ASHFORD, Richard Richard Ashford, 70, of Plano, Texas, passed away on Saturday, May 29, 2021, with family by his side. Although diagnosed with cancer five years ago, Rick continued to see the best in life and steadfastly moved forward with courage and a deep inner strength. Despite serious medical issues, Rick didn't complain and was his family's hero until the end. Rick was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. After graduating from Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City in 1969, he attended the University of Oklahoma and graduated in 1973 with a BBA in Management. While at OU, Rick joined and was a very active member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, helping to build the OU Chapter. Rick met the love of his life, Sarah, while attending OU. After graduating, Rick served Sigma Phi Epsilon as a Regional Director based in Richmond, Virginia. In 1974, Rick returned to Oklahoma and began a highly successful 28-year career in Sales & Marketing with Campbell Soup Company. He began in Tulsa and was later assigned to Lubbock, Texas, and then in 1986, to Dallas, Texas, where he and Sarah raised their family. Rick was recognized numerous times with the Campbell Merit Award for outstanding performance. As an accomplished sales professional, he earned entrance into the Campbell Sales Company Hall of Fame. In 2003, Rick began a fun and exciting new career with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment that he enjoyed until his retirement in 2011. Rick was a lifelong Oklahoma Sooner fan. He held OU football season tickets for most of 48 years and only missed two home games during a 32-year streak. From pregame tailgates to postgame wrap-ups, he relished everything Crimson & Cream. Rick found joy in bringing other people joy. He made people feel special by remembering the details and events in their lives and by being their biggest champion. Rick was the go-to handyman, tech authority, travel agent, product researcher, fact finder, and restaurant reviewer. He was an ace on the grill, an American history buff, a travel enthusiast, and a man with an eye for style. Above all, Rick loved his family and cherished spending time with them. Rick will be lovingly remembered by his devoted wife of 45 years, Sarah; his son, Eric, and daughter-in-law, Meredith; daughter, Erin; and grandson, Emmett Richard. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Phyllis Golden. Rick felt truly blessed to be a part of a wonderful extended family that always loved and supported him. He was grateful for the special, lifelong bonds he had with his Sigma Phi Epsilon brothers and with many close friends and colleagues. Rick will be remembered for his leadership, mentorship, and insightful counsel. He was a problem solver who brought peace to those around him with his calm, steady nature. Always willing to lend a helping hand, he touched many lives with his kind heart and ability to connect with others. He was dependable, the voice of reason, and our family's "rock". A Funeral Mass will take place on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, 7336 W. Britton Rd. in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery. Recently, the alumni officers of the Oklahoma Beta Chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon voted to rename one of their Educational Foundational scholarships in honor/memory of Rick. In lieu of flowers, if you'd like to make a memorial gift to this fund, use this link (https://www.classy.org/give/212565/#!/donation/checkout
) and select "OK Beta Direct Scholarship" from the drop-down menu. The funds will be applied to the scholarship that will soon bear Rick's name. The family wishes to send a special thank you to the staff at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, for their care and compassion.
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Published by Dallas Morning News on Jun. 13, 2021.