Army vet Ricki Getzschman, 22, who was killed in crash had just started civilian life

Ricki Getzschman in 2008, when he was a Benson High student. “He was a smart, smart kid. Creative. Funny. He liked to cause a little trouble, but it was almost always in good fun,” said Mary Chris Getzschman, Ricki Getzschman's mother.


Fredrick M. “Ricki” Getzschman IV “was always going 100percent,” his mother recalled. It had been that way since childhood.

“If it had four wheels, he came in on two. If it had three wheels, he came in on one,” said Mary Chris Getzschman of Herman, Neb.

He brought that go-getter attitude to his Army career, she said. He was a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division and served one tour in Afghanistan, where his duties included searching for improvised explosive devices, she said.

Getzschman, 22, was pronounced dead Wednesday at the Nebraska Medical Center after his motorcycle crashed into a utility pole earlier that morning in Omaha's Elmwood Park.

The former private first class had ended his Army service Aug.6 at Fort Bragg, N.C., and was back home Aug. 7 with the hope of becoming an electrician, his mother said.

“He was a smart, smart kid. Creative. Funny,” she said. “He liked to cause a little trouble, but it was almost always in good fun.”

Getzschman was living in Herman but grew up in Omaha, graduating from Benson High School in 2009.

At Benson, he played drums in the marching band. When he was home on leave last fall, he helped out with the band by building a wheeled cart to tote instruments and other gear on and off the field for competitions.

Band students called it the “Ricki Cart,” his mother said.

He swam freestyle and backstroke for Benson, competing at the state tournament his sophomore through senior years.

He also had been a lifeguard at the downtown YMCA, where he taught swimming lessons to special needs children.

Getzschman attended the University of Nebraska at Omaha before joining the Army.

Besides his mother, survivors include his sister, Alicia Carosella of Fort Carson, Colo.; brother, Geoff Getzschman of Omaha; and grandparents Ed and Sheila Osterhaus of Omaha.

Funeral services will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at the 72nd Street Chapel of John A. Gentleman Mortuaries, 1010 N. 72nd St.

Contact the writer:

402-444-1165, sue.truax@owh.com

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