Courier receives C.F. toddler's death notice

2010-05-25T23:34:00Z Courier receives C.F. toddler's death notice Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
May 25, 2010 11:34 pm

WATERLOO --- The Courier has received official notice of the death of a Cedar Falls toddler. 

A funeral home declined to confirm that Benjamin David Ricketts had died Tuesday night when calls were made early Wednesday.

However, an official death notice was sent to the newspaper Wednesday afternoon.

Benjamin Ricketts, the 23-month-old son of David and Stephanie (Huff) Ricketts, died Tuesday, May 25, at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City.

Services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Heartland Vineyard Church in Cedar Falls.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Dahl-Van Hove-Schoof Funeral Home, and one hour before service at the church. A memorial fund will be established.

EARLIER STORY:

CEDAR FALLS --- A Cedar Falls toddler has died Tuesday night after injuries from May 15 accident, according to hundreds of Facebook posts.

Commenters on the site say Ben Ricketts,  22 months, died at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday and are asking for prayers for the family.

The toddler was hospitalized after accidentally strangling on a curtain cord.

Ben was being treated at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

Thousands signed on to a Facebook page to offer sympathy to Ben's parents, Dave and Stephanie Ricketts.

Kari Rindels, admninistrator of the Pray for Ben Ricketts Facebook site, said donations are being taken for the family.

"A paypal account has been set up so that people can donate online. All the online donations will go directly into the online donation," Rindels said.

Rindels also said a fund has been set up at Veridian Credit Union at the Cedar Heights Branch.

A Caring Bridge page has been set up.

 

 

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(26) Comments

  1. Stana
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    Stana - May 30, 2010 2:08 pm
    I have read the carebridge posts by the family members and I have only to say what a wonderful family and what a inspiration of faith. I am so sorry this happened to your lovely family but as you know you will have eternity with him.
  2. Voting Public
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    Voting Public - May 27, 2010 12:44 pm
    To the Courier: The ends don't justify the means.
  3. luvsrotts4
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    luvsrotts4 - May 27, 2010 8:19 am
    OMG!!!! If all you people can do is fight about stupid things then maybe they need to take the comment section off of here so no one can comment. It is here so we can leave how we feel about the artical not so we can cut each other down. GROW UP PEOPLE!!!!
  4. deri723
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    deri723 - May 27, 2010 2:02 am
    I'm so sorry to hear this. What a sad day. I hope this family can stay strong and learn to cope with this as best as they can. I can't imagine how painful this must be for them.

    Its a shame that people actually care about the fact the Courier got their information from a social networking site. Really? What day and age are you people living in? Many mainstream journalists use Twitter as a source so why can't the Courier use Facebook? I read these types of comments about the Courier more and more, especially when they lack complete information about a story. But then they use Facebook to try and include complete details and they are criticized for it. If you don't like the Courier go elsewhere.
  5. allgood05
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    allgood05 - May 26, 2010 11:43 pm
    RIP....In the end my friend we will all be together again.
  6. bigblklady
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    bigblklady - May 26, 2010 4:06 pm
    Loo Citizen said: "What is wrong with you people? A little boy has died and a family has been through more than anyone can imagine and all you people care about is fighting back and forth about the Courier??? I don't agree with using FB as a source, but who cares. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ricketts family in this time of tremendous sorrow. Little Ben's parents have showed amazing strength and faith this past week. Pray for them to continue to be strong and full of faith in this very sad time."

    I second this statement! ALL of it! I could not have said it any better:)

  7. cinco
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    cinco - May 26, 2010 4:03 pm
    First and foremost: my sympathies to the family and friends of this poor child. What a beautiful boy; he will remain in your hearts forever.

    As an aside: My very first thought once I began reading the article was, "Wait, the Courier is pulling their news from a social-networking site now?" From a purely journalistic standpoint, that is disturbing. I had been taught that proper practice was to confirm a death with the family directly, if not the hospital or funeral home; not a site which is unmoderated and essentially the Wild West of social networking. A little propriety and decorum, Courier, please.
  8. Loo Citizen
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    Loo Citizen - May 26, 2010 3:30 pm
    What is wrong with you people? A little boy has died and a family has been through more than anyone can imagine and all you people care about is fighting back and forth about the Courier??? I don't agree with using FB as a source, but who cares. My thoughts and prayers are with the Ricketts family in this time of tremendous sorrow. Little Ben's parents have showed amazing strength and faith this past week. Pray for them to continue to be strong and full of faith in this very sad time.
  9. mother3
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    mother3 - May 26, 2010 3:20 pm
    Ditto with many of you - the Courier is practicing shoddy journalism in an extremely private and very personal matter.
    I'll let you know through my funeral home (that's what their services are being paid to do) when I die and don't bother to "reportedly" do it any sooner. Shame, shame, shame.

    Why don't your reporters gather the full set of info and write five completely detailed articles on different subjects instead of printing 10 stories half-assed. And show some empathy and compassion will you please?
  10. always ask why
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    always ask why - May 26, 2010 3:04 pm
    this does not diminish the tragic death of this young toddler. i save comments about it because the family needs to mourn in peace. the fund does need to be publisized and i have donated. that said, this is a seperate story that the courier is deriving facts from a social networking site. factual or not, the mention that it got its story from facebook is terribly irresponsible. what if the courier derives a story about someone that is not true. dont think its possible ? it is. and all based on, basically, gossip. once the story of the death is confirmed by family, by all means, use the courier to promote the fund on facebook. but dont base your news reporting on post from facebook. you must see the difference that this is wrong.
  11. MamaJax
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    MamaJax - May 26, 2010 2:19 pm
    His dad just posted in the caringbridge site about his death.

