Bruce Lynn Ricks, also fondly referred to as Brucey and Pops, died of pancreatic cancer on October 24, 2016 in his Sunnyside home with his sweetheart, Jeanie, by his side. He was 66 years old.
He is survived by his wife Jeanie or as he often called her, “Glo Jean,” his children: Lindsay (Travis) Benedict, Sterling (Chelsea) Ricks, Jamie (Jordan) Nugent, Tyler Ricks, Nikki (Brandon Crockett) Ricks, and his grandchildren: Max, Brooklyn, Brynlee, Lucy, Liam, Bernadette, Annie, Sloane and Romy and brother Barry Ricks. Bruce was preceded in death by his son Scott Kelley Ricks and his parents Theodore Lynn Ricks and Donna Huskinson Ricks.
Bruce was born in Tacoma, Washington on January 29, 1950 and adopted by parents Theodore Lynn Ricks and Donna Huskinson Ricks. From a young age his parents instilled in him the importance of hard work which shaped him into the man he became.
At 19, he served a two-year LDS mission in Florida, where he spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. When he returned, he attended Ricks College in Idaho where he met the love of his life, Jeanie, at a party where she was serving chocolate chip cookies. It was love at first sight for both of them – “it felt like thunder as I approached him,” Jeanie always said.
They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple for time and all eternity on January 10, 1973. Their early marriage was an adventure that took them everywhere from Utah to Washington, where they held jobs managing a drive-in movie theater (and making a home under the screen), beekeeping, and farming.
Bruce and Jeanie settled in Sunnyside, Washington where he started his insurance business, which grew to be known as “Bruce Ricks and Associates,” and they raised their five children. His business was successful not only because of his tireless dedication to hard work, but because he loved and connected with all of his clients, and treated them like family.
In Sunnyside he became an important part of the community, and committed himself to serving others. He served in a variety of LDS church callings, including Bishop and member of the High Counsel. He also served on City Council, and volunteered much of his time to causes like Sunnyside Promise and E.S.D. He was also known throughout the community as the owner of “The Dog” – a Dodge truck that he turned into a dump truck and a snow plow so he could help out his friends and neighbors.
Bruce enjoyed mountain climbing and was able to climb to the top of Mount Adams, one of his life goals. He also loved spending time with his family and in his later years he was a beloved “Pops” to all of his grandchildren. When he found out his pancreatic cancer had returned, his final wish was to live to see his two granddaughters, Romy and Annie, born. He was able to meet both of them before he passed.
Bruce’s motto was “Every day is sunshine” and he embodied that principle throughout his life. His legacy of hard work and service will live on in the people who were blessed to know him.
Viewing and visitation will be held Thursday, October 27, 2016 from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Smith Funeral Home in Sunnyside, WA and Friday, October 28, 2016 from 9:30 to 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sunnyside, WA. Funeral services will be Friday, October 28, 2016 at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Sunnyside, WA with burial to follow at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Bruce’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com. Donations can be made in his name to Life Options, www.lofriends.org, 509-882-8299. Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements.