Cambrian: Opinion

Thanks to all who supported and celebrated Richard Stacy’s life

Richard and Stephanie Stacy at their Cambria home in the summer of 2015.
Richard and Stephanie Stacy at their Cambria home in the summer of 2015.

Thank you for Sunday, June 15, 1986. This was the first of many special dates in Richard Stacy’s and my life. It is the date we met.  We had 30½ years of pure light-up-each-other’s-lives giggling, dancing and magical bliss. Getting married to me was after his wild and crazy life: We call that life BS. Before Stephanie.

At the urging of many who knew his stories, Richard wrote his memoirs, titled “Tales of a Psychedelic Warrior … You’ll Never Believe the Ending,” and they will be available on Kindle Publishing by December 2017. If you would like to be notified, once the memoirs are published, please to be put on the list.

Richard was diagnosed with ALS in the spring of 2015. He actually started feeling the effects of it in September 2014, and it took until the spring 2015 to fully diagnose the disease. Richard fought a hard battle, and ALS ultimately won, with Richard passing away May 23, 2017. We are obviously devastated to have lost Courtney, Cary and my Richie. I am thankful we have chosen to do as they no longer can do, and live every day to the fullest and focus on the positives, rather than the negatives.

ALS forced Richard to retire early. He loved working and schmoozing with all his clients. They also loved him.

Thankfully Richard was not one to sit around doing nothing, so he took up playing bridge. It had been on his bucket list. Thank you to all the bridge family in Cambria, Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Pismo and Paso Robles. You gave Richard a rewarding life for an extra 1½ years. Thank you to all bridge partners who drove Richard to bridge when he could no longer drive. Thank you, Marvin Weitzenhoffer, for coming home to Cambria early in order to be his main driver. And thank you to all who came to our home to play bridge, when Richard could no longer leave the house.

I am so thankful that Richard was so proactive with every step of preparing for his ALS. His attitude made life so easy for me. I continually told him that. Anyone who followed him on Facebook could see that he was constantly going for the laugh. How cool is that? During the last few weeks, both Richard and I felt like we were living someone else’s life. We were planning for his “death watch” as he called it. Wilshire Hospice was amazing and wonderful with those preparations.

Thank you to Wilshire Hospice for being on board from November 2016. You definitely took the fear factor out of everything that was going on for Richard and our family, during the last six months of his life. And with your guidance, VSED (voluntarily stopping eating and drinking) was truly the most natural process of Richard choosing to shut down his body. Thank you.

Thank you, Mike and Rob Klatt, for keeping us supplied with the best-ever homemade egg rolls.

Thank you for the wonderful pictures on the back page of The Cambrian announcing Richard’s Celebration of Life, Laughter & Love. Those two pictures, Richard and Tom Benton surf kayaking, and Richard and I swing dancing, were the epitome of Richie and his energy for life.

Thank you to all who helped prepare for Richard’s celebration. Thanks to the many who participated in these preparations, including the Cookie Crock, Jim Major and the Joslyn Center, Marvin and Sheila Weitzenhoffer for all their help in reserving the Joslyn Center, helping with donations, decorations, and all their support at all times! Tina Solar for picking up Richard’s brother Bert Stacy at the airport on the morning of the celebration, The Cambrian, Renee Linn for all the delicious cookies, Tom and Jill Benton for their support at all times and helping with India’s transportation to and from gymnastics, Peggy Christiansen for organizing the flash mob, all the couples who participated in the flash mob, Barbara and David Slone for all the yummy snacks, Emily Fitzgerald, Kristina and Clayton Noble helping set-up the Joslyn Center, Jules Carcanague for providing lodging at Creekside Inn, Damion Markham, Rob Yates and Melissa Candela our master of ceremonies/celebration coordinator.

Thank you to all who were able to attend Richard’s celebration. Since Richard was so proactive about his ALS, two weeks before he started VSED, I asked him if he had ideas of what he wanted for his celebration and would he read the speech I was writing. He said “Sure, I’d be glad to.” I asked how many he expected to attend. He said probably between 30 and 300. There were close to 400 in attendance, including all who were standing outside.

And thank you to North Coast Ocean Rescue for the paddle out the following morning. I participated, and it was so-o-o-o-o-o much fun.

Thank you to everyone for honoring my Richie.

Stephanie Stacy is a longtime resident of Cambria.