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BENJAMIN RICCI, 82; FILED SUIT FORCING STATE TO REFORM TREATMENT OF MENTALLY ; RETARDED
[THIRD Edition]
Boston Globe - Boston, Mass.
Subjects: Deaths -- Ricci, Benjamin
Author: Marquard, Bryan
Date: Jan 25, 2006
Start Page: D.12
Section: Obituary
Abstract (Document Summary)

After Benjamin Ricci had filed what would become a landmark lawsuit against the state, US District Judge Joseph L. Tauro decided to visit Belchertown State School, where Mr. Ricci's mentally retarded son was a resident. The judge spent hours at the facility.

As a college professor, [Gerald J. Morrissey Jr.] said, Mr. Ricci also "galvanized the college community in Western Massachusetts by creating student volunteer opportunities to . . . work at Belchertown State School. And by doing that, he transformed the workforce at Belchertown and created a brand new workforce for the Commonwealth.

Richard H. Gowen, president of the Advocacy Network, a nonprofit that monitors issues involving the mentally retarded in Massachusetts, called Mr. Ricci "a very compassionate person. I didn't even know a Ben Ricci existed until I sought assistance for my mentally retarded sister. [Ben] immediately gave me his expertise, his advice, and he took some action on my behalf, and the situation was resolved. He did this for countless people."

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