Rich was a longtime resident of Santa Cruz County.
On January 8th,1973 Richard married the love of his life, his beautiful wife of 44 years Merrilee Martinez. Richard is survived by his wife, his six living children and their spouses; Rick & Trish Martinez, Kim & Shawn Brooks, Alexia Martinez & Scott Walton, Jennifer & Mathew Harrison, Erica Garner and Andrea Martinez. He also had 5 grandchildren Andrew & Andrea Walton, Hannah, Brandon, Richie, Gabby and two great grandchildren Bella & Chloe.
Richard was a graduate of Santa Cruz High School in 1964, known for his success as a State Wrestling Champion, Drum Major in the Marching Band, and member of Hi Tow Boys Honor Society. He graduated from North Texas State University with a B.A. in Music. As an award winning trombone player he was a member of the first Santa Cruz Symphony, he also made a published recording. He had an eclectic taste in music which he shared with everyone.This love of music was passed on to his family.
In addition to his musical talents he was known as an exceptional chef. His culinary career lasted 19 years and included owning his own Pub to being an Executive Chef at the Hollins House. His signature dishes were clam chowder and traditional family tamales, which everyone raved about!
He had a passion for automobiles, which led to owning his own upholstery shop where he worked on hot rods. In 1988 he began working at Harmony Foods (SCN) as a fork lift driver and 29 years later is a Business Process Optimization Manager, AKA “King of AMAPS”, mentor, teacher, and friend. He was dedicated beyond measure! “A true company man”! As Rich would say, “ You Can’t Fix Stupid”!
Though he didn’t have much time, over the years Rich had many hobbies and excelled at everything he did. He started one of the first dart leagues in Santa Cruz County, he was on multiple bowling leagues, he enjoyed gardening vegitables and was a Master Dahlia Grower, he enjoyed cross word puzzles, solitaire, he was an accomplished salmon fisherman, and had a love for sports. "Raider Nation 4 Life!"
Richard as a dedicated husband, father, grandfather and friend exemplified the values of family. His legacy is an example to us all. Words can not describe the sorrow we feel as we mourn the loss of our beloved father, teacher, hero, and friend.
Forever in our hearts, you will never be forgotten. We Love you Dad !!!!!!