Richard Venezky 16 April 1938 - 11 June 2004

It is with great sadness and honor that I announce the death of my father, Richard Lawrence Venezky, on June 11th, 2004. My father was an amazing man who excelled in so many ways and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to not only write updates on his condition but also to receive many wonderful comments in return. I have learned so much about my father over the past year and a half. Your stories and well wishes verify my feelings that he was a loving father, a caring husband, a loyal friend, a committed mentor, an inspiring teacher, an honored scholar, an avid collector, and a gifted gardener. He greatly enriched our lives and we will all miss him dearly. I would love to be able to sit with each and every person to record all the stories and I hope you will continue to email me with thoughts about Dad.

I have many stories to share of my own too. I grew up thinking that adulthood involved marriage to someone you loved filled with fun parties in junkyards and vacations to exciting places, that being well-read with multiple hobbies was important, and that no matter how brilliant or famous someone was, they were still just a person. He made these things look so easy that I thought one day it would all just happen for me too. I now understand that he worked hard to make these things happen but that he enjoyed what he did so much that it never looked like work.

In the past few weeks I have thought about the pain of losing Dad and come to realize how fortunate I am to have had him in my life for so long. He fought the cancer with such dignity and strength that we really thought there was nothing he couldn't do. I realize that there will be many unanswered questions but that one of the gifts my father gave to me was the determination to learn on my own and the joy in doing so. I will always want to know exactly how I can best educate my children or how he made his garden grow but I will also take pleasure in knowing that he is proud of me as I go through this process of discovery. Stephen and I are going to work to make sure that our children know Dad and have some of the same benefits I have had growing up. I will think of him every time I work in the garden, eat a vegetable, read a book, or learn a new skill. Stephen, Benjamin, and I love you Dad.