Rich Pichette Memorial Card
Richard (Rich) Pichette
February 9, 1941 - July 28, 2010
Richard John Pichette
Richard (Rich), 69, was born on February 9, 1941 to Rosaire “Curly” and
Doris Pichette in Waterbury, Connecticut. Rich was the oldest of 5 children,
Ronald (wife Jean) of Plantsville, CT and predeceased by David (brother) of CT,
Donald (brother) of NJ, and Nancy (sister) of CT. Rich met his wife Penny of 49
years in April 1960, they married in February of 1961. They had 5 children, son
Richard “Rit” (Janel) of Nuevo, CA, son Michael “Mike” of Moreno Valley, CA,
daughter Jill (Michael) Murr of San Jacinto, CA, daughter Wendy (deceased),
and son Joseph “Joe”(Michelle) of Moreno Valley, CA. Rich also leaves 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.
Before moving to California in 1976, Rich was President of the Eagles Club
in Bristol, CT.
After moving to Moreno Valley (formerly known as Sunnymead), Rich
became Founder and past Governor of the Moreno Valley Moose Lodge. He was
the ROP Restaurant Occupations Instructor for 19 years at Moreno Valley High
School and made a positive impact on many students.
Rich and Penny bought the Jet Drive In, in Sunnymead. Rich gave it a 50’s
drive in theme and then brought “cruising” back to the Inland Empire area. His
monthly Cruise Nights would draw people from as far as Los Angeles and San
Diego. They loved to experience what is like in the 50’s. Rich and his friends
started a local car club, The Desert Tin and they began going to other local cruises
and car shows.
His hobby and his dream grew, and in 1982, he founded West Coast Kustoms
(car club) then started the infamous car show known as West Coast Cruisin’
Nationals (aka “Paso”). Rich also was a big fan of James Dean, going to James
Dean runs, visiting Indiana where he was born and collecting memorabilia.
Over the past 30 years of West Coast Kustoms, Rich was acknowledged for his
foresight, motivation and drive. In 1995, he was inducted into the Grand National
Roadster Show Hall of Fame, in 2003, into the Kustom Kemps of America Hall
of Fame, in 2004, into the San Francisco Rod & Custom Hall of Fame, in 2005,
he received a Ricky Award and in 2009, he received a Lifetime Achievement
Award for the KKOA. This September, he will be inducted into San Bernardino’s
Route 66 Hall of Fame and at the Long Beach MotorRama show; he will receive
a Special Recognition for his tireless effort in bringing back awareness to Customs
over the years.
Rich lived for many years with Alzheimer’s disease, making all of us
more aware that we need raise awareness and possibly a cure. He has made
many friends throughout his life; he made an impact on people that is
indescribable. The Custom car world is what it is today because of him. He
will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Acheson & Graham Mortuary
Garden of Prayer
7944 Magnolia Avenue
Father Joe Felker
St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church,
Welcome and Prayer
Liturgy of the Word
First and Second Readings by Guillermo G. Guillen
Sentiments spoken by guests attending
Tribute song by Vicky Tafoya
Private burial at Riverside National Seminary
Cruise to the Reception following the service to:
Moreno Valley Community Center
14075 Frederick St., Moreno Valley, CA
Beginning at 2 PM
The family would like to thank everyone for their love
and support during this difficult time.
We feel blessed to have so much love surrounding us.