Richard Etz (Dick Ferdon) Ferdon
1946 - 2020
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FERDON, Richard Etz

(Dick Ferdon)

Passed peacefully in Tucson on May 6, 2020 from cancer. Dick was born on April 30, 1946, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 1961 he moved to Tucson with his family and in 1964 graduated from Catalina High School. It wasn't long before his love of the outdoors led him to a lifelong career as a park ranger. He began as a Seasonal Park Ranger at Saguaro National Park and then at Ft. Bowie National Historic Site. In 1978 he was hired by Arizona State Parks to be the Assistant Ranger at Alamo Lake State Park, where he was soon promoted to Manager.

From there he was transferred to Picacho Peak State Park as Managing Ranger.

The most memorable experience of his life began in 1988 when he was asked to embark on a secret assignment to a privately-owned ranch in southeastern Arizona. He spent the next eleven months in a small travel trailer guarding a limestone sinkhole which we now know as the original entrance to Kartchner Caverns State Park.

While there he helped map the caverns in advance of their development as one of the most pristine living limestone caves in the world. When it opened to the public in 1999 DIck became it's first Managing Ranger and remained there until he retired in 2010 and moved to nearby Benson, where he continued to volunteer at the Park and for the Benson Visitor's center.

Dick is survived by his stepmother, Lola Vearl Ferdon and his daughter, Amanda Ferdon of Tucson; his stepsons, David Warren and James Warren (Lori), of Camp Verde; his grandchildren, Lily Petterson, Jory Petterson and Zayden Ferdon of Tucson and Raegan Warren and David Warren, Jr. of Camp Verde. He is also survived by his sisters, Derre Ferdon (Jimmy Crabb) and Julie Ferdon (Don Smith). The family recommends that memorial donations be made to Friends of Kartchner Caverns. Arrangements by EAST LAWN PALMS MORTUARY.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Arizona Daily Star on May 24, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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