Fredericka Groebli, 96, was born in Austria-Hungary. She came to the USA with her parents when she was young. After she married she and her husband owned a liquor store for years, then she was an apartment building owner. Rickie was an honorary member of the Swiss Club and was Treasurer for thirty years from 1948 - 1978. Those were the days before a hired bookkeeper and before the social part of the club was separate from the business.
Rickie, occasionally with the help of some members of the Board of Directors, bought balloons and table decorations for the New Year's dance and monthly events and supervised their placement. They bought the prizes for the children's booths for the Schwingfest, prizes for the August 1st games and races and the gifts for Santa to distribute at the Christmas dinners. Rickie oversaw the purchase of kitchen food, supplies, liquor and bar items. She took care of many minor items for the Club, even purchasing new wheels for the piano when the old ones were scaring the floor of the stage.
Rickie, with Louis Stockalper, who was President of the Swiss Club, made most of the major decisions together about the new hall's construction. She shopped for lighting fixtures, carpet, chairs, tables and other items that were needed to open the new club building in 1970. She made financial arrangements to secure a mortgage so the hall could be built and purchased the original kitchen and bar supplies.
Rickie also made the curtains on the stage of the Swiss Hall! She purchased the heavy, velvet material and lining, and sewed them on her very own sewing machine. The material was too thick for her sewing machine so she had to pick up the bobbin stitch by hand! That means that she had to reinforce each sewing machine stitch with a hand stitch.
The next time you are in the hall, look at the stage curtains, you will see that they still hang perfectly! To make the curtains she laid the material on her dining room table to cut and measure. But when asked about this major achievement, she acted like it had been a minor task.
Rickie was also Club Treasurer when the old hall was built in the summer of 1956. She was instrumental in the planning and construction of that building. She probably made the heavy, dark green drapes for the stage in that building, too. That building was removed when the I-5 Freeway was constructed in the late 60's.
Rickie was also a key person in establishing a Swiss Ladies social group, a club that is still active. She was the Founding President of the Swiss Ladies Society in 1962 and an active member for many years.
Rickie was truly a remarkable woman. Our Swiss Club, as we know it today, was greatly influenced by Rickie during the 30 years of her service to the Swiss Club. It was a privilege for many of us to know her.
Contributed by Marilyn Pluss