Bruce Alan, “Rick”, Rikansrud

Bruce Alan, “Rick”, Rikansrud, 61, died comfortably while in the care of the dedicated staff at Presbyterian Hospice in Albuquerque, NM, on October 7, 2013 from advanced lung cancer.  He was preceded in death by his father, Don Rikansrud.  He is survived by his mother, Opal Rikansrud; siblings: Denise (Mick Hager), Daryle (Mary Ann), and Marcia (Mark Holman); nieces and nephews; and great nieces and nephews.

Bruce was born in Canton, South Dakota; and moved to Grinnell, Iowa with his family in 1962.  He graduated from Grinnell High School in 1970.  He was a member of the National Honor Society, President of the GHS Student Council, and played on the Grinnell Tiger’s football team.  A previous quote from his football coach, “Bruce wasn’t big, but his spirit was huge!  I wish all my players had that”.

Bruce attended Luther College, and lived in Decorah, Iowa. While in Decorah, Bruce developed and expanded his lifelong passion for the creative arts: pottery, ceramics, and the restoration of old log cabins.  There are several of his restored log cabins throughout Iowa.  Examples of his ceramic pieces are displayed in the Norwegian museum in Decorah, including the commemorative mug for one year’s Nordic Festival.

After moving to Phoenix, he continued expanding his pottery and ceramic skills.  In collaboration with Arizona State University Art Department, Bruce designed and built an extruding machine that would press out large slabs of clay.  He would create a design and cut that design into the clay, cut that clay design into small mosaic pieces, glaze in multiple colors depending on the design, and then fire the pieces.  After firing, he would assemble all the individual colored, glazed pieces onto a backboard of the same shape as the mural, creating the final work of the original design, now in hundreds of multi colored mosaic pieces.  Bruce moved to Truth or Consequences (T or C), NM in 2006.

Private internment will include scattering Bruce’s ashes in several places that were especially meaningful to him.    Bruce’s family wishes to thank his friends and all those who cared for him throughout his hospitalization/hospice: his caring neighbor who made the initial call for help; hospital personnel at T or C Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque; Presbyterian Hospice staff; the friends who visited him regularly in the hospital/hospice; and his landlord.  We are deeply appreciative and grateful. Memorials in Bruce’s name can be sent to Presbyterian Hospice, 8300 Constitution Avenue NE, Albuquerque, NM, 57110; or to a charity of your choice.  May he rest in peace!

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  1. Larry Callison on October 25, 2013 said:

    Please know that my thoughts are with the Rikansrud family, and please accept my sympathy. As a childhood playmate and high school classmate of Bruce’s, I am saddened to learn of his passing.

    1. Marcia (Rikansrud) Holman on November 5, 2013 said:

      Thank you Larry for your condolences. I had just sent Bruce some pictures of his class of ’70 classmates, as well as the “Spencer Street” neighborhood kids who had all gathered at the GHS All Class Reunion from last year. He didn’t see them, as he was already in hospice. The envelope was returned to me unopened. He would have enjoyed those pics, as he had in other years, even though his previous comment was “Who are all those old people?” with this devilish grin. I will extend your sympathy to mom and siblings. Thank you!

  2. Patty Renaud Trnka on October 27, 2013 said:

    My sympathies to his family as he died far too young. I remember Bruce as a good student in both academics and behavior. Since our last names started with “R”, we were frequently seated close to each other in class. I hope that your grief will eventually be replaced with good memories. Take care – Patty

    1. Marcia (Rikansrud) Holman on November 5, 2013 said:

      Thank you Patty for your thoughtful words and remembering Bruce. I will certainly convey them to the rest of our family.

  3. Doug French on June 14, 2024 said:

    I remember Bruce from Luther College, he was a friend and we often ate dinner together at the dining hall. I am sorry to hear of his passing. When we both decided to leave school and get out into the “real” world, as we called it, we decided to head to Denver. His uncle, Jack Harrison, hired us on for his masonry business. We were living with Jack while we were getting settled in. When Jack fired me after about a week, telling me I had better not be there when he got home, Bruce was gracious enough to move out with me. (He had the car.) We wound up in a huge old haunted mansion that was renting out rooms as they deconstructed it. Bruce told me to ask for my job back, and sure enough he re-hired me. We were robbed at the mansion, no locks on the doors, and that may have been when Bruce moved on to other things. I stayed and worked several years for Jack, and am still happily in the construction trades. I have Bruce to thank for getting me my start in the real world. I’m glad he found his path. I knew him to be a good man and a good friend. Best Regards, Doug