Mar. 21, 1945 Ticonderoga Essex County New York, USA
Oct. 1, 2011 Chico Butte County California, USA
Richard grew in the Iroquoi region of Burlington Vermont where he enjoyed hunting and fishing. Later his family moved out to California when he enlisted in the Armys infamous 82nd Airborne Division. He spoke frequently of his days jumping out of planes and the bitter cold he endured. Upon discharge he immediately took up sprint-car racing. His left eye was injured by flying mud and nearly cost him an early retirement however perserverence paid off and Rapid Rich as he was now called took home the Hobby Stock Trophy 3yrs straight in 1976, 1977 and 1978 at Chico California's Silver Dollar Speedway. After racing ran its course he worked with the county sherriff for a number of years in the early 80's then a mild stroke made him more homebound. His subsequent retirement in his later years allowed him to enjoy his Military Channel and frequent visitors from his many many freinds and relatives. Richie, Ronda, Luke and all of us are thinking about you and miss you every day. Rest In Peace my freind, you're truly missed :-(
(this is the complete unedited obituary from Chico E.R... used with permission)
Richard Raymond Betts passed away on October 1st 2011 due to a heart attack. He was born in Ticonderoga New York and moved to Chico in 1963. He is survived by his children Richie and Ronda Betts of Chico, his older brother Steve Betts, grandson Lucas, his sisters Cindy Miller and Linda Mitchell of Orland and numerous neices and nephews. He was preceeded in death by his parents Raymond H and Ruby G (Herlbert) Betts of Orland. He served in the Chico National Guard U.S. Army's 82d Airborne's 4th Armored Division and during the Viet Nam Era. During the 60's and 70's he was a fan favorite at the Silver Dollar Speedway where he was known as "Rapid Rich". A memorial service will be held October 23rd 2011 at the Veterans Hall. The service will be folowed by a celebration of life and private ceremoinal burial will be held at the Northern California Veterans Cemetery.
Special thanks to his son Richie for help in creating this memorial to his dads legacy.