Ricky Alan Burkett, age 63, of River Falls WI, died on December 25, 2020 of pancreatic cancer at the River Falls Area Hospital, while also under the care of Allina Hospice.
Born September 20, 1957 to Gene and Roberta aka ‘Bert’ (Crisp) Burkett. United in marriage to Denise Ann Paul on July 15, 1978 by a justice of the peace in the backyard of Denise’s cousin in Ceres, California. Ricky will be remembered by many for his stories of his California upbringing, spending weekends at the lake camping, riding Honda 90’s with family and friends, and his many life adventures. Rick said to more than one person he did it right, he enjoyed his life while he was young. Doing what he wanted (4-wheeling, camping, and riding his Harley) before he got to an age where he could no longer do the things he enjoyed most.
Growing up in California, he worked as a maintenance man for Crystal Pool Service owned by Denise’s cousin Bob White. After marrying Denise, they loaded their belongings into a U-Haul in April of 1984 to move close to Denise’s family home in Wisconsin. Driving over the Hudson bridge, they looked to the right, to see the Pool Place sign. This became Ricky’s first job in Sconnie, where he adapted quickly to the roads and learned where his pool homes were located. Eventually he started his own pool business called Croixland Pool Service. He mentioned to Trudy (a pool customer and friend), that he was bored in winter with all his pools closed. She offered him a temp machinist position at Marine Associates so he could still run his pool company in the summer. After a few years he decided to work full time with Marine Associates (now called Croix Gear). Still working on a few pools Ricky would say, “The pool business is like the Mafia, it’s hard to get out of.”
If you needed a map for somewhere you were traveling to, Ricky was your guy. When he got his Harley he was honored by the Kinnickinnic Harley Chapter after completing the Road Captain course and became one of their road Captains for their weekly dinner and weekend rides. He took this job very seriously by pre-riding the course set out for their next adventure. He and Denise attended a few vacation rides with St Paul Harley and Faribault Harley. Weeks before he’d research all the fun winding and hilly roads of their final destination. He created books of the roads he wanted to ride in Ashville, Napa, and Vermont just to name a few. He really missed his calling as he should have been a tour guide. He also loved Google Earth and loved to look at the stars.
Ricky leaves behind Denise, his wife of 42 years, and his little boy Obi (cairn terrier); his parents Gene and Bert Burkett; his sister Marti (Burkett) Mendez and husband Ramon; brothers-in-law David Paul (BJ), Randy Paul (Linda) and Dennis Paul; sister-in-law Lynette (Paul) George; along with several cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, plus his wonderful Croix Gear family and several close friends.
Preceded in death: Ricky will be met by his grandparents Joe and Thelma Burkett, Joe and Ruby Crisp; father and mother-in-law Robert and Elaine Paul; sisters-in-law Karen Paul and Kim Paul; along with many relatives on both sides of his family, and with his fur family who he’ll be reunited with at the Rainbow Bridge.
With the ongoing pandemic, a memorial will be planned closer to summer 2021. Condolences may be sent directly to Ricky’s family, or to: The Family of Ricky Burkett, O’Connell-Benedict Funeral Home, 225 S. 3rd St., River Falls, WI 54022.
Arrangements are entrusted to O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home of River Falls (715) 425-5644