memories

I am Richard's cousin, Sue Schaeffer....our moms were sisters. We grew up in a small town, Virginia, Il., and having Richard as a cousin was very exciting! I remember laughing, teasing, joking, and anxiously awaiting his visits to our house! Being six yrs. older than I, he had graduated and gone 'off to college' before I was in high school. Reading the wonderful memories sent by students, peers, and others who knew him, brought me to tears! He never bragged or told us much about his work, so learning of his contributions to the academic world was quite impressive! One of the things I remember was that we had a 'flash cube' (on the much older cameras) contest of sorts each time he would come over. We secretly stashed away our old ones so we could 'get' the other one first by putting them in the other's pockets!...so simple and so silly, but it was so much fun! We'd run around the house trying to 'win' this silly obsession of ours til we laughed ourselves sick. As you all know, he didn't give up! Very competitive. He always beat me at ping pong, but we played another game of trying to knock the other person off balance by standing still, feet apart, and smacking each other's hands until the other one fell off balance. I most frequently won that game, and it made him so frustrated! One of my most pleasant memories was usually on holidays.....his family would come over and after the meal it would be POKER TIME!!!! Always dealer's choice, and what a fun time we had! Richard always made things more fun. There was such ferver in him. However with my mom and his mom, we could barely get through a game! We laughed til we cried! He was the janitor at the Methodist Church, played basketball, football, and the trombone in the band. His mom told me that when he was young, he'd come into their bedroom every night with a problem. She'd ask him how he might solve it, and/or give him suggestions until he was satisfied. He started early learning to think and solve problems! All in all, I will miss him greatly. Such a unique individual and a deffinite contributor to his fellow man! I'm proud that he was my cousin!!!

-Sue Schaeffer