May 10, 1950 ~ September 30, 2018
SUNSET - Rick Toponce, 68, sailed off on his "final tour" on Sunday, September 30, 2018, due to complications from Lung Cancer and other diseases caused by exposure to Agent Orange during his years of service in Vietnam.
He fought so bravely to stay with us for the last 30 months. Thankfully God issued his final^"discharge papers" and called him home to be with his parents, Ralph Cullen and Jacquelyn Shirlie (Carnan) Toponce; and his younger brother, Edwin "Ned" Toponce. They all preceded him in death.
Rick was born May 10, 1950, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. His family relocated to Logan, Utah, when he was still a toddler. They then moved to Washington Terrace, where Rick spent the remainder of his teenage years. He graduated from Bonneville High school in 1968.
Rick joined the U.S. Navy in October of 1958. From 1968 to 1972, he served two (2) tours in Vietnam. First serving aboard the USS Excel (Minesweep - MS0439) and then aboard the USS Hoist (Auxiliary Repair - ARS40). Between those two (2) tours, he came home to marry his high school sweetheart, Kathy Sue Ernsberger on February 2, 1970. They later divorced.
From 1972 to 1975, Rick and Kathy served a tour at U.S. Naval Station - Naples, Italy. A place dear to Rick's heart. He spent time doing archaeological diving and they toured some of Europe. He had many fond memories of that time and talked of it often. He never lost his love of ancient history. From 1975 to 1978 they were stationed at U.S. Naval Station, Norfolk, VA, and he separated from active duty in October 1978.
When he returned to Ogden, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserves, and served another 16 years at the U.S. Naval Reserve Station, Ogden, Utah. He retired from the U.S. Navy on October 1, 1994, as a Chief Engineman. Rick suffered through (2) weeks of Active Reserve Duty every year, assigned to SIMA at the U.S. Naval Station, pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Tough Duty! There, he met his match, soul mate, and best friend, Arlette (Holsman warner) Toponce in 1992. Imagine having to go all the way to Hawaii to meet someone from Utah, and end up marrying her. They married on September 11, 1993. They just celebrated their 25th Wedding Anniversary.
After retiring from active duty in 1978, Rick worked for a short time at Volvo White in Ogden. He then began his career at Hill Air Force Base on November 6, 1979. He gave 30 professional and dedicated years of service to HAFB as a Maintenance Mechanic. He retired in June of 2005 as a WG-10 from the Technology and Industrial Support Directorate.
Rick was a talented and skilled artist and produced many beautiful pieces over the years. Many people have and love his pen and ink drawings, his paintings, or in his later years, his stained glass pieces. For many seasons, he operated Wharf Rat Stained Glass and sold his work at the HAFB BX around Christmas time.
Rick is survived by his wife, Arlette Toponce; his three (3) wonderful children from his first marriage: Richard Cullen (Theresa) Toponce, Corelynn Toponce (Matthew J.) Johnson, and Stephanie Toponce.
He is also survived by five (5) awesome grandchildren: Christopher Cullen Toponce, Matthew Alan Toponce, Caitlin Marie Toponce, David Andrew (Rachel Kolb) Kempke and Nathan Ryan Kempke.
In addition, he is survived by bro (2) great sisters-in-law: Michelle (Holsman) Fatovic, and Shirley Toponce. Many aunts and other extended family relatives. And a special set of friends who are Family to us - Scott and Julie Haney.
Arlette and Rick's children would like to extend a special thank you to the following Doctors and Nurses. We would not have survived the past (3) years without you: Dr. Grace O'Brien, Dr. Vincent Hansen, Dr. David Goff, Dr. Gurjeet Grover, and Dr. Eric Stakebake. The following Nurses: Rachel at Skyline Clinic, Holly and Missie at Chronic Care Management/Ogden Clinic. Your care and attention to Rick were extraordinary and you are commended.
Graveside service will be held Friday, October 5, 2018, at 1 p.m., at Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Rd., Ogden.
You may send the family condolences at:
"Fair Winds and Following Seas" - my Love...