Nick “Nicky” Rakich passed away at the Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center with family by his side on the morning of Saturday, April 24, 2021. He was 76 years old.
Born March 20, 1945 to Joseph “Yovo” and Mildred “Beka” Rakich in Bingham Canyon, Utah, in the town of Highland Boy, Nick was embraced into a loving and hardworking family as well as the tight-knit community of Copperton, Utah.
Nick followed the trade of many in the community and his family, becoming a longtime “cat skinner” (Caterpillar/heavy equipment operator) at the Bingham Canyon open pit copper mine. His time at the mine and the rich heritage of his hometown were etched into his identity. Even late into his life, he would still venture, with the help of his beloved Toyota Tacoma that he always called “Princess,” up to Sunshine Peak above the mine. He spent hours in the peace and solitude of that spot, making notes of his thoughts.
He was a veteran of the US Army and served honorably in the Vietnam War from 1966-1968, stationed for a time at Camp Camelot. He developed a lifelong appreciation for his time in service and for all who serve our country.
Early in his life, Nick cultivated many talents and skills that served him throughout his career and other endeavors. He was naturally athletic and loved lifting weights, hiking, and swimming. At well-past the age of 40 he could still pull off a “one-and-a-half” from the diving board at Murray City Pool, one among many memories his son Nicholas cherishes. He was also an avid reader, consuming countless novels by Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, and others.
As he aged, Nick developed a wanderlust that guided him on many long road trips with his “Princess,” and a handful of candy. He loved the open road and kept business cards and other random memories with jotted-down notes of his thoughts and experiences during these journeys. These mementos and notes acted as a living journal of his travels and experiences, one such example being, “I’m finally sleeping under the stars again. Had breakfast with a new rabbit friend no bigger than a baseball.” These notes will serve as valuable keepsakes by which we will remember him and his one-of-a-kind personality.
Nick is survived by his son, Nicholas (Heather), sisters, Jolene and Sharlene (Jody), niece Shelly (Parry) and grandchildren Sydney and Zoe. He is preceded in death by the love of his life, Julie Jones (his “Grasshopper”), parents Joseph and Mildred, brothers Larry and Joey, brother-in-law Jack Rindlisbach, and nephew Kirk Rindlisbach. Knowing Nick was knowing his ancestors. He maintained an ironclad ethic of remembrance for his loved ones past and his ancestors. We loved to hear his stories from childhood or his travels. We take a moment to remember the twinkle that would shine in his eyes with excitement as he told us a good story about his childhood in Highland Boy or his travels or a good joke. He spent many of his days at the Bingham City Cemetery tending to the resting place of his family. Surely this is one of the most powerful examples our dear Nick set for us during his life. There, beside his family, he will be interred on Saturday, May 1, 2021, where a private graveside service will be held.
The family would like to thank the doctors and staff of Intermountain Medical Center, the VA Medical Center, and the VA Health Care System for their care, as well as Nick’s friends and family who were a source of much-needed joy and laughter to him throughout his life. We would like to honor specifically his dear friend Rocky who was nothing short of an angel to Nick in the final weeks of his life.