In Memory

Rick Black

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01/21/16 11:53 AM #1    

Bruce Clippinger

Rick was a character in the truest sence of the word. Certainly enjoyable to be around and hang out with. We were friends in school and afterwards as well.  I had heard that he was a police officer in Florida and was killed in a traffic accident with a drunk driver. He is missed by his family and friends as well.  RIP Rick.

09/15/16 11:25 PM #2    

Robyn Black

For those of you who knew my brother Rick, I thought I would fill in just a few of the blanks of his life and death. First I must say, he was an amazing man, his kindness and compassion were evident in the way he treated many people over the course of his career and life. He moved to Florida in the late 70's to work as a forensic investigator in the Medical Examiner's office in Hillsboro County, he always treated families and victims with caring, compassion and respect. He was one of the divers on the recovery team when the boat hit the Sunshine Skyway bridge in 1980, there are many stories from that chapter of his life in Hillsboro County, it would take pages to relay them all, some of them quite humorous  (as his good friends knew, he had a very warped sense of humor). He then moved to the Palm Beach Medical Examiner's office as a forensic investigator and continued in the same manner with efficiency and compassion, he was the spokesperson and liaison when David Kennedy died in 1984, the Kennedy family could not say enough kind things about him. I was lucky enough to witness his way with people regularly because I lived in West Palm Beach for a while when he was there and would hang around his office on my time off and help. He traveled extensively all over the world, tried the cop thing on his motorcycle and patrol car, but his real love was being on the bomb squad. He trained at Redstone in Alabama (a very prestigious place for bomb techs) and was working at the Martin County Sheriff's office at the time of his death. He was amazing at what he did, it was the real passion and love of his life (other than Betsey Mullen his other great love). His life was exciting and joyful, always something going on. He was on his way into town on a highway that had turn lanes across the highway in Stuart, Florida on a lovely Saturday morning, September 28, 2002, when a woman whose license had been suspended and had been out partying hard all night turned across the highway just as he approached, there were no brake marks, he had no time, he was killed instantly, (she was not, she spent time in the hospital, but survived) friends of his who were in an ambulance less than 2 miles behind him tried desperately to get to him. If Rick had been asked how he would have like to have met his end, I am sure it would have involved a bomb or some other explosive instead of an irresponsible drunk/drugged driver. He was well loved in the law enforcement community, his funeral was in Florida and attended by over 800 people, most of those 800 were law enforcement from all over the US and a few from overseas, a testament to the man he was. He was also an amazing brother whom I cherished and was fortunate enough to have had a wonderful close relationship with. I miss him every day.



09/16/16 05:11 PM #3    

Susan Sanders (Bizeau)

Thank you so much Robyn for filling us in on his life. I remember talking to him at the 30th reunion. I didn't know whether to believe him or not about what he told me about his life and his work. Now I know those wild stories were true. I am sorry for your loss.
Sounds like he had the life he really wanted...exciting and free.

09/16/16 09:15 PM #4    

Dave Steinberg

What a guy. Rick and I were Candy Stripers at Research Hospital in high school and friends. So sorry for your loss.

09/17/16 11:06 AM #5    

Susan Gramms (Walker)

Robyn.  I'm so grateful that you wrote the loving and informative post about Rick;  your words were both powerful and chilling.   I had no idea about the tragic way that he died or about the amazing life that he lived.  I hope there is some comfort in knowing that he lived fully and had found his bliss in his profession; there are many who cannot say the same.  Hope your family has found peace after your shared loss.

09/18/16 06:21 AM #6    

Beth Sauer

Thank you so much for writing about your brother,  Robyn.  What a nice tribute to Rick and his life of service to his community.


09/18/16 08:35 PM #7    

Sandy Lee

Rick was a true friend and brother; a party animal to the end, and the greatest bullshit artist I ever knew.  I loved him dearly!







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