G. Linda Rikard-Milton, DE

MILTON, DE – G. Linda Rikard, 75, of Milton, DE, passed away on April 12 after a valiant battle with Alzheimer’s. Dr Rikard graduated from Winthrop University with a BS in Physical Education in 1970. She continued her studies at the University of Georgia earning an M.Ed in 1972. In 1979 she was awarded an Ed.D. in Administration and Curriculum Development from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Dr. Rikard’s teaching career included instructor positions at Otterbein and Coker colleges, visiting professor at USC, and assistant professorships at the University of Southern Mississippi and Columbia College. She served for several years as Director of Undergraduate and Graduate programs at East Carolina University. After a distinguished career at ECU, she was recruited in 1996 by George Mason University as the Academic Program Coordinator of the Bachelor of Science in Education in Health and Physical Education program. She was instrumental in designing the the Physical Education Concentration within the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in the Advanced Studies for Teaching and Learning at Mason and served as the advisor for the program before retiring in 2011.

Dr Rikard was a well-respected educator who produced more than 50 peer-reviewed publications, as well as presentations at the international, national, regional, and local levels. She has received seven grants and served on the editorial boards of The Physical Educator, the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, and the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. She also was a guest reviewer for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and Quest. Her service to the discipline of physical education includes being the Secretary of the AAHPERD Research Consortium (now SHAPE America), chair of the Credentials Committee for SHAPE America, a member of Research Consortium Executive Committee, and invited member of the NASPE (now SHAPE America) Task Force on Minimal Skill Competency of Pre-Service Teachers. She also served as Secretary/Treasurer of the Special Interest Group on Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education of the American Educational Research Association.

The Research Consortium awarded her Fellow status in 1996. Other honors include being named to Who’s Who in Education in 2003, receiving a Meritorious Award from East Carolina University in 1992, being named the Young Scholar by Southern District in 1980, and receiving a Research Award from the Southern Association of Physical Education for College Women in 1979. 

Dr. Rikard was a star basketball player in high school. Throughout life she enjoyed golf, skiing, tennis, music, dancing and travel. Those who knew and loved her described her as a “kind spirit”. She had a great smile and could charm anyone. 

Dr. Rikard was born in Johnston, SC. She is survived by Mary Jo Tarallo, her devoted partner of 25 years, and many Baltimore cousins who loved her as well as two SC cousins, a niece, a nephew and an aunt. She was predeceased by her parents Grace and John Odell Rikard, Sr and brothers RV and John Odell Rikard,Jr. A Celebration of Life is planned in June. She is interred at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens near Baltimore. A scholarship fund has been set up in her name to help prospective health and P.E. students. For those who would like to support this effort there is a direct online link set up here: https://advancement.gmu.edu/24EDRI

Checks are also accepted. Please make checks payable to: George Mason University Foundation and add G. Linda RikardEndowed Scholarship to the memo line. 

 Shirley Hartman, College of Education and Human Development

4400 University Drive, MSN 121

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.