Donald Richard "Rick" Mize passed away on the morning of Feb. 14, 2016, from a pulmonary embolism. Rick was born Feb. 11, 1961, the youngest of five children to Norman Mize and Kathryn Sternhagen Mize. Rick had two brothers and two sisters; Nancy (deceased), Robert, Debra (deceased) and Kenneth.
"Ricky" as he was known in his younger days, grew up in Belgrade. He spent all his free time with his two best friends Del and Dave; the three of them enjoyed baseball games and riding their bikes all over the valley. Summers were spent swimming in the rivers and streams. Fall was for hunting, fishing, and building tree forts. He loved his time on the Sternhagen ranch and reflected on those days often. Rick graduated from Belgrade High School in 1979; he then went on to join the National Guard to serve his country.
Rick attended MSU Billings studying Diesel mechanics and he used that education throughout his career. He worked in the trucking industry, heavy construction, Louisiana Pacific sawmill and was currently working for the State of Montana Department of Transportation.
Rick married his high school sweetheart Jackie Mohl soon after high school. Together they had two children, Amber and Travis. They later divorced.
Rick was a true servant throughout his life and found tremendous joy in serving others in any capacity. He joined many civic organizations, helping out all over the valley, which included fund raising and serving as a Chapter President and Senator of the Montana Jaycees. It was at a Jaycee event that he met the love of his life MaryShaun O'Leary while selling her a "Girlie" beer at a Bobcat football game.
They soon married and had two daughters, Katie Alyse (14) and Abby Marie (13). From this point on he found peace, and his life assumed an upward trajectory. Home and family became the focus of his life's work. The girls were his world; he never missed a band concert, choir performance or just any opportunity to be together. He spent any free time with them skiing, 4- wheeling, camping and traveling to wonderful places. His favorite place was the McIsaac cabin at Princeton where countless weekends were spent on many an adventure, surrounded by the family he adored and dear friends.
No one celebrated life like Rick. Holiday's were his specialty with Halloween being a pinnacle event for the neighborhood. His focus was bringing people together, creating block parties, progressive Christmas dinners, and his beloved Bobcat Tailgate. Everyone was always welcome and you were promised a great time when "Rickster" was in charge.
Rick was a jack of all trades, with seemingly nothing he was unable to accomplish. Whether it involved mechanics or carpentry, if Rick was involved, things got done. His work ethic was exceeded only by his desire to help anyone needing a hand.
Rick touched the lives of many throughout his life and cherished his friendships. His family was extended through the incredible bond with his friends he considered his family especially the Roos, Roberts, and Talbot families
A vigil service will be held 6:30 p.m., Friday at Dahl Funeral Chapel. The Funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at Resurrection University Catholic Parish.
Memorials will be made to a college scholarship fund for Katie and Abby. Information will be listed at a later date at www.dahlcares.com.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 18, 2016