Rick 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 Sunjammer Flight is ‘totally Rick’.
Rick made a difference in the lives of many, always with a smile. He will be deeply missed.