Ray Ross Ricks of Park City, died suddenly June 16, as the result of a massive heart attack he suffered while on a motorcycle vacation with friends in Teton National Park near Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Ray was born Jan. 12, 1948, to Ross and Blanche Ricks in Jackson. He grew up loving the outdoors and especially the grandeur of the Teton Mountains. He attended schools in Jackson through high school. Ray was an avid skier his entire life. He was a member of the National Junior Olympic ski team and competed in numerous ski competitions. He excelled in cross country skiing, biathlon, ski jumping and alpine events. He was selected to the Olympic B Team. Ray attended the University of Wyoming on a ski scholarship. In 1967, he transferred to Utah State University in Logan, where he majored in recreation education. He played wide receiver on the football team at USU and was an active member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. Many of his favorite memories were from his Sigma Chi days at USU.
Ray married Karen Isakson of Sioux Falls, S.D. in 1971. After a brief training as a naval officer in Pensacola, Fla., they moved to Boise, Idaho, where Ray served as a police officer with the Boise Police Department. He was a member of the Boise SWAT team for several years and especially enjoyed his assignment as a school resource officer. Ray’s pride and joy were his two boys, Ryan, born 1978, and Tyler, born 1980. He shared his love of the outdoors with them and taught them to ski at an early age. Ryan tragically lost his life in 1993, the result of a car accident.
Ray developed a Web site at that time called "Children of Light" designed to honor the memories of children who were prematurely called to Heaven. Ray, Karen and their two boys moved to Sioux Falls, in 1982 where Ray was Head of Security for Citibank’s South Dakota operations. He developed and managed the security department until 1992, when he and Karen were divorced and he moved to California to pursue other business opportunities.
Ray lived in California for several years and later moved to Salt Lake City, where he helped to create and promote eCenturion, a company that provides Internet security. Ray moved to Park City, in 2002, to be closer to the mountains and the ski hills that he loved so much.
Ray is survived by his son, Tyler, Sioux Falls, and a brother, Ed of Douglas, Wyo. He was preceded in death by his son, Ryan, and his parents, Ross and Blanche Ricks.
A visitation will be held this evening, June 20, 7 p.m., at Olpin Hoopes Funeral Home, 288 North Main St., Heber City. A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 21, in Park City, at 11 a.m. at Creekside Christian Fellowship. CCF is located just north of I-80 at Kimball Junction at 1400 Bitner Rd. A second memorial service will be held in Sioux Falls, at Peace Lutheran Church, Sunday, June 24, at 6 p.m. After cremation, Ray will be buried next to his son, Ryan, in Sioux Falls, in a private family service.
Memorials will be used to promote and sustain the Children of Light Web site, now being continued through the efforts of his son, Tyler, Sioux Falls. Contributions can be sent in lieu of flowers to: Children of Light, 2500 Roosevelt Circle, Sioux Falls, S.D. 57106.
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