Rick J. DeSmith, age 60, of Litchfield died of cancer on his way to the hospital “and he wasn’t wearing his helmet” early Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Friends and family can gather from 4:00 PM until 7:00 PM on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, at Johnson-Hagglund Funeral and Cremation Service. A masonic prayer service will be held at 7:00 PM.
Ricky James DeSmith, the son of John and “Gold Bond Betty” (Stirn) DeSmith, was born on December 15, 1958, in Litchfield. He grew up in Litchfield and graduated from Litchfield High School in 1977. He continued his education at Hutchinson Vocational Technical School. Rick worked in Litchfield at Cargil for 23 years, doing almost every job including train engineer. On January 30, 1996 he was united in marriage to Robin Nurmi in Litchfield. They purchased the Pizza Ranch in 1999 and have owned and operated it ever since. Rick was proud to be a part of the Litchfield Fire Department from 1984 through 2008. Not only did he serve with his father, (Chief John DeSmith) but, like his dad he took on the role of Fire Prevention Officer and later became a Fire Captain! He also was a fire instructor for many years. Rick was a member of the Masons and Shriners, Patriot Guard, ABATE and a Co-Founder of the Foundation for Challenged Children. He was proud of helping bring the annual Dairy Queen Bike Run to life. Rick had volunteered as Santa for the last five years in Litchfield playing the role at the Central Park Santa house, the American Legion Christmas party, and on the Kinsella Chiropractic Santa semi. He loved riding his motorcycle and attending numerous bike rallies throughout the years. On his off time he really enjoyed watching Nascar and taking naps. His tough exterior gave way to a tender hearted, caring man. Rick was a genuine person; what you saw is what you got.
He is survived by his wife Robin DeSmith of Litchfield, children John DeSmith of Willmar, Joshua (Samantha) DeSmith of Litchfield, Steven (Kenny) Thomsen of Plymouth, Aaron Thomsen (Emily Streich) of Willmar, Carley Thomsen (Jeremy Kuperus) of Brooten Danielle Fribley of Waite Park; grandchildren Arik, Jaxen, Ellyahnna, Jordyn, Liam, Axel, Tegan, Josaphine, Ellia, Jenna, Jason, Chris, Caramon, Conner, Cheyanne, Colton, and Jaden. He is also survived by his sister Pat Rueckert of Waconia, brothers Randy (Tami) DeSmith of Manasses, VA, Gary (Kay) DeSmith of Cokato, Scott (Deb) DeSmith of Litchfield and his many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Karen Tuman, and brother-in-law Bob Rueckert.