Rickie Dean Barrick was born on February 6th, 1957, to Joan and Robert Barrick. He was the eldest of six children, Toni, Brenda, Brett, Mark and Jodi. His childhood was spent in the town of Sheridan, Indiana. A town most people won’t find on a map and likely to never have a big spot in history, but one filled with the great memories of the families who decided to call it home.
Coincidentally, it was also perfectly located next to Noblesville, Indiana, where the love of his life would be growing up a mere twenty miles away. So begins the story of Rickie’s life. One not without difficulties and disappointments, but one that was filled with love. Rick’s story is a love story.
As a boy, Dad loved being outside. Growing up in small town Indiana meant lots of hunting, fishing, swimming, and family trips to Canada and Wisconsin. Dad was on the swim team, played football with his brother, Toni, was first chair trumpet, and was the President of the FFA. (He could still recite the pledge.)
One evening, while Dad was “cruising” around Sheridan, he parked at McDonald’s and saw two classmates sitting in a car. When he went over to say hi he saw Sandra Kinney. His opening line was “hey baby, can I take you home tonight?” No, that didn’t work, and yes, we are shocked that Mom let him move on from that. For Dad it was love at first sight. For the next two months, every hang out Mom attended, Dad magically appeared at as well. Then he got her out on a date.
Their first date was at the Drive-Inn on Labor Day, smooth Pops. For their second date, Dad got a canoe and took my mom out on the lake with a picnic. This, their second date was on June 8th, and it was the date my Dad proposed. Two months in, two days in, turned into forever.
In typical Dad fashion, his life is riddled with inopportune napping moments. Apparently, being nineteen years old and engaged didn’t stop him from falling asleep whenever the mood would strike him.
Now, Mom lived in Noblesville, just a short drive from Sheridan, and her family house was next door to the church they grew up at. Well, one Saturday evening Dad and Mom laid out on the front lawn together, “looking at stars,” and fell asleep. They were awoken the next morning by the whole congregation walking into the service and seeing Sandra Kinney sleeping on the lawn with a boy.
Mom and Dad were married on February 12th, 1977, at First Christian Church in Sheridan, IN. The tradition on napping continued, falling asleep at drive inns, theaters, every couch he ever sat on, around campfires, on beaches, holding babies, holding coffee, and countless truck stops.
After Mom and Dad got married, Dad gave up farming knowing he couldn’t’ support a family. They grew up poor and lived poor for a big portion of their lives. They made up for their lack of money with humor, joy, and faith. They would often talk about the early days living in the trailer in Paoli. On one fateful evening, while Mom was pregnant with Alaina, a snake found a warm home inside their house. There were no phones to use to call for help, and town was two miles away, so Mom sat on the bathroom counter for hours waiting for Dad to get home from the chair factory and rescue her, and he did. The snake was under the couch, he grabbed it, threw it outside and helped my mom off the sink. He probably drove her to McDonald’s for a fish sandwich after.
On November 5th, 1983, Alaina Maree was born. Dad passed out, and we’d never let him live it down. Grandma and Grandpa Kinney helped send him to a technical school where he would be first in his class and get offered a position with EDS in Michigan. This would be the first step in their journey around the country as they continued to grow their family.
When Dad left for Michigan, Mom and Alaina moved in with Grandma and Grandpa. Mom was pregnant with me, so Dad would work Monday-Saturday at EDS, get off work, drive overnight to Indiana, take Mom and Alaina out to breakfast with as many kisses and hugs as possible before driving back to Michigan.
On June 27th, 1986, I was born, CasSandra Faith. Dad drove from Michigan as fast as he could to be there, then in Dad fashion, crawled into Mom’s hospital bed and slept for twelve hours. Shortly after, the whole Barrick clan packed up to move to Michigan. In the proceeding years, Dad’s continual growth as a leader would take us from Michigan, back to Indiana, to San Jose California (Y2K aint got nothing on Dad), West Des Moines Iowa, Arizona, North Carolina, and back home to Arizona.
The eighteen years leading us to Arizona were the years spent raising their daughters. My sister and I had an incredible childhood filled with love, acceptance, patience, guidance, and hilarity. These years had “daddy hut”, cheese and cracker diapers, dancing, singing, endless music, chocolate pudding incidents, whip cream fights, Home Runs, Christmas tree attitudes, new houses, family traditions, celebrations, losses, bonus family members, hunting trips, family vacations, and the incredible knowledge that we are loved and safe.
On October 28, 2006, and March 7, 2009, Dad gained two sons. Manu and Jeremy were never meant to be sons-in-law’s, always just sons. Dad and Mom were only too happy to have fuller tables and busier lives waiting for the moment when there would be more babies in the family. On February 21st, 2014, Mom’s birthday, their prayers were answered and the first of the “stinky booger club” children was born. Darwyn Kay AKA “Punkie.” Next, June 21st, 2016, brought us Autumn Adel and Barrick Thomas, AKA “Sunshine” and “Darth Tater.” April 25th, 2018, brings Charlotte Kay, AKA “Poopy Johnson,” and on May 29th, 2018, Eliza Ann AKA “Butt sniffer” was born, giving us Dad’s pride and joy, ABCDE. (Plus, one in heaven waiting on him)
To say that my Dad loved being a Papa, is the understatement of the century. He was obsessed. I would even go on a limb as say that the nine years he served as the world’s greatest Papa to his littles, were by the far the happiest of his and Mom’s lives.
All three of our families live within a mile of one another, and Dad spent six days a week watching, home schooling, playing, reading, watching movies, camping, swimming, drinking hot chocolate, eating popsicles, napping, snuggling, celebrating, and loving on his littles.
On December 4th, 2023 Dad had his final day on earth with us. Him and mom woke up, had coffee on the patio, sent us our Bible study of the day, looked at memories from previous years, took two naps, played records, danced in the kitchen, talked to all five of their littles, and reflected on how incredibly blessed and joyful his life was.
My Dad’s life has been a one-of-a-kind love story, the kind that is written into books and movies. He loved God, and he loved people. He taught us, he preached it, and he role modeled it every day in every facet of his life. We are the legacy that he leaves behind. Thank you, Daddy, we love you, and you are with us, always. Boom shock-a-locka!