A native Phoenician passed away on Thursday, February 10, 2011 surrounded by his loving family. He was the son of Leon S. and Dorothy Black. Rick attended Kenilworth grade school, Phoenix Union and West High Schools, Stanford, U of A law school, and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. He was a prominent trial attorney known for initiating research and producing the first instructional film for preventing head and spinal cord sports injuries, leading to the reduction of quadriplegia in football. Rick’s involvement in our community included serving on the American Board of Trial Attorneys, Navy League, 20-30 Club, memberships in the Phoenix Country Club and Wine & Food Society, and was a lifelong member of Historic First Presbyterian Church. Rick was a pilot and sportsman who enjoyed flying his Cessna 172 tail-dragger, auto racing, and all athletics. He was invited to the Olympic trials in the 400m with a time of 47.4 seconds that stood as the U of A stadium record for decades. Rick also loved coaching. He started the football program at All Saints Episcopal Day School, and coached football at Scottsdale Community College and track at Valley Lutheran High School. He looked forward to the Refsnes races every New Year’s Day and loved to spend time with his family and friends at his cabins in Oak Creek Canyon, his property in Rocky Point, and on his yacht in San Diego.
Predeceased by his parents; brother, Leon; son, Patrick; and step-grandson, Eric, he is survived by his wife of 55 years, Patti; sons Rick Jr. (Linda), Brian (Lisa), and Blaine (Suzanne); his adored granddaughters Brittany, Ashley, Alexis, Mackenzie, Natalie, Georgia, and Kelly; and his nieces/nephews. He died at the age of 77.
Visitation 4 – 7 pm Friday, February 18, 2011 Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road. Memorial Service 11:00am Saturday, February 19, 2011 Christ Church Lutheran, 3901 E. Indian School Road. Private Interment. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower, Phx., AZ 85014.