
When the kids went on to college, Rica wanted to work so she assisted with Financial Aid at a business college and then moved into HR at Boeing, which she enjoyed.
When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her focus became beating the disease. It was a tough fight, but she was successful. During this time, she and Dennis divorced and she moved back to Portland.
Rica remarried in 1993 to David Raymond of Yakima, whom she met on a river cruise in England. She relocated to Yakima where she made wonderful friends and was an active volunteer in her church where she served a term on the Vestry, helped make and deliver food to the homeless, and worked in the church office and at its thrift store, The Plaid Door. In addition, she worked in retail including Make It Special Make It Washington and The Cookie Cutter stores and also for a local CPA.
Rica stayed in Yakima for several years after David’s passing before moving closer to her children in the Issaquah Plateau. There, she had good years spending time and holidays with the family.
Unfortunately, shortly after that move, it was determined that she had contracted lung cancer. This led to removal of part of her lung, which was successful. Sadly, months later, cancer tumors were found in her liver. Despite being given 3 to 6 months to live, she decided to start a new chemo trial using Keytruda. That, plus her toughness and determination to survive saw the tumors shrink. Her oncologist said Rica was in medical journals because she had survived much longer than any other trial participant and, as a result, nicknamed her the “Energizer Bunny”.
Two years later, however, the treatments quit working and the cancer started to advance again. Despite trying more new chemo options, Rica was unable to beat the cancer. She passed in the early hours of December 22, with her daughter Rica at her side.
Rica is survived by her four children, Ted (Renee) Wolken, Sammamish, Rica H. Wolken (Marcelle) Seattle, Phil (Diana) Wolken, Seattle and Leo Wolken, Long Beach, WA; by her granddaughters Carlie Wolken (Sammamish) and Jill Wolken (Belmont, CA); and by her cousin Denise Nervik, Ft. Collins, CO.
There is not a current plan for a memorial. Any memorial donations can be made to the cancer organization of your choice.
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