Cover photo for Earle "Rick" Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr.'s Obituary
Earle "Rick" Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr. Profile Photo

Earle "Rick" Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr.

October 29, 1979 — June 3, 2023

Earle "Rick" Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr.

Earle “Rick” Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr., passed away on June 3rd, 2023, in Hayden Lake, Idaho, after a tragic motorcycle accident. Rick had a brilliant mind, and he was a kind-hearted, caring, and gentle soul with an incredible sense of humor. 

Rick was born in Newport Beach, California, on October 29th, 1979, to parents Earle Gilbert Wolfrom, Sr., and Susan Lee Wolfrom. From a young age, Rick had an insatiable curiosity for understanding how things worked, and he was eager to recreate science experiments at home. He was a loving and protective brother of his younger sister, Melinda “Mindy” Katherine Wolfrom, and he loved having three older brothers, Michael Staub, Craig Staub, and Craig Wolfrom.

Rick and his family moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2000, and he later graduated from Evergreen State College with a degree in chemistry. He went on to study Nuclear Science and Engineering at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Idaho State University in Idaho Falls. After completing his Master’s degree, he realized a different passion for life: connecting with people. This meant leaving the solitude of working as a lab chemist and jumping into several customer service roles that gave him constant contact with people. His fellow workers and customers described him as friendly and positive. He always had a way of making people feel valued and like they were the most important person in the room.

Rick had a passion for the outdoors and a love of history. From scuba diving and exploring volcanoes in Hawaii to sailing on Lake Pend Oreille or riding dirt motor bikes or hiking, Rick often took breaks from his scientific passions to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors. He studied extensively European history and his own ancestry, and he also discovered a new life as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

No portrait of Rick’s life is complete without an attempt to describe his incredible sense of humor. Rick engaged in a performative-style humor that broke societal conventions. Even his close relatives had a difficult time knowing whether Rick was being serious, or he was laying the foundation for a joke that only he would understand.

His family all agree that the weeks before Rick’s accident were some of the best times of his life. He had been the best man in his sister’s wedding one week earlier, and he was enthusiastically studying the Idaho trails to get back into dirt motor biking. He was also excited about the prospect of moving to Taiwan with his sister and her husband, Stan Tsai, to start a new adventure in a foreign country.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Earle Gilbert Wolfrom, Sr., and Susan Lee Wolfrom. He is survived by his sister, Melinda “Mindy” Katherine Wolfrom, and her husband Stan Tsai, of Toronto, Canada; and his brothers Michael Staub, and his wife, Susan, of Kalispell, Montana; Craig Staub of Valencia, California; and Craig Wolfrom and his wife, Maritt, of Hailey, Idaho.

At the age of 43, Rick’s death was a tragic accident, and his family will miss him dearly. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes remembrances and condolences on this English Funeral Chapel obituary page.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Earle "Rick" Gilbert Wolfrom, Jr., please visit our flower store.

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