In Memoriam ... Rick Ace
1954 - 2012
On November 25, 2012, I learned that Rick passed away. I'd become very concerned about his whereabouts when I hadn't heard from him for a while, so I started calling. First, his house – phone disconnected. Then, his aunt's house – no longer in service. I tracked down one of his cousins, and that's how I learned that Rick passed away at the end of October from a coronary problem. His family is holding a memorial service on Friday, November 30. My spouse and I are going.
I'd like to tell you about my friend ...
I first "met" Rick in 2008 on Newsvine. I was new, and he was one of my first friends. I guess he liked my comments, so he sent me a friend request. Our friendship grew from online to real friends.
Rick was born on Long Island, NY. As a boy, he was a mischievious kid but never got in serious trouble (he told me some pretty creative .. um.. funny stories!). He graduated from high school at age 16. That's how smart he was. He then went on to graduate from the NY Institute of Technology earning a degree in the nascent field of Computer Technology. Rick's professional career was diverse and included ...
- well-paying jobs with computer companies in New York City.
- a company that prepares high school students for their SATs. I could hear the excitement in his voice as he described his students have their "aha" moment in Math. He also taught SAT English prep. He was a stickler for proper grammar, punctuation, and spelling, as am I.
- Pixar as a software engineer for "The Rescuers Down Under." http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100477/fullcredits
Rick was also a volunteer for Island Harvest and restructured their inventory control computer system so that their food distribution tracking for the needy was more efficient. His model is still used by them.
We shared such a special friendship - laughter and sorrows. He was the only person who could do NYT crossword puzzles better (and faster) than I could. The only thing I could hold over his head was that he did his in pencil, and I did mine in pen, so I told him I did better. He didn't buy into that logic, and we laughed about it. He understood so much about music and had a diverse knowledge and appreciation of genres – classical, jazz, rock .. you name it. I loved this about him, because I'm a musician and found a kindred spirit.
I visited Rick and celebrated his 57th birthday with him last December. I'm so glad that I was with him on his last one. I think I might be the only NV friend who met Rick in person. I also met his aunt and a cousin. Soon after my visit, I became seriously ill, and Rick messaged me every day to ask how I was. I'll never forget his deep concern and how his messages brightened every day of the 30+ days I was in the hospital this year.
Before writing this, I reread all of our messages. In retrospect, his cardiac problems, like mine, were years in the making. For months, many of his comments alluded to his "not feeling right." Coronary disease is a silent killer – I was luckier than he was.
This was so very hard for me to write, but I wanted everyone to know what a wonderful, talented, kind, and intelligent person Rick was.
Rick, you were so special to my family and me. Thank you for your unconditional love....
Viners: comments are open so you can pay your respects and share memories if you wish. Anyone who is crass enough to derail this memorial to Rick through political rancor will be deleted.