Richard C. "Rick" Wiles, 64, of Roswell, New Mexico, passed away unexpectedly on April 27, 2022.
Rick was born October 9, 1957 in Huron, South Dakota. He came to New Mexico in the late 70s to attend Artesia Christian College where he graduated with a degree in auto mechanics. Rick was free-spirited and adventurous and he had a lifelong passion for automobiles and motorcycles. During his studies, he made several motorcycle trips back and forth from South Dakota to New Mexico, enjoying the road and wide open spaces. He was drawn to New Mexico's sunshine and warm climate and he remained here his entire adult life.
During his college years, Rick joined the Artesia Fire Department as a dispatch operator. He later served as a firefighter/EMT and then as Lieutenant of B-shift and finally Training Officer. After more than 20 years of service, he left the department and eventually became Chief of the Artesia Volunteer Fire Department.
Rick had an active interest in health and fitness and he started a gymnastics program for kids in 1993. He also opened the Artesia Family Fitness gym in 1994, which he operated for 25 years. In the early 2000s, Rick developed an interest in massage therapy and started his own massage school. He became a certified therapist in 2005, and with passion and expertise taught countless students the art of massage therapy until his untimely passing. He made meaningful contributions to the profession by serving as President of the New Mexico Chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association for two terms (2010-2014). Most recently, he was serving on the New Mexico Massage Therapy Board. Rick was also a beloved teacher at the Artesia High School where he taught EMT/first responder courses for 10 years.
Rick had a heart of gold and was eager to help those in need. Throughout his years as a business owner, he was more interested in offering his services and helping people than turning a profit.
Rick was preceded in death by his parents Merle Wiles and Nelva Wells Wiles. Left to cherish his memories are his wife Janlee Zumwalt; two sons, Ricky and Chris Wiles; daughter, Marisa DeHoyos; brothers Mike Wiles, Brad Wiles and Todd Darland; sisters Debbie Pack and Brandi Darland; his former wife Brenda Leamon; grandchildren Keira Wiles, Kallie Wiles, Gracelynn Wiles, Kendra Stephenson, Crash DeHoyos, Amarie DeHoyos and Amaris DeHoyos; step-daughters Haylee Neel and Lynzee Fanning; step-grandchildren Jace Neel, Hasten Neel, Kobe Kelly, Corinne Kelly and Tucker Kelly, along with many friends, students and associates who were the beneficiaries of his kind and generous spirit.
There will be a celebration of his life at Hermosa Church of Christ on Friday, May 6 at 10:00 AM.
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