Diva Ricci

October 18, 1917 - April 29, 2017
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Sunset View Mortuary
Erin Stark
Nancy Ricci
Kitsy Ricci
Marc Steiner Light a candle


Diva Ricci, 99 and one-half years old, passed away April 29, 2017 in Oakland, California after a brief illness. She was a feisty, funny, well-loved, strong, and brave woman. Diva was born October 18, 1917 in Lucca Italy to Casimiro Baccelli and Dina Nieri Baccelli.

Diva immigrated to the U.S. when she was 21. She worked in a cigar factory until her English skills improved enough that she landed her favorite job as a hat saleswoman at Emporium Capwell’s in Oakland. She often joked about how she charmed rich ladies into buying more hats than they ever needed. She had a vibrant life in the Italian-American community in Oakland and Alameda. She was a hard worker, USO volunteer, and loved dancing.

She met her husband, John Ralph Ricci, and was married in 1949. Together they raised four children. The family moved to Gardena, California in 1960 and later to Torrance, California in 1971. Diva was an enthusiastic volunteer in her church and in her children’s schools. She was a loving mother and grandmother extraordinaire. She loved to cook, entertain, travel, gamble, and laugh with friends. She enjoyed tiramisu and all things Italian, and she became an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan.

In 2002, Diva moved back to Oakland and joined a new community of friends at Piedmont Gardens. She was an active and lively presence there, volunteering as a gift shop cashier and a companion to those in skilled nursing. Diva was often seen zipping along Piedmont Avenue in her walker, and she may have known every baby and pet dog in the zip code. As her life began to slow down, Diva moved to Sunrise Assisted Living of Oakland Hills, where she enjoyed outings, bingo, and (no surprise) joking with the staff.

Diva was predeceased by her husband, John in 1985 and by her brothers, Emilio, Ilio and Gino Baccelli.

She is survived by her children: Michael Ricci (Kitsy Ricci), Steven Ricci (Mannig Gurekian), Nancy Ricci (Dean Gloster) and David Ricci; grandchildren: Lara Ricci, Giovanni Ricci, Nicole Vienna, Christopher Ricci, Bryan Ricci, Kathryn Ricci, Alexandra Gloster, Jay Gloster, Jimmy Rice, Donald Stolan and Daniel Stolan; great grandchildren: Tobin Wagge, Madison Wagge, Connor Stolan, and Abigail Ricci.
In Italy, Diva is survived by her sister-in-law Vally Baccelli and many nephews and nieces: Dino, Roberta, Alberto, Elvira, Flavia, Vinicio, Stefano, Diletta, Dunia, Livio, Lorenzo, Gian Luca, Alessandro, and Romana.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Lomita, California by Bishop Joseph Sartoris at Saint Margaret Mary Catholic Church on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 10 AM. Burial will follow the Mass at Green Hills Memorial Park in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

A Celebration of Life event will be held in her honor at Piedmont Gardens on Saturday, June 10th at 2:30 PM, for her Northern California friends and family.

Memorial gifts may be made to Catholic Charities of the East Bay:
433 Jefferson St. Oakland, CA 94607 510-768-3100 http://www.cceb.org/

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Service Schedule

Service Information

Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time: 10:00 am -

Saint Margaret Mary Catholic Church


25511 Eshelman Avenue, Lomita, CA, 90717

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Date: Thursday, May 11, 2017

Time: 11:30 am -

Green Hills Memorial Park


27501 S Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 90275

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Date: Saturday, June 10, 2017

Time: 2:30 pm -

Piedmont Gardens


110 41st Street, Oakland, CA, 94611

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Cemetery Information

Date: Thursday, January 1, 1970

Green Hills Memorial Park


27501 S Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, 90275

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Life Event Timeline

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Timeline for Diva Ricci

Born: October 18, 1917
Died: April 29, 2017

Condolences for Diva Ricci

Sunset View Mortuary

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Sunset View Mortuary.


Ed Bussa posted on 5/11/17

What a sad loss of an unforgettable woman. I always looked forward to seeing Diva, whether at a Ricci Family event, or while visiting my Aunt Mary at Piedmont Gardens, or just running into her on the street on Piedmont Avenue. She always responded to my poor attempts at speaking Italian with wit and grace. I will miss her spirit. Ed Bussa


Kitsy Ricci posted on 5/7/17

Lit a candle in memory of Diva Ricci


Nancy Ricci posted on 5/4/17

Your mischievous humor will live on! We love you mom. Hugs, Nancy


mary ritelli posted on 5/5/17

RIP my beautiful Diva. You have taught me so many life lesson. I will cherish all the days we had together. I love you.


linda boero posted on 5/6/17



Edna Lewis posted on 5/6/17

Our condolences to Nancy, Dean, Alex and Jay and to Nancy's extended family. Nona Diva was one of a kind, and we should all have that much grit and gumption. Matt will be telling the story of how Nona Diva taught him the proper way to stir a risotto forever so Nona Diva will not be forgotten! Love, Matt, Edna, Casey, Warren and Fiona Lewis


Peggy Baker posted on 5/8/17

I will miss my dear friend whom I have known since meeting each other in Gardenia. We shared many memories raising our children. I can remember teaching her how to drive. She was a wonderful cook. So many wonderful life experiences - truly a dear friend! I am glad you will finally see your loving husband. Much love always! Peggy


Nancy Ricci posted on 5/4/17

Lit a candle in memory of Diva Ricci


Erin Stark posted on 5/9/17

Lit a candle in memory of Diva Ricci


Daniel Meier posted on 5/5/17

A classy woman who loved great food and had a great wit! She had a very dignified presence.


elvira bruno posted on 5/5/17

Una donna che sprizzava gioia di vivere in ogni momento anche quando semplicemente leggeva un libro sulla spiaggia o giocava a skip-bo (e voleva vincere!). A woman who always sprang joy de vivre also when she only read a book on the beach or played skip-bo (and she wanted to win). Elvira Bruno


linda boero posted on 5/6/17

We miss you at the bistro and at Sunrise Diva! Cheers bella!!! XX Linda and dad, Jack


Nancy Ricci posted on 5/21/17



Marc Steiner posted on 5/4/17

Lit a candle in memory of Diva Ricci