In late January 2007, Rick learned he had developed pancreatic cancer
and that it had already progressed to the critical Stage IV of the TNM staging system
, a cancer severity scale, meaning that it had spread to surrounding organs.
Over the next several months he put up a brave and noble fight, enduring unimaginable pain while managing to remain hopeful about a possible full or partial recovery.
But the disease is viciously cruel and relentless, and he succumbed on Tuesday, July 10, 2007 at 12:30am. As per his wishes, his body was cremated and the ashes spread under the tall pines on the grounds of his Mill Creek, Washington home.
He is missed with great heartache.