"Rick Ryder" Dies at 65

April 12, 2008 by

Tim Huppmann, known to listeners of TK99, WSEN, WOLF and other stations as "Rick Ryder," died on Monday, according to an obituary published in the Syracuse Post-Standard earlier this week.  Huppmann, who also served for many years working his way up the ranks to Chief of Rescue and Firefighting at Hancock Airport, was 65 years old.

Here is the complete obituary, including arrangements, from

Timothy Gerard Huppmann, (Rick Ryder on the radio), 65, of Onondaga Hill, died at home following a courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by family. He was born on September 12, 1942, to the late John Philip and Louise Anna Huppmann in Baltimore, MD. Timothy moved to Yonkers, NY, in the 1950's with his family before moving to Syracuse, NY, in the 1960's, where he resided for the next 50 years. He resided in North Syracuse until moving to Onondaga Hill in 2007. Tim attended CBA and graduated from West Genesee High School in 1960. Upon graduation, he joined the US Air Force, Strategic Air Command (SAC). He was stationed at Dow Air Force Base, Bangor, Maine, from 1961 to 1964, where he pursued his love of firefighting, specializing in aircraft and structural methods of firefighting. His technical education included Air University and Aircraft Rescue and Fire Protection School in Greenville, MS. At Dow AFB, he was assigned the duty of fire station captain and fire protection inspector. Upon discharge from the Air Force, Tim was hired in a civilian capacity at his last assigned military facility, Hancock AFB. Tim advanced through various positions from 1964 to 1969 and became Chief Fire Protection Inspector at Hancock AFB. During this time, Tim created and conducted a public fire prevention awareness campaign to reduce dollar fire loss. He indoctrinated Air Force personnel and their families on fire prevention methods and first aid. In 1968, he received a Federal Incentive Award for Superior Performance. From 1969 to 1986 as Assistant Chief and until his retirement, as Chief of the Department, Tim was with Hancock Airport Rescue and Firefighting for the City of Syracuse, Department of Aviation at Syracuse International Airport. During this time, Tim organized special aircraft fire and disaster training programs for numerous Onondaga County fire and emergency units as part of the airport disaster plan. He loved his career, for it was in giving that he received. As a young 9-year-old boy, in Yonkers, Tim could be found at Shonnard Place Fire House where he was inspired by the men in uniform, by their shiny trucks and most of all by their dedication and loyalty to their community. It was at this time that he realized his dream and would become dedicated to his career of firefighting. From 1971 to 1975 and 1977 to 1993, Tim served his local community fire department of North Syracuse as a volunteer. He served as a firefighter, lieutenant and captain through the years. He directed firefighter and officer training programs from 1972 to 1984. Tim was instrumental in establishing the local county link with the National Fire Academy fire service programs via satellite. He was crucial as video director to the development of the dedicated channel on the local cable television outlet featuring fire prevention and fire department awareness programs produced by local volunteers known as Fire Vision. He spoke highly of the people he volunteered with and their dedication to their community. Tim's hobbies through the years were electronics, photography, broadcast communication and being a musician. Tim's love of playing the drums and vocalizing were enjoyed when he played in his high school band, "The Swinging Keystones" and his Air Force band, "The Del Tunes".  Rick Ryder at WOLF, 1962-63From as early as his high school years, he loved broadcast communication and was a disc jockey at WOLF and several other local radio stations. His broadcast persona was known as "Rick Ryder". His love of broadcast continued until his illness at TK99. He also loved to fish. Surviving are his son, Paul Timothy (Michelle); his grandchildren, Gabriella, Brandon and Joshua; a sister, Mary Carol (Joseph) Lechner; two brothers, Philip (Joan) and Denis (Carol); several nieces and nephews; countless friends and his four-legged companion, Misty. Memorial services will be Saturday, April 19, at 9:30 a.m. at Fergerson Funeral Home and at 10 a.m. at St. Rose of Lima Church, North Syracuse. Friends may call on Friday, April 18, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the funeral home, 215 South Main Street, North Syracuse. As a final act of giving, Tim donated his body to University Hospital for research in the hope that someone will be helped by his gift. Donations may be made to North Syracuse Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 11, North Syracuse, NY 13212-0011; or to Hospice of CNY, 990 Seventh North St., Liverpool, NY 13088. Tim will be missed! Fergerson Funeral Home, Inc. Memorials May Be Left At

More vintage pictures of "Rick Ryder" can be found at the WOLF 1490 Tribute Site.

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