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Rick Durante

Ricky Durante, age 46, of Los Angeles, California and formerly of Willmar, died unexpectedly Thursday, July 21, at the California Medical Hospital Center in Los Angeles.
A Celebration of Life for Rick will be held on Monday, August 22, from 6-8 p.m. at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. In honor of Rick, please do a good deed for someone in need and expect nothing in return. www.petersonbrothers.com
Rick Durante was born in California, grew up in Willmar, graduated Willmar High School in 1988 and attended Willmar Community College for Aeronautics to be an airplane pilot.
But hanging out with friends who said to him... "Rick you are built to be a jockey in horse racing"... .so there was a bet which started the ball rolling. So off Rick went to Canterbury Downs and was employed hot walking horses which lead to exercising horses. He was then told by someone there to go to the Harvey Vanier Farm in Illinois and train to be a horse racing jockey, of which he did. Rick later rode for over six years in the South East Horse Racing Circuit. Rick won the very first race he competed in "without a whip" and continued his success as a Jockey.
Upon many injuries throughout his career, which included a horse rearing up and falling backwards on Rick from the waist down. These injuries took a toll on Rick's body. Rick was told to take a full year off from racing and recover but after only 8 months, went back to racing which was the beginning of an end to his career.
In 2007, Rick left for Los Angeles in hopes of riding again. While living in LA, Rick was in the company of Dennis Rodman, Ice-T and numerous other famous celebrities. Rick later received a blunt force trauma injury to his head and spent over 3 months in a coma. In 2008, he suffered a stroke and then other health issues followed which lead to his passing.
Rick had a big heart; caring and helping others in times of need. He enjoyed baking and cooking.
He is survived by his parents, Gloria and Phil Olson of Willmar; four siblings, JoAnn (and Mike) Whelan of Willmar, Fred Durante of Willmar, Jenny Phillips of St. Cloud and Louie Durante of Willmar; numerous nieces and nephews, besides other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents; Manuel and Hazel Tafoya and Arnold and Marion Olson.


AUG 22. 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM

Peterson Brothers Funeral Home

700 Becker Avenue Southwest

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rick Durante, please visit our flower store.


Very sorry to hear about Ricky. He will be missed dearly. He always kept me laughing...never a dull moment when he was around. May he be at rest. Prayers for your family. Tammy Day

Tammy Day - September 03, 2016 at 09:37 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Rest in peace Ricky. So sorry for your loss Gloria and Phil. He had a great talent and golden soul. I will never forget him. Laura F

laura furtek - August 22, 2016 at 03:54 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Sorry for your loss Phil & Gloria. I always enjoyed hearing about Ricky's horse racing life , Phil told the story well. I could tell how proud he was of Ricky. Peace be with you.Dean Hess

Dean Hess - July 26, 2016 at 02:53 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Every time I think of you I remember the day that the pinto caught on fire, you just looked at me with that smile and said "guess I am not going to school today" be at peace you will always be my brother-in-law.

Roxanne Durante - July 26, 2016 at 12:35 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Bless the memories of Ricky. I will forever remember his smile and laughter. I know he is now healthy and strong and most likely riding a horse through heaven . Peace and Love. Sandy and Melvin Rohner

sandy - July 25, 2016 at 10:57 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Thinking of all the laughs, cards and playing with my kids. Great kid. Rest in peace. Hugs to all the family. Love you all! David and Lynn

Lynn Bergren - July 25, 2016 at 09:45 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Our deepest sympathy to all of you. Our prayers are for all you . We are so glad you have such great memories of Rick to help you through this tough time. God bless you. Tim and Lynne Morton.

Lynne Morton - July 25, 2016 at 09:27 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Rest in PEACE my son.Wish I could see your new body and that big smile o yours.We love you so much.Dad and mom.

Glorietta Olson - July 25, 2016 at 09:13 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

3 files added to the album Rick Durante Memories Album

Peterson Brothers Funeral Home - July 25, 2016 at 04:40 PM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

Rest in peace my friend. Lot's of good memories boxing, hunting and fishing.

erik wells - July 26, 2016 at 09:14 AM Nov 30 -0001 12:00 AM

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