Donald C. Rickard


obit-rickard-IMG_20150913_101107Donald C. Rickard, age 88, of Pagosa Springs, passed away peacefully on March 30. Donald was the third born of four sons of Samuel and Ada Rickard. Donald was born March 2, 1928, in Rangoon, Burma.

Donald is survived by his six children: Laura Rickard (Bill), of Durango, Colo.; Donald Rickard II (Connie), of Colorado Springs, Colo.; David Rickard (Carolyn), of Lake Villa, Ill.; Diana Wilson (Greg), of San Carlos, Mexico; Nicolette Leboy (Peter), of Danville, Calif.; and Jennifer Parker (Owen), of Pagosa Springs, Colo.; and his older brother, John Rickard (Marge), of Lewisville, N.C.

Donald was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Elaine Grove Rickard, in February of 2014 and his brothers Samuel H. Rickard and David T. Rickard.

He lived an interesting life, full of service and adventures around the world. As a child, Donald and his family lived in Burma until they were forced to leave in 1942, during WWII. They fled Burma, walking nearly 200 miles through the jungles to India. There, Donald and his brothers attended Woodstock Christian School in Mussoorie, Northern India. The family later moved to the San Francisco Bay area and he and his four brothers graduated from Piedmont High School and attended San Jose State University. The family later moved to Pennsylvania, where Donald and his three brothers attended Bucknell University and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in political science. Donald met Elaine Grove at Bucknell University and they married in September of 1952.

Donald’s work as a diplomat with the U.S. State Department took him to places from Burma to Saipan, Pakistan and South Africa. In 1958, he was appointed vice consul of the United States for Durban, South Africa, served in other capacities for the State Department in Maryland and Washington, D.C., and later as U.S. consular officer for the diplomatic office in Seoul, South Korea, in 1969. He retired in 1978 and settled with his beloved wife, Elaine, in beautiful Pagosa Springs.

Don was a warm and loving man and a devoted father and husband. He was well read, intelligent and quick to find humor in most any situation. His warmth and wit earned him many lifelong friends. He was an engaging and curious man who loved to tell stories of his childhood and his many adventures, and was just as interested in the stories of others. No one was a stranger for long.

He loved the outdoors, hiking and camping, always taking the road less traveled. Anyone and everyone was welcomed into his home, including animals. His love of books was only outdone by his love of animals (especially strays). He will be missed by many.

An open memorial service will be held at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Pagosa Springs on Saturday, April 16, at 3 p.m.