The Optimists Alumni Drum & Bugle Corps
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Corps: De La Salle "Oaklands", Toronto Optimists
April 6, 1950 — April 21, 2019
Rick passed away after a brief illness with his beloved family by his side.
Rick played snare drum his entire corps career. He marched with De La Salle “Oaklands” until late 1968 when he lost a bet with his 3 brothers, all of whom marched with the Toronto Optimists. Rick agreed that if the Optimists won the 1968 championship he would join his brothers. Even though it was a lost bet that got Rick to join the Optimists he fully embraced the corps. Rick was lead snare when George Kopetski joined in ‘71. George said "Rick lived and breathed the Green Machine. What a great mentor!" Rick marched with the Toronto Optimists from 1969 thru 1971. Rick was an exceptional snare drummer. (Here is a link to the story about Rick joining The Optimists.)
Here's a little memory, directly from Rick. "I marched with Del in 67 and 68 the Optimists from 69 to 71. After that I moved to Vancouver. In 1976 or 77 I was a money market trader for Walwyn Stodgell and had a meeting with the treasurer and assistant treasurer of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. I arrived at the meeting a little late and they were deep into a conversation that I recognised. It was Drum Corp talk. I sat there for a few minutes then put my hand in the middle of the table with my 3 year Optimist ring on. It turns out that the treasurer was Jim Fletcher an Optimist from the original 1958 corps The assistant treasurer was Cliff Von Zuben, a member of De La Salle in the early 60's. Needless to say that there wasn't much talk about finance for the rest of the meeting."
Rick had a wonderful sense of humour. You could always count on him for a hilarious joke from his repertoire.
Rick’s greatest joy was his family. He was a wonderful, loving father and amazing husband. Rick is missed terribly by his wife Susie, son Josh and daughter Riley. He is also missed by his sister Mary of Calgary and Lorne of Vancouver. Rick was predeceased by three of his brothers who played with the Optimists alongside him – Ray (Baritone 1967-1969), Den (Baritone 1967-1970) and Tim (Baritone 1968-1970).
We will miss the husband, father, brother and friend that Rick was to us all. We will mourn the amazing man that was taken from us too soon. We will remember Rick as the kind loving soul he was.
“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
Rick. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . We Remember!