Senior Master Sergeant Rick Allen DeMorgan Jr. was born on October 13, 1976 and was called home on January 23, 2020 while fighting bushfires in New South Wales, Australia.
Rick was born in Apple Valley, California, not far from Edwards AFB and what was once George Air Force Base. As a young boy, Rick would frequent the area air shows with his father, Rick Sr., climbing in and out of as many aircraft as possible, always gathering as much information as he could from the airmen who flew them. Growing up, Rick knew without a doubt that he wanted to fly. Always reading books on military aircraft, he could give you any stat you asked for at any time. The ceiling in his bedroom was even filled with airplanes hung by fishing line.
Rick’s sophomore year of high school, his family moved to Vancouver, Washington, where he would graduate from Portland Christian School in 1995 and join the Air Force, making his dream of flying come true. As an active-duty member of the U.S. Air Force, Rick served 24 years, 18 of which were as a C-130 flight engineer. Rick was a highly decorated aviator, serving 13 deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan and amassing over 4,000 flight hours, nearly 2,000 of which were in combat. He was set to retire on March 1, 2020 and was on terminal leave at the time of his death.
As Rick began looking at life outside the Air Force, he set his sights on aerial firefighting. When asked if that was what he wanted to do, his answer without hesitation was, “Yep! It was my first choice, and if I couldn’t do it, I was going to look into being a hotshot.” In November 2019, Rick was hired by Coulson Aviation, making another one of his dreams come true.
Rick lived a life of service, helping others and trying to make the world a safer place. Beneath the hard exterior he showed the world was a man with a kind soul, a big heart, and a robust, infectious sense of humor that those closest to him had the privilege of knowing. The only thing Rick loved more than flying are his two children, son Lucas, and daughter Logan, who meant the world to him.
Rick is survived by his children, Lucas and Logan, and their mother, Rebekah; his father Rick Sr.; mom, Linda; sister, Virginia; brother-in-law, Leo; and nephews, Alex and Max. Rick also leaves behind numerous friends and colleagues around the world whose lives have been enriched by having known him. He was a devoted father, son, brother, uncle, colleague, and friend who will forever be missed.
“To most the sky’s the limit; to him, it was home.”