CHANDLER — Ricardo “Eaglehawk” Partida, 68, a musician, artist and writer, died on Jan. 2, 2021, at his home in Chandler.
Mr. Partida, also known as Ric, was born in Houston on Sept. 15, 1952. His family moved to Coolidge when he was in his teens. Destined to perform, he began playing music as soon as he was big enough to hold an instrument. There’s nothing he cherished more than pulling out his guitar and singing. He loved making people happy with his songs. Driven by his excitement for rock 'n' roll, he decided to take a year off from high school and hitchhike to the Woodstock Music Festival in New York in 1969. He got waylaid along the road and never made it; however, he returned home with a songbook full of new music he loved to share. He returned to school the next year and graduated.
He was known for his one-man show, yet he often pulled together other musicians, forming trios or bands for weddings or corporate gigs. Not only did his music touch the hearts of many, he was also loved for his kind, compassionate, generous nature. He believed there was a song inside everyone and enjoyed teaching others to sing and play. He always cheered on those he taught. His repertoire included hundreds of songs. He worked in many different fields to support his music profession, including a stint working security for a start-up tech firm in Utah.
His other passion in life was his dedication to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After graduating, he served a two-year mission for the church on the Navajo Nation and the surrounding border towns. Part Yaqui, he felt he was honoring his God and his Native American ancestry by serving there. During that time, he made many friends and learned to speak Diné Bizaad (the Navajo language) fluently.
He recently began polishing a memoir he had been writing for over 30 years entitled “A Voice from the Dust: The Book of Mormon — An Indigenous People’s Journey.” In this, he captures insights into the LDS scriptures from a Native American perspective. It was his wish that this manuscript be published. He loved the Navajo people and believed his book would make the LDS scriptures more familiar and comprehensible to them. A summary of the manuscript will be created and posted on the ancestry.com genealogy website, under his personal history file.
He is survived by a brother, Johnny; seven children, Tricia, Sarah, Kendra, Dana, Rynda, Samuel and Eliza; and eight grandchildren.
Funeral at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, at the LDS Cooper First Ward, 650 S. Cooper Road in Chandler and on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/5872196087. No password or ID required, but Zoom download needed before the service.