1955 - 2012
"Is there Paella in space?"
lived an amazing life and accomplished much in his 57 years on
this earth. Born at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma, he
started school in Bitburg, Germany and grew up around the country.
He served as a Staff Sergeant in the Air Force (1973-1984). He
was certified as an EMT, but that was just a hobby! His specialty
was telecommunication systems. His assignments included work on
the first Space Shuttles and satellite tracking – a posting
which brought him to Mountain View, the “Blue Cube,”
and a move from the Air Force to Ford Aerospace. He was a certified
Microsoft Network Engineer and worked in Silicon Valley. In 2003
he took a position at Caymus Vineyards, in Rutherford, managing
data networks (and tasting fine wines). In 2011, Rick returned
to school to pursue a career as a Pharmacy Technician and graduated
with honors in July 2012.
Rick gave generously of his time to help others. At 15 he first
volunteered for the American Red Cross, where he trained in Health,
Safety and Disaster Services. While volunteering as a storm chaser
for Civil Defense in Altus, Oklahoma, he obtained his Ham Radio
License-WB5VUL. Rick mentored teachers and students in computers
at Cupertino High Schools. His Mensa chapter volunteered at KTEH
public television (San Jose), where he met the love of his life,
Ginger. He joined the Solano County Search and Rescue team in
2007, training and working searches as part of the ATV squad and
helping with communications. Rick and Ginger discovered the joys
of volunteering at PGA Tournaments, which raise funds for many
local charities and the First Tee, during the 2009 President’s
Cup. Together, they logged many happy hours at Pebble Beach and
tournaments in Northern California. Rick’s talents were
recognized with numerous decorations for his Air Force service,
American Red Cross-Palo Alto Chapter Volunteer of the Year 1993,
and KTEH Volunteer of the Year 2000-2001 (to name just a few).
Rick and Ginger were married in 1999 in Carmel. They moved to
Hiddenbrooke in 2003, where they explored Napa and Sonoma in their
quest for wonderful wine, delicious food and the perfect pairings.
Rick was an outstanding chef, mastering his pizza oven, grill,
paella, and sous vide machine. He made great sourdough bread and
the best crispy crackers. Their family always included cats, starting
with a blended family of George, Amos and Andy. Together they
welcomed Pancho Villa into their home. These boys have crossed
the rainbow bridge to be with Rick, but Ginger is comforted by
their four Maine Coon cats, Sasquatch, EJ, Mai-Tai, and Cosmopolitan.
Rick had a passion for spaceflight, the Shuttle, the ISS,
Star Trek, and any SciFi show. A Level 9 private tour
and being on the floor of the original Mission Control at NASA
in Houston was a special vacation. Being part of the Centennial
Flight is ‘totally Rick’.
Rick made a difference in
the lives of many, always with a smile. He will be deeply missed.