Donald Rickard
Donald Rickard
Donald Rickard
Donald Rickard

Obituary of Donald Maxwell Rickard

Donald Maxwell Rickard was one hundred years, one month and one day old when he passed away in Lake Oswego, OR on January 12, 2019 with his wife at his side. He was born December 12, 1918 in Zenda, KS to Donald Everett and Fern Marie Rickard. In about 1924 the family moved to Las Vegas, NM. He graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1937. He received a track scholarship to Georgia Tech. In January 1941 he and other seniors enrolled in the Army ROTC program received their degrees early and were commissioned as second lieutenants. His degree was in Chemical Engineering. He served with the 7th Infantry Division in the Aleutian Islands, the Philippines, Okinawa and other Pacific islands before being released from active duty in March 1946. A notable memory from World War II was having a purple heart medal pinned to his pajamas by Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay while aboard a navy hospital ship. He also served during the Korean War from January 1951 until November 1952. Donald was hired by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in Los Alamos, NM in 1947. Over the years he was transferred to Aiken, SC, San Francisco, CA and Las Vegas, NV. The AEC became the Energy Research and Development Corporation (ERDA) in 1975 and several years later ERDA became a part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). He retired from the DOE in 1982. His work often returned him to the Aleutian Islands and to Anchorage, AK where he met Julie Gloege. They married in Las Vegas, NV in November 1974. Donald and Julie moved to Lake Oswego, OR in 1988. In 2000 he became legally blind as a result of macular degeneration. He adjusted to this challenge with a lot of help and training from the Veterans Administration at their Blind Rehabilitation Centers in American Lake, WA and Palo Alto, CA. He continued trout fishing with the aid of a very patient friend. He was a passionate gardener who shared his prodigious tomato crops with all in need. Countless hours were spent listening to books on tape provided by the wonderful Oregon Talking Books and Braille Library in Salem. Other activities he enjoyed over the years were making God's Eyes, drinking two-buck Chuck, collecting stamps, assembling jigsaw puzzles and preparing Eggs Benedict for family and friends. Donald and Julie shared a love of travel and were fortunate to visit all 50 states and 64 countries together. Fourteen of their thirty-seven foreign trips were made after he lost his vision. The grand finale was a river cruise from Paris to Normandy in 2012 at the age of 93. When his health declined after breaking a hip in early 2018, Donald's friendship with Barclay Gibson, a neighbor and fellow New Mexican, enhanced his life in many ways. Donald entered a hospice program in July 2018. On January 11, 2019 he moved to an adult care home in Lake Oswego and passed away just ten hours later on January 12. Donald was predeceased by his parents and sisters Marjorie Ross, Betty Oller and Lois Haynes. He is survived by his wife Julie of Lake Oswego, sister-in-law Barbara Rudio of Missoula, MT and 17 nieces and nephews. There will be no service. His ashes will be placed in a columbarium at Forestvale Cemetery in Helena, MT near family members. Farewell to a splendid member of the Greatest Generation.
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