Mr. Richard (Dick) Clifford Aronson, of Fort Collins, Colorado, born on April 1, 1944 in Charter Oak, Iowa, born to Clifford John Aronson and Elsie Sophie (Kiepe) Aronson, passed away at age 74 on June 24, 2018 in Tolleson, Arizona. He passed after a very brief, but courageous battle with cancer and from complications from an unexpected stroke. He was the second of four children to Clifford John Aronson and Elsie Sophie (Kiepe) Aronson. His family left Iowa in 1947 and headed to Colorado where Cliff managed a number of ranches and also helped construct the Horse Troth Dam out of Fort Collins, Colorado.
Dick moved to Arizona in 1971, and has been a resident of Tolleson with his beloved wife Lois for 34 years. Dick started his career in the construction field, initially hanging sheetrock, and after a few years he started providing estimates and bidding jobs, he later retired as a superintendent. Dick enjoyed many hobbies, fishing, hunting, golf, exploring on his four-wheeler, enjoying the cool summers in Payson and spending his time with family and friends. One of his favorite experiences was traveling twice to Alaska to fish for halibut and salmon. But out of all these hobbies Rodeo was his life and the one he enjoyed the most.
Dick's rodeo career started at the early age of eleven years old when he began competing in junior rodeos and then on to high school rodeos. He was sixteen when he won his first trophy saddle in calf roping and earned two more all-around saddles in the Colorado Little Britches Rodeo Association. Dick attended Colorado State University at Fort Collins and was on the collegiate rodeo team from 1961 thru 1965. Aside from competing in calf roping, Dick also competed in steer wrestling, team roping, bull riding and bareback riding. During all of this, he managed to earn his master's degree in Agricultural Economics. In 1962, he was the all-around cowboy for the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association Great Plains Region and was runner up the following two years. In 1970, Dick joined the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA), competing in calf roping, and steer wrestling and was named Rookie of the Year. This was a prestigious award, he was also acknowledged in the "New Face for The Crowd" in the well-known magazine Sports Illustrated. In Dick's rodeo career he won numerous saddles, trophy's, belt buckles and multiple special awards from the PRCA, the Amateur Rodeo Association and the Senior Professional Rodeo Association. In addition, he held multiple leadership positions in each association.
Dick is preceded in death by his parents, Clifford John Aronson and Elsie Sophie Aronson, Karen Marie Aronson and Colleen Lois Staudinger. Dick is survived by his wife of 45 years Lois Jean Aronson, his special needs sister Marcia Kay Aronson, his two sons, Trevor Wade Aronson, his girlfriend Dawn, Devon Cord Aronson and his wife Darcie, his brother-in-law Jim Staudinger, grandchildren Robert Kyler Baker, Tanner Lee and Ella Joy Aronson, and great granddaughter Quorra June Baker. Dick was also a loving surrogate father to his sister Marcia and his niece Kristin Niehus. Additional surviving family members are several nephews, nieces, aunt and uncle, a great aunt and several cousins, and his great nephews and great nieces.
Dick's absence will leave a huge void in the family, but it is the rodeo stories & relived memories as told by his friends and family that will keep him alive for many years to come.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, July 14, at 6:30 pm at the Buckeye Equestrian Center located at 10300 South Miller Road Buckeye AZ 85326. -- www.southbuckeye.com --
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Hospice of the Valley AZ at 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, AZ 85014 or Sharing Down Syndrome of AZ at SDSA 745 North Gilbert Road #124-273, Gilbert, AZ 85234.