Rick passed away Monday March 14, 2011 in his home in Burien, WA. 

He leaves behind his mom and dad, his fiancée (Nancy Willis), his sister (Sandy) and her husband (Mike), his brother (Steve) and his wife (Dana) and his brother Bill. He also leaves behind 8 nieces and nephews and many friends who loved him dearly.

I created this webpage as a way for his friends and loved ones to share their stories, memories and thoughts. You can leave a short "Tribute" (below) or write as much as you want in the "Stories" tab. I have found it to be a wonderful part of my healing process, and I would love to hear about his younger days, high school days, or anything you want to share.

We love you Rick and shall miss you. You are forever in our thoughts and in our hearts.

We will miss your smile, your love of life. The way you took care of those you loved. Your love for your family, pets, camping and fly fishing.

As I speak with people Rick knew, there are so many wonderful things said about him and how people experienced him.

Here are some of what people said:

Rick was such a gentle soul. So full of love, warmth and kindness. Everyone who knew him loved him. He was at peace with every situation.

He was such a happy and playful person. A good man who was calm and easy to talk to; a conversationalist. He could always find a common interest with anyone he met.

He was respectful of others and was genuinely interested in the people he was with.

He was earnest, trustworthy. The one you could depend on for anything and everything.

He always greeted people with a smile and happy nature.

He always had that smile when he was with you (Nancy) – he knew he had something special.

My own personal notes…

We took care of each other. He took care of me in ways I had not thought to ask for.  He taught me how to love. How to live more simply. How to be with someone in the most genuine of ways. He taught me how to live more honestly than I ever had.  I was not looking for him when I found him.  He found me. I wanted to ‘date a nice guy’. What I got was so much more than I ever could have wished for or imagined.

We loved each other openly and honestly. We didn’t have much money and it didn’t matter. We were buddies…soul mates. We hung out every day doing the routine, mundane things one does in one’s life.  We went grocery shopping, ran errands, bought dog food.  We truly loved just going downtown to Grand Central Bakery and sharing a piece of double-baked Challah bread while enjoying our lattes (his was 2% milk with 2 raw sugars – mine was a soy latte).

We talked. Oh did we talk.  We talked about everything. He always told me when times got tough (and we had many tough times to face) “We’ll figure it out, baby. We always do.” And he was right.  We could figure out anything we needed to do no matter how hard it seemed at the time.  He could put me at rest like no one else ever could.  He understood me. He knew how to comfort me. He knew how to make me laugh and giggle. We had so much fun together doing silly little things or doing just every day ordinary things.

He is such a treasure to me. I have so many wonderful memories of him, of us. So many wonderful things I get to take with me along my journey.

He had such a great smile, such a handsome face.

I miss you so much, baby.

I love you. I always will.

 Nancy

Posted by Leslie Clement on March 14, 2012
Dear Friends & Family of Rick -

I continue to remember Rick and his wonderful being in our world. I have lit a candle to his memory.
Posted by Joanne Marr on March 19, 2011
Please tell Donna Hewes that Joanne & Paul Marr send their condolences. Joanne worked in the same bldg. in Burien with Donna for years. 206-870-3105

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Leslie Clement on March 14, 2012
Dear Friends & Family of Rick -

I continue to remember Rick and his wonderful being in our world. I have lit a candle to his memory.
Posted by Joanne Marr on March 19, 2011
Please tell Donna Hewes that Joanne & Paul Marr send their condolences. Joanne worked in the same bldg. in Burien with Donna for years. 206-870-3105
Recent stories

October 25, 2007...the day my life changed

Shared by Nancy Willis on March 21, 2011

I had just moved to the Normandy Park area. I was hanging out with friends at the local pub (Tin Room) when I met Rick. He was quiet. Always wore a cap. Would come into the Tin Room and sit at the end of the bar watching whatever sports might be playing at the time on the TV.  There was something about him.  Seemed like an honest sort, ya know?

We saw each other from time to time at the pub whenever someone was celebrating a birthday or whatnot. We would all go down to 909 (great restaurant just a couple doors down from the Tin Room) and have coffee and dessert after an evening of drinking.

The first time we were at 909 together, he was sitting next to me amidst a group of about 15 people. I ordered the gelato sampler. He ordered one, too.  We sat there and chatted about which gelato we liked better. He was always so easy to talk to.

I went up to the counter to pay for my gelato and decided to pay for his, as well. In the confusion of everyone leaving and saying goodbye, he left without saying anything. No goodbye. No thank you.

I would see him from time to time over the next few months. I would make a point to say "Hello". He was just such a nice guy and so quiet...especially compared to the folks we were hanging out with.

Then, on or about October 18th, we were all at the Tin Room once again. I had had a few Cosmos and at some point we all ended up at 909 for coffee and dessert (as usual).  He was sitting across from me at the table when I started wagging my finger at him saying "you never thanked me for the gelato!". I was having fun pokin' at him when he looked me square in the eye and gestured with his finger for me to 'come here'. I stood up and leaned across the table towards him, where he proceeded to give me a nice kiss.  I said, "Ok. You're forgiven.".

It was two days later, when I was standing at my kitchen sink and it suddenly hit me...Rick kissed me.  Huh...Rick.  He's a nice guy. It would be cool to date a 'nice guy'.

That Thursday, October 25th, was yet again someones birthday. I had asked one of our mutual friends to tell him I was interested. I did not know if she had told him or not.

I was already there when he walked in.  He acted as if he had not been told I was interested. He sat at my table but was still looking about the room as he always did.  We chatted like usual.  I decided to 'let it go' and just enjoy the celebration.

When we got to 909 he sat across from me. When the server came over to take our order, he said "Please give us a minute.".  Us.  Give us a minute.  He was looking straight at me now.  Not around the room like usual.

Give us a minute.

That was October 25, 2007. The day my life changed forever.  I went into our relationship sure I would be teaching him.  I had that wrong.  He taught me.  Every day of our lives together...he taught me. Taught me how to love. How to slow down. How to experience real joy for the first time in my life. All taught to me just by being who he is.  By being a wonderful, caring, gentle man.

I love you, Rick. I always will.

Rick was my brother... (by Steve Hewes)

Shared by Nancy Willis on March 21, 2011

 

Rick was my brother…I have so many memories of him it’s overwhelming to me…I didn’t realize we shared so many of the same experiences. Now, I can’t believe he’s gone and I will always miss him in my thoughts and memories.

I was Rick’s older brother and he was closest to me in age which means I got him in trouble a lot. I recall one incident while playing outside in the neighborhood he got stuck in a wishing well and the fire department had to rescue him.

Most people don’t realize how popular Rick was in High school and he had many friends. Also he was very athletic and excelled in many sports including football, baseball and diving. He loved fishing and camping and we went on tons of trips together. He loved Mt. Baker Lake Resort where we would vacation every year.

Later I helped Rick design and build his house in Burien, he was a very good finish carpenter and cabinet making was his profession.  

Rick met Nancy about 3 years ago and truly found happiness and peace in his life, along with his best friend Jake. It was too soon for him to go and I will always miss him.   Steve