Ryleigh Patricia Bickford, 25, of Bar Harbor passed away peacefully May 17, 2022, surrounded by her family. She was the daughter of Carrie and David Emerson of Franklin and Troy Bickford and Cristin Anderson Bickford of Ellsworth. She is survived by her grandparents, Dan and Bren Norwood of Ellsworth, Lee and Bobby Gray of Bar Harbor and Elliott and Patricia Bickford of Ellsworth.
She has two very special brothers and their families, Chase Bickford and fiancée Nicole Higgins, their children Ryker and Maci of Ellsworth, and her twin brother Taner Bickford and wife, Savannah, of Fort Campbell, Ky. She also had three brothers by marriage, Silas Davies, Ashton Gardner and Joshua Emerson, two very special aunts, Jessica Bickford of Ellsworth and Christine Oliver of Windham, and we cannot leave out her canine companion Sophia! She has many other extended family members and loving friends who will continue to keep her spirit alive through memories and important lessons she taught everyone who’s life she touched; how to love unconditionally, how to always go through life with a smile, and always be kind.
Ryleigh shared some of her fondest memories with us before she passed away. Most of them included spending time at the beach, be it at the Cable Crossing in Manset, or Lamoine Beach. The ocean was her happy place. When you hear the waves crash, find a beautiful treasure on the shore or smell the salt air, her hope would be that it reminds you of her.
Ryleigh also had a special place in her heart for animals. Animals of all shapes and sizes. From riding a horse named Sunny Beans at Wildwood Therapeutic Riding Center when she was a little girl, to her dog Sophia, she cherished them all. Her love of animals showed her kind and loving soul.
Ryleigh fought a lifelong battle with numerous medical diagnoses, but she never let it dull her spirit. She had a smile that was infectious, and she won the hearts of anyone who knew her. She was courageous in her battle to the very end. The family of Ryleigh would like to acknowledge how loving and supportive her care team at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center had been in her final weeks. Ryleigh made “lifelong friends” with a special few. We know she touched their hearts and left a forever imprint on them. Their sweet care and going the extra mile to make sure Ryleigh was able to have a party for her 25th birthday, comforting prayer in moments of need, or someone willing to just sit and hold her hand will always be cherished and appreciated by her family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Ryleigh’s memory to Whitney Who, whose nonprofit has set out to help people with terminal illness fulfill bucket list goals. Learning about Whitney, her dreams and mission touched Ryleigh deeply in her final weeks. Donations to the Make A Wish Foundation would also be lovingly appreciated. Make A Wish generously granted Ryleigh a Wish in 2017, sending her on a Wish trip to Hawaii. Through this she was able to create sweet memories with her family. Of course, they were at the beach.
Whitney Who: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?cmd=_donations&[email protected]&item_name=Whitney%20Who?¤cy_code=USD.
Make A Wish: https://secure2.wish.org.
At Ryleigh’s request, a celebration of her life will be held Sunday, May 29, at 1 p.m. at Lamoine Beach. All of her family, friends and members of the community whose life she touched are welcome to gather to share stories, share laughs, and of course, share food too!