For the second time in less than a year, members of the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office will say goodbye to a colleague who had battled brain cancer.
Rick Staack, a 24-year member of the Sheriff's Office, had been fighting anaplastic astrocytoma, a form of brain cancer, since July 2011.
He died Wednesday at his Gretna home. He was 57.
Ryan Fawcett lost a four-year battle with glioblastoma multiforme, an inoperable brain tumor, on June 25, 2012. The 40-year-old was an eight-year-veteran of the Sheriff's Office and left a wife and two daughters.
Colleagues organized fundraisers for both deputies and their families. In fact, at a February fundraiser for Staack, the Fawcett family donated the pasta and sauce.
Staack became a Sarpy County deputy in 1989. He served as a sniper with Emergency Services Unit, as an investigator, defensive tactics instructor, member of the meth lab team, member of the bike team and as a field training officer. He also worked in narcotics, road patrol and in the jail.
A seventh-degree black belt in taekwondo, Staack had been involved with the martial arts for 37 years, said his wife, Shelley.
He owned and operated Gretna Tae Kwon Do for 17 years. He was nationally ranked in the American Taekwondo Association Top 10 for four years before retiring from competition. He had senior rank in Taekwondo America.
Staack also started his own concrete business before joining the Sheriff's Office and never gave it up, she said.
“He had a strong work ethic that he passed on to his kids,” his wife said. “He never called in sick for 25 years.”
Colleagues spoke of Staack during a February fundraiser they organized to help with his medical bills.
Capt. Monty Daganaar said Staack was one of the department's hardest workers: “You can always count on him. ”
Said Dana Harrah, an investigator in the office: “He's a hard worker, dedicated, loyal, energetic. He's everything. He's a great guy.”
Besides his wife, survivors include sons Jacob Staack of Gretna and Justin Staack of Papillion; stepson Andrew Orren of Papillion; and father Orville Staack of Omaha.
A celebration of Staack's life will begin at 11 a.m. Monday at Faith-Westwood United Methodist Church, 4814 Oaks Lane in Omaha.
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