Richard Joel “Rick” Christian, 70, longtime Cle Elum resident, passed away at his home on March 23, 2020. Due to the pandemic, services were unable to be held at the time of Rick’s immediate passing. However, the time has come that we can now safely gather to honor Rick’s life and will do so at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at the Veteran’s Memorial at the Laurel Hill Cemetery in Cle Elum. Protocols related to masks and social distancing will be observed.
Rick was born on December 26, 1949 in Spokane, Washington to Lowell & Anne Marie (Sawyer) Christian. He spent his early years in Spokane before the family moved to Des Moines, Washington. He served in the United States Army from November 1970 until May 1972, receiving an honorable discharge at the rank of Specialist (SP4).
As a young man, Rick became a horse jockey, participating in races in Seattle, Yakima, San Francisco and Phoenix. Even after completing his last race in 1980, Rick kept his thumb on the horse racing industry, working as an exercise rider and as an off-track-betting manager. He moved to Cle Elum in 1980 and began working for Montgomery Logging before becoming a custodian for the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District. He retired from the district in 2016.
It was in Cle Elum that Rick met Bonnie Lumaco and they were married on July 3, 1981. Together, Rick and Bonnie enjoyed traveling to places such as Hawaii, Boston, Chicago, Texas and Kentucky. No matter where they went, Rick was always on the lookout for a horse track. Of course, trips to Disneyland were always a favorite, with or without the kids. Rick also enjoyed hunting, fishing, mushroom hunting and berry picking - pretty much anything having to do with being outdoors.
Rick is survived by his wife, Bonnie, at the family home in Cle Elum; children Rikki Stenson of Bonney Lake, Rudi Hirai of Desert Aire, Jennifer Denny of Vancouver, Kelly Christian of Rhode Island, Ryan Christan of Palmer, AK and Mary Alhadeff of Bellevue; siblings Nancy Mitchell of Renton and Billy Christian of Phoenix as well as 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions in Rick’s honor are suggested to The Gretchen Weller Foundation, PO Box 1762, Ellensburg, WA 98926 or online at www.gretchenwellerfoundation.com
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Cle Elum has been entrusted with caring for Rick’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rick Christian, please visit our floral store.