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