In lieu of flowers
Memories & condolences
In lieu of flowers
Prayers for you and your daughters as you continue in God’s peace and comfort and the knowledge of a life well-lived. Love all the memories.
The trouble with writing this elegy is that you just know Rick would have done it better.
I met Rick in 2006 when I started as assistant city editor for the Standard-Times. Nearly all successful small-city dailies have one thing in common, a writer so good that the readers feel their world is impoverished when they don't have his work to illuminate their mornings. For San Angelo, I could see immediately, Rick was that writer and an exceptional one even in that elite group.
He had hundreds of friends in the community and elsewhere, and many of them have described in their own ways, either through online comments or interviews, the unalloyed sterling of Rick's writing and his character. I won't repeat their heartfelt observations.
Rick was a pro, and being Rick's editor was simultaneously boring and exciting — I cannot recall ever making anything but minor changes in his stories, but I always read them with a slight fever of anticipation. At editorial meetings, he would lay out his plan for columns a few days ahead, and take any suggestions from other reporters or editors. He would inevitably improve the ideas he accepted.
As valuable as his writing was, the demeanor he brought to the newsroom was equally important. He was an example for young reporters (and old editors) to follow, and he was generous with his time. He was calm, deliberate, and most importantly, kind. I cannot recall ever seeing Rick show even a hint of anger, a quality that is breathtakingly uncommon in our profession.
There are many ways by which we could honor Rick's memory, but I think one path we have the choice to take every moment is to be thoughtful in what we say and most especially in what we write. Rick's style was simple and humble. He made every one of those 500 words in every column count, and every one of them meant precisely what he intended. He had the rare ability to illuminate the meaning of a word by the context in which he used it.
Another way would be to get up before sunrise on a spring morning in West Texas, on one of those uncommon days when a bit of fog lurks in the low places and a chill haunts the air. Drive out toward the hill country on a farm road and find a patch of bluebonnets, looking east as the sun begins to warm the horizon. At the first burst of light, the flowers will seem to be damp with tears.
- Mike Kelly
Our deepest condolences to June, girls and family. Rick was kind, humble and a great friend. I was very fortunate to work with Rick at the San Angelo Standard Times Newsroom/ Library. Rest In Peace Writer in the Sky!
Domingo & Edna Sedeno
These last few days have been so very bittersweet. Bitter to think of all the might-have-beens dementia stole, and sweet remembering so many hundreds of good times. We were blessed with laughter, friendship, and the best of ordinary adventures. My son, Tyler, remembered Rick teaching him to walk on stilts — stilts Rick made. Oh, and the Fourth of July float trips on the Concho. My granddaughter played and played with the dollhouse Rick built for Annie and Kate, which they handed down to her. I (very young sons in tow) was an attendee at the first Club Sandwich (which I thought got its name because we each brought a sandwich-making ingredient, bread, spread, or condiment), and not long ago I came across the poem I wrote for the occasion. “We’ll tell our happy stories,/ of life’s merriment and and worth,/of might-have-beens and do-agains,/ the greatest show on hearth.”
June, I wish a peace to pass understanding for you, Annie and Kate.
- I was so sad when I heard the news of Rick's passing. He was a great man and terrific writer. I first met Rick in 1976 when we worked at the Standard Times. We shared a house with Roy Ivey. Rick will missed by many. I know how this loss can impact your life. I lost my two oldest brothers to Alzheimers. God bless you and your family June.