Obituary of Richard "Rick" E. Rich
Richard “Rick” E. Rich, age 66, of The Villages, Florida, passed away suddenly on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at Leesburg Regional Medical Center.
Survivors include his wife of 46 years Gail Rich; son Richard Rich, Jr.; daughter Abby Rich; and brother Robert “Bob” Rich.
He was preceded in death by his parents Paul and Helena Rich.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, October 24, 2020 from 10-11 am with a funeral service to follow at 11 am, located at Hiers-Baxley Funeral and Cremation Life Event Center, 3975 Wedgewood Lane, The Villages, Florida, 32162. To view the service live please visit, https://client.tribucast.com/tcid/512106348. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Leesburg, FL.
Rick was an Audubon Florida EagleWatch volunteer. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his memory to Audubon Center for Birds of Prey, https://act.audubon.org/onlineactions/ar8crC6bIUGX9UsdFBWdnw2
Online condolences can be shared at hiers-baxley.com.
Rick was a loving husband and father with interests that ranged from his children’s sports and music events to the moon. As a child in Indianapolis, Indiana, he loved to imitate his father Paul as he ran his appliance sales and repair business. His mother Helena’s twin sister was his beloved Aunt Helen. His brother Bob, born 10 years after Rick, was as fond of cars and trucks as Rick himself.
Rick’s friend and neighbor, David Skinner, shared a fascination with the space program. Together they traveled to Florida to see the launch of Apollo 11 as it took off for the first moon landing in 1969. They were both part of a group of friends that loved basketball and attended high school together. The group also included Jim Fowler, Dan Gagen, Jim Wetzel, and Dennis Adams. Dennis introduced Rick and his wife-to-be, Gail. In college they double-dated with Jim and his fiancée, Roberta.
Degree in hand, Rick began his career in IT at Indiana Power and Light and continued it at EDS. Son Richard was born in 1979 and daughter Abby in 1991. Rick supported his children’s interests in music, sports and other activities. He coached, served in parent groups, hauled kids and equipment, and used his photography skills to capture all the action. He himself loved bowling and golf, collecting many trophies.
The family moved to sunny Florida in 2002 when Rick began working for CSX Corporation in Jacksonville, but they continued to visit the folks in Indiana. Rick maintained his interest in Indy car racing, returning for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. Of course, he remained a Colts fan, having been a supporter since their days in Baltimore. Jim and Roberta often visited from their home in Indiana, before retiring in Florida.
With the kids grown and gone, Rick and Gail began a new interest as Audubon Florida EagleWatch volunteers, monitoring local eagle nests to report on eaglets from egg to fledge. As retirement loomed, they relocated to The Villages in central Florida, where they continued to monitor eagle nests. The pond in their backyard inspired an appreciation of wading birds, which they loved to photograph.
Forever our beloved husband and father.
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