Richard Fielding Checketts, 78, died Sunday, August 21st, 2016 peacefully his sleep at home.
Richard was preceded by his grandparents, parents, sister Marsha, brother-in-law Rick, his son Richard, his infant daughter Tracy, and many aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his daughter-in-law Cheryl, his daughter Penney and her boyfriend Mike, his son Paul and his wife Carren, his grandchildren Athena Murray, Christopher Gaff, Alaxma Perez, Dusten Rehwalt, Jeffery Checketts, Ricky Checketts, Jason Checketts, Joseph Bruegeman, Cheyenne Gloe, Brittanie Checketts, his great-grandchildren Tristan Murray, Ashlyn Murray, Aiden Poole, many close friends and relatives, as well as countless other “adopted” children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren throughout the area.
Born April 3rd, 1938 in Ogden, Utah, to Jeanne and Lamar Checketts, Richard had a joyous and memorable childhood, but he sought to broaden his horizons when, in August of 1955, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. His view of the world, though, would soon be eclipsed, as he met his partner, soulmate, and love of his life, Barbara, while learning to become an Integrated Avionics Specialist at Scott AFB. Barbara Little became Barbara Checketts on September 12th, 1956, when the two were joined in marriage in Saint Charles, Missouri. They were blissfully married for almost 60 years, had two sons, Richard Lee and Paul Riley, and two daughters, Tracy Jeanne and Penney Marie.
In Richard’s early life, he frequently worked on his Aunt Jo’s ranch, where he developed his lifelong love of animals. After joining the Air Force, Richard attended basic training at Park’s AFB, near San Francisco and then technical school at Scott AFB, Illinois, where he met his wife, Barbara. Together, they moved around the world, their children in tow, moving first to RAF Wethersfield, England, then to Los Angeles Air Force Station, Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, Clark Air Base in the Philippines, Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, and nallyon to Mountain Home AFB in the winter of 1968. Soon after arriving in Idaho, Richard was sent overseas to Thailand in support of the Vietnam War, but he eagerly returned, and finished out his career with his family.
After serving his country for 22 distinguished years, Richard retired in February of 1977, choosing to remain in the town he came to call home. A few years before leaving the military, he and Barb opened two businesses, drawing from their passion for animals, and Richard’s knowledge of electronics. The Marquee Pet Store and the Marquee Electronics Repair Shop, were located in the heart of downtown Mountain Home for over 7 years. In 1976, while still serving on active duty, Richard joined the Mountain Home Police Department Reserve program in order to continue to serve the community he so loved. In 1979, Richard made the transition to full-time police officer, serving first as a Patrolman, then as a School Resource Officer, Detective, and eventually Lieutenant. Richard retired his badge in 1998, completing another 22 years of service to the public, but his dedication to the community did not stop there.
During Richard’s time with the Police, he also helped his wife, Barbara, operate the Elmore County Ambulance Service, and served as an Advanced EMT. He was a little league coach, and was also highly active with the Scouts, assisting whenever he could with Troop 57, where his leadership and dedication were recognized when he was inducted into the Brotherhood of the Order of the Arrow. He was a member of the American Legion for 12 years, and was an active member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks for 33 years, serving as Exalted Ruler between 1998 and 1999. He oversaw various community service programs, including fulfilling role of Chairman of the Elks scholarship committee, which awards scholarships to graduating Seniors. Even after retiring from the Police, he continued to aid his community by volunteering as a substitute teacher, and serving as a Trustee on the Mountain Home school board for 8 years, in an effort to further the prospects of our community children.
Richard was a wonderful, loving, caring husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend. He was an active leader in our community, and took great pride and joy in all aspects of his life. Particularly, though, he would often reminisce about working with the area’s youth, and how, years later, he would hear them tell stories about how his interest and concern for them helped turn them around at a critical point in their lives. He will be remembered dearly, and missed by all who knew him.