Richard (Rick) Dean Arbuckle, Jr.

Friends and family members gathered to celebrate the life of Richard (Rick) Dean Arbuckle, Jr. on March 16 at the First Presbyterian Church in Orange, California. The celebration included a jazz quintet performing many of Rick’s compositions, a scrapbook craft table, family photo albums, photo booth, and luncheon.

Rick grew up in Jefferson, Iowa, the second child of Ann and Dean Arbuckle and the younger brother to Craig, and older brother to Steve. Rick’s life-long passion, music, arose from the tutelage of band directors Robin Snyder and Jack Oatts. The last band he helped form before high school graduation, the soulful rhythm and blues band Elm Street Grocery was inducted into the Iowa Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in 2021.

While studying music education and woodwind performance at Drake University and for six years following graduation, Rick played in several bands, including Echoes V + Brass, the Black & Blue Band, Antelon, and performed in jazz ensembles at the Iowa State Fair. In 1979, he moved to Los Angeles where he performed with Phast Phreddie & Thee Precisions, Spatz, and other bands before starting the band Zen Dadio. The latter band recorded 5 albums, including a composition from the Now and Zen album entitled “Tenderfoot” of which a portion is played in the academy award winning movie American Beauty. He also worked at the production studio Klasky Csupo, editing sound for the era-defining animated children’s shows and movies including Rugrats and Edith Ann: A Few Pieces of the Puzzle.

Growing tired of the big city, Rick moved to the small California town of Lake Isabella in 2002 to settle down and run an antique store. Here he met and married his wife, Janet. They then settled in Orange County California for the next 20 years. Rick turned his musical focus to playing and creating worship music, recording and self-publishing two EPs, Sound Out and Crux of Praise, and adding vocals to a previously recorded jazz album now entitled Resurrected.

Rick and Janet also foster parented three nieces over different periods of time, then created a permanent family by adopting two girls, Amia and Evelyn in 2021. After a 2 1/2 year struggle with throat cancer, Rick passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family and beloved melodies, leaving behind a legacy of love and music that will endure for generations to come

Fatal error: Class 'AddThis' not found in /home/beeherald/www/www/sites/all/modules/addthis/includes/ on line 13

Contact Us

Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161