After a long battle with COPD, congestive heart failure, and PTSD, Raymond Douglas Rickman passed away at 8:02 a.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019. He would have been 90 in November of this year.
Known to his friends and family as Rick, he is survived by his wife of 58 years, Connie (Garza); his oldest son, John Rickman; his daughter and her husband, Risëand Greg Gamble; and his youngest son and his wife, Ric Rickman and Sarra Vashchenko. He also was blessed with 12 grandchildren and a great grandchild.
A nature lover, Rick taught his family to enjoy camping, fishing, hunting, boating, even hiding their Easter eggs in their “own” island one year, watching the tide so they could “boat out in time!” He also found the time, with wife Connie’s help, to publish a St. Leo’s Famous People Favorite Recipe book to raise funds to feed the hungry.
Wishing to serve his country, Rick joined the army in 1949 and served for 20 years, including Korea’s dangerous front lines, of which he often stated, “Korea was my war!” In Korea, and two tours in Germany, he headed logistics divisions before returning to the states. Once stateside, Rick started as a tactics instructor in Dayton, Ohio, where he was in great demand for community speaking events in military-related functions before serving as Army Recruiter in Dayton. He then headed his own office in Xenia, Ohio for his last two years of service. He retired as Sergeant First Class in 1968.
After his retirement, he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology at his beloved Pacific Lutheran University in 1972. He then went on to teach history in the Tacoma School District before his health deteriorated.
Rick and Connie were active members of the St. Leo’s Parish in Tacoma for as long as Rick’s health allowed. A military memorial service will be held at St Leo’s, Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m., officiated by Fr. John Fuchs. A reception will follow at Father Bischel’s Hall.