In Memory

Rick Lacey

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08/27/19 07:23 PM #1    

Sean Kelley

Sean Kelley

Dear fellow NTE Class of ‘74 alumni:: I’m saddened to share the news about the passing of another classmate. Rick Lacey was killed in an automobile accident last September in Florida. Rick was a husband and a father of five children and several grandchildren.  

Rick and I were best friends during our New Trier days. He was always funny, quick-witted and inclusive of others, no matter their backgrounds. Rick was also the ultimate non-conformist; while he was a brilliant guy, studying, working in class, etc., never interested him. Rick disliked school so much, he ended up dropping out of New Trier before  his senior to work instead. He returned the following year to finish high school and get his degree.

Around that time, Rick converted to Christianity, and began to help others who were struggling with their own faiths. While I still considered him a good friend, our paths began to separate; I spent the next several years chasing my college degree and figuring out my work career, while Rick was happy enough to work in factory jobs, driving trucks, etc. While Rick was not exactly your traditional student, he learned a lot through reading and listening to others. 

My memories of Rick included driving to almost all NTE football games, both home and away, during our junior year, skitching behind cars during snowstorms, hanging out at my family’s cabin in Whitewater, WI and driving to god-knows-where in his family’s Volkswagen Beetle. And, since he looked a lot older than the rest of us, Rick was able to leverage his looks by buying beer and liquor for the rest of us. Yep, we managed to kill a lot of brain cells together back in those days. 

While Rick was physically strong (thereby earning the nickname “Ape”), he was not terribly athletic. He struck out 99% of the time in Kenilworth Little League Baseball, yet the one time I saw hit hit the ball resulted in one of longest home runs in league history. 

I’ll always remember Rick for all of the laughs we shared (I was amazed at his imagination and all of the crazy shit he could think up), the  heart-to-heart discussions about life (he almost convinced me one time that the U. S. needed to switch to a communist-style of government. Luckily, common sense prevailed), and just all of times we spent just hanging out. 

Last time I remember seeing Rick was during the 1990 Sears reunion at the skating house next to Townley Field. He was happy, still funny to listen to, and enjoying life as a father. 

I’m thinking that with his early conversion to Christianity, Rick already punched his ticket to heaven. As for me, I remain a work in progress for the afterlife. 

Sorry to take so long in waxing nostalgia about Rick. I will always have great memories of Rick. Feel free to add your thoughts about Rick here.

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