  12. reader2
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    reader2 - May 26, 2010 1:58 pm
    Voting Public said: "Like "StrykerMom" I found it surprising that the Courier was using Facebook as a source of information to publish a story of such tragic emotion. I would never consider Facebook as a credible source of informaiton to go forward with a story of such sensitivity. Therefore, I checked the Courier's death notices link to see if they felt confident enought in the Facebook source as to publish the death notice. As of 12:15 p.m. on 5/26/2010, no death notice had been published. Perhaps the Facebook source wasn't credible enough to base a death notice on."

    I believe the Courier will only publish death notices if it comes from a funeral home. A while back, a family submitted a death notice regarding their son, when in fact he was alive and well. Having said that, I agree that Facebook and other such social networking sites should not be used as a credible source of information, although the article did clarify that it was getting their info from FB. Channel 7 did confirm the passing of Ben today. I am praying for the family.
  13. point of view
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    point of view - May 26, 2010 1:40 pm
    The child died. The uncle of Ben confirmed this and posted it last night. Why all this arguing about who is right and who is wrong? You all want to state your opinions on the telling of detail but, perhaps, it isn't your business. Let this family mourn. My prayers are with the Ricketts at this time of great losss.
  14. wlooian
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    wlooian - May 26, 2010 1:38 pm
    Yikes, take a chill pill, "Always Ask Why"! They didnt say the kid died, they reported what 200 people had entered on facebook, including the uncle. So they can ask for donations on this site but we cant trust what family members post? Crazy!
  15. always ask why
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    always ask why - May 26, 2010 1:13 pm
    wrong, wrong, wrong. i understand that in todays technological world the courier has to find new kinds of sources. but, facebook is a social networking site where anything, true or not can be posted. it is most definately not a credible news source! isnt it the couriers responsibility to factcheck the source to make sure the story is credible ? what is this ? the national enquirer ? i seriously hope they rethink the procedure here. what a two bit rag of a paper. very irresponsible.
  16. Voting Public
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    Voting Public - May 26, 2010 12:18 pm
    Like "StrykerMom" I found it surprising that the Courier was using Facebook as a source of information to publish a story of such tragic emotion. I would never consider Facebook as a credible source of informaiton to go forward with a story of such sensitivity. Therefore, I checked the Courier's death notices link to see if they felt confident enought in the Facebook source as to publish the death notice. As of 12:15 p.m. on 5/26/2010, no death notice had been published. Perhaps the Facebook source wasn't credible enough to base a death notice on.
  17. Cardinalsmom
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    Cardinalsmom - May 26, 2010 12:03 pm
    I would have to agree with some of the other commments, I think that the Courier should have confirmed with the hospital,family or even close family friends, not with Facebook. I understand that the family chose to use facebook and caringbridge to update friends and family, but you will notice that on these 2 sites, the immediate family has yet to comment. I just think a little of respect should have been paid to the family and allowed them to contact the paper, or atleast confirmed with the U of I hospital.
    wlooia, you said " If the family is giving news releases all along to the Courier, they needed to give one notifying that he died" I am sure at the time they were a little busy dealing with that fact that their 22 month old just passed away. Have some compassion, please.
  18. StrykerMom
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    StrykerMom - May 26, 2010 10:38 am
    I also find it hard to believe that it is responsible journalism to publish a news story that originated from Facebook posts (not only the Courier, but on local TV channels also). I do hope all family members were notified before the Courier published this. The family is in our prayers.
  19. wlooian
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    wlooian - May 26, 2010 10:23 am
    Excellent point "I love CF"! Instead of bashing the Courier, it would be more beneifical to be able to report what actually happened in this incident and what can be done to prevent from happening again!
  20. class of 993
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    class of 993 - May 26, 2010 10:02 am
    My heartfelt sorrow and prayers go to the family. RIP young Ben God has called you home. We may not understand the reasoning and have been left with sorrow and pain but we will move forward.
  21. iLoveCF
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    iLoveCF - May 26, 2010 9:30 am
    The Courier should NOT be ashamed as IAParent suggests, news sources change and evolve with technology. This story does not report Ben has died, this story reports that according to hundreds of Facebook posts, Ben has died. Ben's family and friends have chosen Facebook and CaringBridge to post updates, and the Courier is doing it's part to keep the rest of the community informed.
  22. IAParent
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    IAParent - May 26, 2010 9:01 am
    Being the hometown paper for this family I believe that a confirmed report of death from the family or funeral home should have been obtained first before announcing his death. Using Facebook as a source of information for something so tragic as this is poor judgement and you all should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this to be announced. Especially if it is premature. God bless the Ricketts family.
  23. wlooian
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    wlooian - May 26, 2010 8:42 am
    To jennaven, Your comment is very crass and uncalled for in my opinion. The Courier is just doing its job and reporting what has been common knowledge on facebook since 8:00 p.m. last evening. If the family is giving news releases all along to the Courier, they needed to give one notifying that he died.
  24. homer5r20
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    homer5r20 - May 26, 2010 7:19 am
    My prayers to the family at this time...so sorry for your loss.
  25. jennaven
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    jennaven - May 26, 2010 1:20 am
    I posted a comment. Where is it?
  26. jennaven
    Report Abuse
    jennaven - May 26, 2010 12:51 am
    Are you that anxious for the toddler to die that you have to jump on the assumption that he is dead or do you think that you could wait until all the family is notified.
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