below is the eulogy that chris + my mom wrote, and he shared at my daddy's memorial this past weekend, and THIS LINK is a prayer from a one in a million friend. i am broken & i haven't figured out how to exist in a world where my dad doesn't yet. i have faith & know that we will be carried through, but for right now i am still stunned, confused, & heartbroken. thank you for all of the love & prayers that have poured out for our family & for now i will cling to the peace in knowing my dad is no longer suffering and is seated with our heavenly father & watching over us. have a wonderful week of thanksgiving.
Eulogy, written by my mom + Chris
As Rick would say... What's up sports fans?
I know that this isn't the best of circumstances that brought us together today. But if Rick saw everyone here, we know he would have a smile on his face and a bottle of wine in his hand making sure everyone was enjoying themselves.
Rick's family lovingly referred to him as their "silent giant" because although he was a quiet man, when he did speak it was profound. A self-proclaimed "people watcher" he was always observing those around him and always a step ahead to make others feel welcome & comfortable no matter the situation.
Rick was hopelessly devoted to his wife and family. He knew that the very essence of life was his children. Watching them grow into his favorite people was the sum of his life’s work. He watched over, counseled, just listened when appropriate and used a firm stance when necessary. I got to experience that firm stance for the first time when I was 16 years old & had just started dating Hillary. I had never met Rick before and when he walked into the house I was fully prepared to stand up, shake his hand, look him in the eye and introduce myself. You know, try to set a good precedent right off the bat. That all went out the window when Rick walked in, shook my hand (firmly I might add) and asked me if that was my little white Honda in the driveway. When I answered yes, his stare pierced through my soul and he said “you need to slow down”. To say the least, it wasn’t the best “meet the parents” experience. I’m not sure if I have ever been that scared. What I did learn in that moment (and what I have gotten to experience first hand over the past 10 years) was that Rick would do absolutely anything for his family. Even if that meant ending me altogether.
Rick and Kathryn got married on March 6, 1982 in Waco, TX. My favorite story about their wedding is that all of Rick’s friend’s always joked that it would be a cold day in hell before Rick got married. And on the day of their wedding it sleeted and snowed. I guess they were right. Rick became a Dad in 1984 when Taylor was born & he continued to grow his family with another daughter Hillary & then a third, Ashton.
Rick fell in love with Colorado on his honeymoon & knew immediately that he was going to live there someday. Someday came in 1994 when Rick & Kathryn moved their three daughters to Colorado Springs. In 1996 they welcomed their first son, Tristan and the next year they completed their family when Kieran was born. Rick's entire happiness was wrapped up in his family. Having 5 kids & sending one to college & one to kindergarten in the same year has it's challenges, but a man's got to keep his sense of humor, and we all know Rick had knack for making us laugh (all clean jokes of course).
His seemingly endless list of “useless” information made him a great teammate when it came to trivial pursuit games. Always guys vs. girls, with the guys always losing. But the best part was that he would always give Kathryn a kiss when the game ended and give the guys a wink because we all knew Kathryn cheated.
He loved the outdoor life and hiked dozens of trails throughout Colorado with his family. Each visit to Estes Park was not complete without a hike up to Bear Lake or the Alluvial Fan. Every Estes Park trip also included lunch at Penelope's and a snicker's apple from Laura's candy shop. These are unique traditions that set the standard for "Grant like" behavior.
Ricks favorite bible verse was John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave his on and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” There are numerous stories of him waking Kathryn up in the middle of the night (at 3:16) and tell her how God had spoke to him. He saw 316 in addresses and phone numbers as if God was speaking directly to him for reassurance. Rick had the gift of humility and was very quiet in his faith, but walked with the confidence of salvation. He promised Kathryn that he would prepare a place for her in heaven and plant a garden there.
We will dearly and deeply miss him until the day we get to reunite with him in the glory, grace and beauty of heaven. But in the meantime, his legacy grows and his words resonate with us…..some of our favorite rickism’s were……
Every night before dinner - “Well folks, what are we thinking about dinner”
About an hour later - “Dinner is swerved” and when asked what movie he wanted to watch afterwards, he would always say... "oh you know me, i can fall asleep to anything"
When he would see something ridiculous on TV (Like Miley Cyrus) - “ Just another example of the continuing decay of our moral fabric”
Our family is strong, Rick’s legacy is strong and we need to continue that legacy. We will celebrate Thanksgiving, we will celebrate Christmas. And we want to encourage those who loved him to continue to celebrate as well, continue being happy & continue to live. Because even within the last conversation I had with him he was thinking about his family and the celebrations ahead. We were sitting on the couch and he asked me how we were gonna cook the turkey this year. When I told him that the girls were talking about smoking it, he shook his head and said “don’t let her smoke that turkey, it dries it out and tastes like crap”. We will be frying our turkey this year.
All that Rick wanted was for everyone to be happy. We all need to remember that. We need to continue to celebrate, laugh, love, drink, cook & enjoy each other's company. There will be tears. We will miss him. There will be times when we think that this is all unfair. Mimi has lost a son, Vicki has lost a brother. My wife & her brothers & sisters have lost their dad, my mother in law has lost her husband & many of you have lost your dear friend. Any time our family gathers, there will be something missing, but we all need to remember the light & the joy that Rick brought into the world & that it has not perished, it will just be shining somewhere else. Rick can't shine his light during the day as he did before, but he can shine like a star at night. His light is here. It is comforting and warm. His light has not gone out, it has simply changed locations.
... just like Rick would say when anyone asked him how he was doing, & now it really is true... "just another day in paradise buddy, just another day in paradise"