Richard Lee Hjelm, "Rick" passed away suddenly from this life on Monday, March 6th. He was 69 years old. Rick had his beloved wife, Jill, beside him at the time of his passing. He was a steady, reliable parent and friend that filled his life with a love of food and cooking, skiing every slope he could find, fly fishing as often as possible, and traveling the world with his wife, Jill. He was a huge Colorado sports fan and enjoyed watching his Denver Broncos. Rick had a sincere love for his family and friends and will be deeply missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph William Hjelm, Sr. and Betty Jane Hjelm; his brother, Joseph W. Hjelm Jr. "Bill.” He is survived by his wife Jill Hjelm of Centennial, Colorado; his children Krista St. Charles (Wil) of Nederland, Colorado, Oliver Hjelm (Sarah Meyers) of Seattle, Washington, and grandson, Ben St. Charles; his sisters RoxAnne Hjelm and Konni Hjelm Hawkins of Tigard, Oregon. Rick is also survived by his former spouse and mother of his children, Debbie Hjelm of Littleton, Colorado.
Rick was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. He attended Stanford University to study Mechanical Engineering, where he obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He moved to Littleton to begin a lifelong career in aerospace at Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin. Later he moved to United Launch Alliance, where he worked until retirement. He spent 36 years in the aerospace industry and was proud to have been a part of over 150 spacecraft launches.
A private memorial service will be held later in March. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations be made in Rick’s honor to one of the following organizations:
United Way of Denver https://secure.donationpay.org/milehighunitedway/RichardHjelmMemoriam.php or Colorado Parks & Wildlife https://www.mightycause.com/donate/Colorado-Parks-And-Wildlife