A tribute to the life and times of Richard “Rick” Sterkel


Card of Thanks

Rick departed this life June 3, 2017.

When Rick was 12 years old he played the guitar for dances at Baseland, S.D. His music teacher had the band.

In the 18 years he was in broadcasting in Montana, Indiana and Colorado, he enjoyed interviewing the Western celebrates who came in to promote their shows in that area. He did appear as a front man on some shows. While in Indiana he attended university there, Rick was great on self-improvement. 

He returned to his parent’s ranch when they retired at Hawk Springs, he still worked at the Scottsbluff Radio Station later the Torrington station. While there joined a local group who entertained. The base player who flew his plane spraying crops would fly over title plane to signal they were to play on the weekend.

His sister and her husband decided they wanted to try ranch life, Rick then moved to Torrington, where he went to work for the Highway Department. He related often of clearing roads with the snow plow. Once again, he took classes at the Torrington College, solar, welding, and art. He also sang in the Baptist church in Lingle and some funerals. 

When he retired he spent the next 20 years going to Arizona in winter, and summers on his acreage south of Lingle above the Platte River.

Winters in Arizona were enjoyed meeting new people and singing in the Oakdale Elks Club and Legion Club #44 in Scottsdale, where he was a member of both. A special thanks to his brother in law, Roland Coulome for the many times he picked him up at the VA hospital in Phoenix where the traffic is unbelievable, and the 10 years before when he broke his hip, taking him from the rehab to his handicap apartment to recover. 

His friend Mark was taking his band to Hawaii to entertain there. Rick declined, said he flew the Pacific too many times when he was in the Air Force. Although he had returned to Hawaii on his honeymoon in 1961 when he married Melissa’s mother.

Summers were spent south of Lingle, where he built his house and three garages, planting 200 evergreens. One garage was for his antique cars, that made parades in Wyoming, South Daktoa and Nebraska. 

A special thanks to Rod Cross, Betty’s grandson who came from Oklahoma and built a patio room on the house. This was enjoyed greatly in the morning viewing the valley and river, many times our neighbors joined us for breakfast.

A special thanks to Fransene and Orrin Bolzer who were always there when needed.

Rick will be solely missed by wife Betty and daughters. When someone is taken so sudden we too must realize dear God, he is gone.

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