Frederick “Rick” W. Gottschalk Jr, 71, resident of St. Maries, ID and Albuquerque, NM, passed away from complications from Parkinson’s on Sunday, December 10, 2017. He was surrounded by his loving wife and daughters in Spokane Valley, WA. Rick was born to Fred and Elizabeth Gottschalk on August 26, 1946 in Evanston, Illinois. The family then moved to Albuquerque, NM and Bellevue, WA before moving to Lewiston, ID where Rick graduated high school and married his high school sweetheart, Janie Reed.
After graduating high school, Rick and Janie attended LCSC, while Rick also worked in the Volkswagen parts department. Rick enlisted in the Army National Guard engineering division in Idaho. In 1968, the couple moved to Albuquerque. They bought their first home in Albuquerque in 1971, where he built a large shop to start his own mechanic business specializing in Volkswagens. The couple had their daughter, Hy’D, then Rick expanded his business to Auto Haus, selling used cars and rebuilt cars. The couple purchased their second home, and then their second daughter Gretchen was born.
In 1983, the family purchased property in St. Maries, ID where they lived in a wall tent with wood floors for six months while they built a two story log cabin with all of the logs coming from the property. The family moved back to Albuquerque, where Rick then built an adobe addition on their first home. The family made countless trips between Albuquerque and St. Maries, many times Rick drove straight through for the 26 hour drive. In 1991, the family moved back to St. Maries where Rick built a building on pilings next to the St. Maries River and began an equipment rental business.
Once Rick semi-retired, Rick and Janie spent the winters in Albuquerque and also converted a greyhound type bus into a motorhome where they lived when they were snowbirds for a few years. In 2014, Rick was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but he continued to work on numerous projects until he could no longer walk without assistance.
Rick’s hobbies included racing cars, Baja Bugs, and motorcycles (starting the Oh My God 100 race in 1974), bow hunting, flying (including refurbishing 2 airplanes), jogging, looking for deals at the flea market, bicycling, and sitting on the porch at River Rentals. Rick loved to work with his hands and build based on his own designs. There wasn’t anything that Rick couldn’t fix, engineer, or build himself. If he didn’t know how to do it, he learned how so he could do it himself. Rick was a jack of all trades and a friend to everybody.
Rick is survived by his wife of 52 years at their home in Spokane Valley, WA; his daughters and sons-in-law, Hy’D and Brian Andrews of Clarkston, WA and Gretchen and Bill Brebner of Valleyford, WA. He is also survived by his brother, Tyler (Sharon) Gottschalk of Woodinville, WA; his sister, Edie (Clyde) Longfellow of Hermiston, OR; sisters-in-law, Maureen Fuentes and Mona (Bill) Elliott, as well as four grandchildren, three nieces and six nephews. Rick also has numerous great friends who were just like family.
A celebration of Rick's life will be held in Albquerque on January 13th from 2-4 pm at 5313 Beebe NE.
Also, there will be a celebration of Rick's life at a later date in St. Maries at River Rentals.
Donations may be made in Rick’s honor to the Northwest Parkinson’s Foundation.