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Melvin Dean Ricks


Last updated 1/24/2018 at 3:10pm

Melvin Dean Ricks passed away from pancreatic cancer on January 20, 2018 at his home in Bonsall, Calif., surrounded by his family.

He was born on February 26, 1935 in Teton, Idaho to Henry Hans Peter Ricks and Alice Elizabeth Dean Ricks. He grew up in a strong Latter-day Saint home with five boys and five girls. His father was a poultry farmer and those Depression times required all the children to work hard to support the family.

One of his childhood memories is of going to school in a horse-drawn covered wagon. After a short stint at Ricks College, he served an honorable LDS mission to Australia in 1955, then returned to study business and industrial management at Utah State University.

On September 15, 1958, he married the love of his life, Loretta Hales Ricks, in the Salt Lake LDS temple. While at Utah State, he supported himself as an electrician and by building and selling duplexes and four-plexes, thus starting an illustrious side career as a builder of beautiful homes.

After graduating from college in 1960, he took a job as a junior electrical engineer, working at Thiokol Corporation on the Minuteman Missile, but he soon became bored with this job and decided to become a dentist. He went to dental school at St. Louis University while juggling life as a father of their first three children, Marilee, Kendell and Kelly.

He served two years in the military during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colo., where his fourth child, Pamela, was born. The family settled in the Los Angeles area in Glendale, where he opened his dental practice, and they eventually moved to La Cañada.

They had one more daughter, Elizabeth, and adopted two more

sons, Matthew and Edward. Over the years, they were generous in accepting other children into their home, including foster children and a multitude of foreign exchange students. He and Loretta eventually moved to Bonsall, where he finished his career as a dentist at the Lawrence Welk Resort.

He was a very faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many callings, and he and Loretta served for 35 years as temple workers. He was also a Boy Scout leader, and all three of his sons followed his example and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

Six of his seven children served LDS missions and he and Loretta served two senior missions, one to the Nauvoo Temple and one in the Carlsbad Mission office. He leaves behind a powerful legacy of faith, charity and service that those whose lives he touched will never forget.

His funeral is scheduled for Saturday, January 27 at 9 a.m. at the LDS Chapel located at 621 S. Stagecoach Lane, Fallbrook.


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