Richard “Ritchie” Fairhurst – K/75 Ranger – passed away Aug 5, 2008

Richard Ellis Fairhurst, 59, passed away Aug. 5, 2008, at his home in the Goldstream Valley, Alaska.
Richard was born Oct. 28, 1948, in Hempstead, N.Y.
In March 1967, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army, and in 1969, he came to Fairbanks for the first time as a soldier at Fort Wainwright. Later that year, he was deployed to Vietnam. He landed in Vietnam on his 21st birthday, where he served first as a pathfinder and later as a Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment. For his service in Vietnam, Richard was awarded the Bronze Star, a Purple Heart and other medals and awards.
After leaving the Army in 1972, Richard spent the next year living and traveling in Europe. After that, he attended community college in Florida, and he traveled to Alaska several times, getting work in Fairbanks and Nome. In 1980, while on an extended trip to Louisiana, Richard met Carol, with whom he would share the rest of his life.
Richard and Carol drove Richard’s 1948 panel truck to Fairbanks in 1983, and in 1985, they moved to the Goldstream Valley.
Richard was an avid reader with an extraordinary memory. He was a very spiritual person and was an informal student of ancient philosophies, physics, astronomy, astrology and many other varied subjects. He liked to design and build. His creations were unusual and artistic as well as simple and practical.
Richard enjoyed listening to music, especially the blues; riding his twisted chopper and his 1948 panhead; playing billiards, 8-ball, pinball and chess; flying kites; exploring the woods near his home; drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon beer; visiting with friends; and just being at home with Carol and their various sheepdogs.
Richard is survived by his companion of many years and wife, Carol, and many friends both in Fairbanks and beyond.
Richard was laid to rest in a graveside service with full military honors in the veterans section of Birch Hill Cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2008.
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