On March 10, 2020 Rick crossed his final cattle guard and is on his way to opening his last gate.
On August 21st of 1952, the Man, the Myth, the Legend, and Lorene Whitcomb’s favorite child was born, Rickey Dean Whitcomb – more commonly known as Rick, Ranger Rick or Crocket, by his dad. And it sure didn’t take him long to learn that he was born to boogie. Rick grew up on the family farm with his three sisters and his brother in Cedar Point, Kansas. His sister Julia would describe him as a spoiled brat, but if you give her some time she’ll come up with a better word – even though he conned his two older sisters into carrying him around when he had his “broken” leg. But, they turned the tables on him when they convinced him to walk by bribing him with a new train set. Rick attended elementary through middle school in Cedar Point, Kansas. Aside from learning his ABC’s and arguing with his teachers about colors (this lead to his teachers figuring out he was color blind) he could be found sitting under his teacher’s desk playing with her feet. He attended high school in Cottonwood, where he drove a motorcycle into the school and up the bleachers which caused him to lose his spot on his class’s senior trip. In 1971, Rick joined the Army Reserves where he served in Fort Dix, New Jersey, and Fort Lee, Virginia.
Then, in 1974, he got hitched to Emilie.
Then, everything changed one summer day in 1975 when he was blessed with a true angel, his first daughter Andrea. Over the nine years, Rick would be blessed with three more daughters: Heather, Erin, and Doni. Unfortunately, he would experience the pain of losing a child when their second daughter, Heather, passed away in 1980.
While growing up in Kansas, Rick developed a love of the Great Outdoors. He could be found catching crawdad and catfish, trapping, and hunting. This love would eventually lead him to Hamilton, Montana in 1985 where he was able to add big game to his hunting resume, and would continue to just lay up here in his country state of mind. While living in Conner, Montana he and his youngest daughter had the pleasure of meeting one of his favorite singers, Hank Williams, Jr. Then in 1993, he would find himself moving again to a small town in eastern Montana. This would be the glitzy and glamorous city we all know and love: Shawmut. Here he made many friends, continued working with cows, volunteered on the Fire Department, and to do, ya know, Rick stuff.
In June of 2000, he received his greatest title of all: Papa. Over the next 17 years, Rick would be blessed with six more granddaughters.
Rick retired from ranching in 2019, and lived out his final days in Lavina, Montana with his daughter Donella and her family.
Even though Rick was a man of few words, he was full of grunts and grrs, and if you were lucky, he’d give you his opinion. But, you were luckier if you got to know him. He was sarcastic, lovable, funny, and always ready to teach you a lesson about life.
“I got a shotgun, rifle and a four wheel drive, and a country boy can survive.”