4/18/1946 – 7/21/2019
Rick joined his ancestors after following their guidance for 73 years.
After receiving his birth certificate in Hollywood, California, life brought him to the Coarsegold family ranch in the foothills of the Sierra where he developed an early love for the outdoors. Six years later he moved to Santa Barbara. Here he attended Jefferson Elementary School, Santa Barbara Junior High and Santa Barbara High School where he met people who remained special lifetime friends.
Rick’s college years were shared between UCSB, Chapman College and the University of Hawaii, where he graduated with a degree in Anthropology.
Over the course of his life, Rick constructed houses in Florida and the Bahamas, worked avocado orchards, built kayaks, worked as an anthropologist, a photographer and a rock art cultural resource management consultant for Public Lands, locally, as well as in the Grand Canyon and Vandenberg Air Force Base. Rick formed two businesses: The Best of What’s Left, a fine art photography business, and with two partners, he established the Rock Art Documentation Group or RAD. He served the public as a firefighter with the Carpinteria Summerland Fire District for nearly 30 years, retiring as Fire Chief.
It was during the firefighting years that he met his wife of 29 years, Carol, while backpacking in the Los Padres National Forest. Rick enjoyed the road less traveled, preferably accompanied by Carol. He visited many countries, embarking first with a Semester at Sea through Chapman College and continuing into his adult life in search of hidden rock art throughout the world. Rick and Carol’s honeymoon included a memorable two months hitchhiking, backpacking and exploring in Southern Africa. Carol navigated their other extensive trips to Peru, Australia, Brazil and the painted caves of France. Each year, their Christmas card delivered greetings from places across the globe. Closer to home, the wilderness of the American Southwest was always calling.
Rick was a classic longboard surfer. Surfing since the ‘50s and living in the Carpinteria area allowed him to surf uncrowded beaches from Baja to Hollister Ranch. He played guitar and loved live music, frequently attending concerts, preferring the small venues and sitting ‘up-close’ and always to the ‘left of center.’
In addition to surfing and music, he enjoyed kayaking, backpacking, photography and reading. The backcountry and the ocean provided refuge where he found peace and calm. “Dawn Patrol” walks to Jelly Bowl provided great joy when he was no longer able to backpack or surf.
The oldest son of Richard and Dorothy, at an early age, he became guardian of his two brothers, John and David, following the premature death of his mother. Two family members very close to him, his youngest brother and a nephew, predeceased him.
Rick treasured his small extended family, pals at the gym, rock art and archaeological compadres, music associates, hiking buddies and lifetime friends–all who have uplifted him. Rick takes many great memories with him.
Rick was a lovely, generous, patient, gracious, Renaissance man. Always offering encouragement and comforting words to others while he himself lived courageously with advanced prostate cancer. He was Carol’s champion and companion. Words cannot express how much he will be missed.
Rick passed on July 21, 2019.
To celebrate his life, it would honor him to be remembered through donations to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Anthropology Department (2559 Puesta Del Sol, Santa Barbara, CA 93105), or Citizens for Carpinteria Bluffs (P.O. Box 700, Carpinteria, CA 93104, carpinteriabluffs.org), organizations close to his heart.
There will be a private celebration of life at a later date.