During his professional journey, Rick found his way to Vice President of Technical Services for USAirways through an unconventional path. After graduating from Palatine High School in 1980, he attended Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL. and shortly after completing his certificate as a licensed A&P mechanic, he accepted his first job in the industry with Evergreen Air Center in Tucson, AZ.
Rick focused not only on his career, but in building long lasting, meaningful personal relationships along the way. With over 30 years in the aviation industry, he served in a a number of different capacities; as a mechanic, aviation sales, various management levels, and as president of third party maintenance facility in Macon, GA – along the way, he grew to uniquely understand the aviation industry, but more importantly he understood people.
Rick was diverse in his career, and together with his wife of 26 years, Cindy, they raised two children and built a strong family foundation. Moves, career changes, and health challenges never stood in the way of getting the job done for Rick. He had many passions outside of the aviation industry: riding motocross, boating, water skiing, snow skiing, surfing, playing the drums and always time spent with family and friends.
In 1999 Rick was hired as Vice President of Maintenance for Phoenix based America West Airlines, and it was here that Rick thrived in a growing industry, with a growing airline. America West merged with US Airways – and with his broad reach of knowledge, he continued to grow as well. Rick’s career was cut short when he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in 2008, but true to his spirit and energy Rick worked through the illness until his retirement in 2011. Rick succumbed to the disease in June 2012, leaving a huge hole in the hearts of his friends, family and colleagues.
We are proud to have his legacy continue on through an untraditional scholarship. The Rick Oehme Memorial Scholarship is geared towards a student dedicated in vocational training, please share your challenges, your aspirations and goals, and together it is our hope to help aid in your journey, honoring a true self made spirit.