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SMSgt (Retired) Ricky Ralph Towns, 74, of Indialantic, FL, passed peacefully in his sleep on 16 March 2023, after a short illness and surrounded by his family.
Rick was born in Sioux City, IA, to Donald and Marian (Myers) Towns. He was a proud alumnus of Central High School in Sioux City. He has been his big brother’s Wingman their whole lives and a Jokester to his little sister Deb.
Rick served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 – 1974 as an Aircraft Electronic Technician with assignments in North Carolina, New York, and Guam. He was proud of his special duty with the Navy Drill Team. He joined the South Dakota Air National Guard (SDANG) in 1976, serving as an Avionics Technician for both the A7-D and F-16 fighter jets. Throughout his military career, he was a manager and facilitator for Leadership Development Courses and was active in various base organizations. He had many deployments throughout the world. In 2004, Rick retired from the SDANG with over 28 years of service to the US Air Force.
Rick married Terry McKinley, in 1987. Rick’s greatest joy in life was his three daughters and marrying Terry. Rick and Terry resided in Sioux Falls, SD until 2015, when they moved to Florida.
Rick served as the 2007-2008 Commander of the Sioux Falls Post # 15 American Legion and was involved in many other legion committees including South Dakota Honor Flight. Rick also served in the Honor Guard for both the American Legion and VFW in Sioux Falls.
Rick was an enthusiastic Minnesota Vikings fan. He enjoyed woodworking, making toys for his grandchildren and great grandchildren, earning him the nickname “Grandpa Toy.” Many children in the Sioux Falls area were blessed to receive Rick’s wooden toys through various veteran organizations.
In Florida, Rick enjoyed living the beach life, bird watching, and especially watching the many rocket launches from Cape Canaveral from his balcony. A special memory will always be sharing a launch viewing with his family just days before his passing.
Rick was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Marian Towns.
Rick is survived by his wife, Terry, brother Craig (Judith) Towns, sister Debra (John) Forrester, daughters, Julia Towns (Travis) Campbell, Patricia (Rob) Rose, Cynthia (Derek) Major, 8 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren.
Rick will be laid to rest in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains at the Reed Springs Cemetery in Loudon, TN. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to your local American Legion. A Celebration of Life will follow in Sioux Falls, SD when the weather gets warmer.
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