‘She Was The Light Of Our Lives’: Family Mourns 25-year-old Boulder Shooting Victim Rikki Olds

April 7, 2021
210407-BOULDER-SHOOTING-OLDS-FUNERAL210407-BOULDER-SHOOTING-OLDS-FUNERALHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Robert Olds embraces a well wisher outside Boulder Valley Christian Church on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, after the funeral of his niece, Rikki Olds, 25. She was among 10 shot and killed March 22 in an attack at a Boulder King Soopers grocery store.

Rikki Olds snorted when she laughed. She changed her hair color often. She put ketchup on everything. She made people smile.

Loved ones of the 25-year-old King Soopers manager, who was killed during the March mass shooting in Boulder, gathered to celebrate her life Wednesday at Boulder Valley Christian Church.

"I absolutely cherish all the stories that I'm hearing about your willingness to make everyone you came in contact with know that they mattered," said Rikki's uncle, Robert Olds. "You cared, you nurtured. You made people laugh and feel welcome."

Her best friends, boyfriend, high school teachers and colleagues shared memories of Olds. They described her as a bold, caring person who was full of infectious joy. Gov. Jared Polis also spoke at the memorial and offered his condolences to those who knew her.

"She raised me, pretty much, and my little brother, Keith," said Bryanna Whitehead, Olds' younger sister. "She was always very bright and bubbly, and I just know that she wouldn't want us to be sad. She would want us to be celebrating. She's up in heaven... watching over all of us"

Olds attended Front Range Community College. She spent 5 years moving up the ladder at King Soopers. She loved hiking, camping and playing golf with her family.

"I remember loading you up in the stroller and wheeling you around the neighborhood with my chest puffed out, my head held high," Robert Olds said. "I was a proud uncle. Uncle Bob-Bob remembers a certain toy that you had that absolutely drove me crazy. And believe it or not, I still to this day remember the lyrics associated with the 'Bananas in Pyjamas' song that you played over and over and over again."

Nine other people died in the Boulder shooting, including 59-year-old Suzanne Fountain, 51-year-old Boulder Police Officer Eric Talley and 23-year-old Neven Stanisic.

"I'm a man of few words and, in that way, Rikki and I were kind of complimentary. She spoke a lot," joked Jordan Arthur, Olds' boyfriend. "Rikki meant so much to her loved ones and those who knew her. More than I think she realized. For many, she was an essential worker doing her part to help us get through the checkout line, putting on her signature charm and smile for everyone. For some, a coworker always trying to make each day brighter, better and bubblier... For even fewer [she was] family, the sort of family whose bonds are forever stronger in her wake."

210407-BOULDER-SHOOTING-OLDS-FUNERALHart Van Denburg/CPR News
Mourners gather for a photo outside Boulder Valley Christian Church on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, after the funeral of Rikki Olds, 25. She was among 10 shot and killed March 22 in an attack at a Boulder King Soopers grocery store.