Deceased August 29, 2019

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In Memory

Rick died on Aug. 29, after a long illness, surrounded by his wife, Karen, and his children, Sonia and Josh.

Those who knew Rick at Amherst will remember his curious mind, gentle spirit and droll sense of humor. His classmates will likely also remember his musical talent. Rick played the bass in two on-campus bands, Friends of Miss Florence and Sundance, as well as in Jim Steinman’s The Dream Engine. After graduating from Amherst, Rick studied bass at the Berkeley School of Music and later at Yale. Ultimately, he decided to pursue a medical career, but music remained a beloved avocation. In recent years, he took up the viola da gamba and learned solfege. 

After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Rick became an ophthalmologist and settled with his family in Watertown, Mass. He’s remembered fondly by his patients and colleagues, who will greatly miss his medical expertise and his kindness. Toward the end of his career, Rick pursued an interest in electronic medical records and published a number of articles on the subject.

During his free time, Rick became an avid sailor and a devoted runner. He and Brian Spear ’72 read challenging masterpieces together, including Don Quixote and Principia Mathematica, which they discussed during monthly phone conversations. And Rick loved playing music with his old bandmate Eric Kriss ’71.

Despite undergoing arduous treatment for leukemia and enduring numerous other health crises, Rick nonetheless felt that the last several years of his life were his happiest. He took tremendous joy in spending time with his family and friends. Just a few months before he died, Rick returned to Amherst with Karen, Sonia and Josh for the 50th anniversary performance of The Dream Engine. He loved being back on campus and reconnecting with old friends.

Barbara Heuman Kriss ’71

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