Richard Arlen Cordsen II, also known as Rick, passed away on January 17, 2022, with his wife Bonnie by his side. He was 71 years old. Rick was born to Richard and Dorothy (Gilliam) Cordsen on November 26, 1950, in Anchorage, Alaska. His father was stationed at the Elmendorf Air Force Base at the time. He was the oldest of six children and was a great big brother to his five younger sisters: Kathi, Jude, Cindy, Allison, and Carrie.
He developed his love for auto racing from when, in his youth, he lived in the neighborhood of his best friend, Bruce Bromme. Bruce’s father, Bruce Sr., owned a sprint car that they raced at Ascot Park in Gardena, CA. As teenagers, Bruce and Rick were on the pit crew. When Bruce’s father passed away, Bruce took over the racing team, and Rick continued to enjoy his passion for racing with his childhood best friend. Bruce and his father were later inducted into the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame. Rick always had a goal to drive a sprint car, so he started by buying a midget race car to drive. After he married, he sold the midget in order to buy their first home in Garden Grove, CA. He later fulfilled a dream of driving a sprint car in a few races at Ascot Park.
He later created a Facebook group for members of the racing community.
Rick and Bonnie were married on February 24, 1979, in Downey, CA. Rick and Bonnie first met while bowling in a league created by Bonnie’s sister-in-law, Kathy Goudy. The league consisted of people from the racing community. Bonnie’s brother, Rick Goudy, was the 1978 CRA Sprint Car Champion. Rick and Bonnie have two sons, Michael and Kyle. Rick left his career with Pacific Telephone to move his family to Paso Robles in 1986 to follow Rick and Kathy Goudy’s family there. He was a devoted husband and father. He did everything he could to make his family and friends happy. He supported his sons in everything they wanted to do. He was a huge supporter of his son’s wrestling careers, taking them to national tournaments all over the country as they excelled. He only missed a match through college if they were wrestling at the same time in different cities. When his grandchildren were born, he formed a special bond with them.
When his wife received a job transfer to Horizon Hobby in Champaign, Illinois, he retired but kept busy working part-time as a school bus driver. He loved children and looked forward to greeting the children as they entered the bus. He lived in IL for 12 years before discovering he was ill, so he and Bonnie moved back to CA in 2016.
Rick is survived by his wife, Bonnie, his sons Michael (wife Katie) and Kyle (wife Brit), five grandchildren – Dallon and Emilia (Millie), Isla, Remy, and Mila, mother, Dorothy Bogan, sisters Jude Santana (husband Ruben), Kathi Cordsen, Cyndie Bogan, Allison Bogan-Johnson and Carrie Fenn (husband Pete), brother-in-law Rick Goudy (wife Kathy), aunt Bobbie Tipton, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, February 19, 2022, at the Estrella Warbirds Museum and Woodland Automobile Display, 4251 Dry Creek Rd, Paso Robles, CA 93446.