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MISSOULA — Richard “Rick” S. Van Pelt, Lt. Col. (ret.) US Army, 71, of Missoula, was born April 24, 1947, and entered eternity with our Lord, Jesus, on March 23, 2019. 

Rick was born into an Air Force family and he, himself, spent 20 years in the Army. He served in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot where he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal with “V.” It was in Vietnam he was exposed to Agent Orange which led to his early heart disease. Rick had a thirst for knowledge and after leaving the Army he became a school librarian. His goal was to pass on that thirst to children. Rick was passionate about leading small groups and serving his church. He was the happiest in his life when serving Jesus. 

Rick was married to Kathi (Murdock) for 37 years. They loved to travel and experienced many adventures over the years. Rick is survived by his wife and two sons; Scott (Kylie) of Plainview, Texas, and Mark (Larisa) of Kingman, Arizona; two brothers, Carl and Pete (Leslie) both of No. Virginia; four grandchildren, Jenia, Sergei, Tanner, and Cameron, and many nieces and nephews. Rick was predeceased by his parents, Warren and Jane, two brothers, Jay (Teresa) and John and a niece and two nephews.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. at Crosspoint Church, Missoula followed by lunch and then full military honors at the VA Cemetery at 12:30 p.m.

The family would like to acknowledge the wonderful care that Rick received from the doctors and staff of the International Heart Institute and the nurses and staff on 4 North at St. Patrick Hospital. In lieu of flowers the family requested donations to The Creation Museum, Petersburg, KY. Condolences can be left at gardencityfh.com.

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