PORTLAND — Ralph E. “Rick” Clarkson, 73, a resident of Long Beach, died Aug. 24, 2017, in Portland, Oregon. He was born June 26, 1944, in Laramie, Wyoming.
He was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and at age 13 started going into bars to see entertainers, and bought his first motorcycle, he rode them his entire life. He worked most of his youth at a variety of jobs — selling newspapers, doing janitorial work at his father’s bar, working for a veterinarian and in a donut shop. Later he was a bull rider and rode broncos in rodeos.
Never one to sit around, he was a commercial fisherman in Alaska for 31 years and owned his own boat; and he owned various other businesses such as a construction company; dive shop; upholstery shop; excavation company; a mobile home/RV park; charter boat business and was co-owner of a restaurant and bar. Later he built a concession trailer he called “Wild Thing” and sold exotic meats, such as alligator, wild salmon, buffalo, ostrich and reindeer.
He helped with the restoration of a bi-plane now featured in the Hood River Museum; built a large boat and built a sawmill and home on Center Island in the San Juan Islands.
Rick was a member of the Moose Lodge, Eagles Lodge, Elks Lodge and the sons of the American Legion. He was the chef at the Elks Lodge in Milwaukee, Oregon and often fed the 3,000 members.
An ambitious man, he became a food vendor and sold doughnuts, ribbon fries, tamales, enchiladas, fish sandwiches, seafood products in many locations. He was the doughnut man at the Saturday Market at the Port of Ilwaco for many years, and Sunday Market in Astoria until July of this year.
Survivors include Joan Murphy of Long Beach and his many, many friends, particularly a special friend, Paul Lawrence of Vancouver.
A Celebration of Life potluck will be held at 1 p.m. on Oct. 21, at the Moose Lodge in Ocean Park.