Derek (Rick) DruckerApril 20, 2012
I'm very sorry to report that my friend and classmate, Rick Drucker, passed away after a six month battle with melanoma. He is survived by his wife, Laurie, and daughters, Samantha and Jacqueline.
Rick was a really good guy and an awful lot of fun to be around. He was always a social leader in Dhahran, throwing great parties and leading friends on adventures through the desert, to the beach, and all over Dhahran. I spent the better part of a weekend with him in Reno several years ago. We went out to dinner with Laurie, then hit the bars, and ended up talking long into the night. I hadn't seen him in almost twenty years, yet it felt like we were returning students again. Ever the gracious host, he insisted I spend the night and ensured my glass was always full.
Rick also had a big heart. When he didn't have me rolling on the floor laughing with crazy stories from the old days he impressed me with his commitment to social justice. He told me about his work as an advocate for immigrants and for the poor, and talked about going to law school so he could do more for them. He will be missed. The Reno Gazette Journal published this obituary for him yesterday:
Derek (Rick) Drucker was born in Saudi Arabia, son of Fred H. Drucker and Jacqueline A. Drucker, brother to J. Eric Drucker and Laura Drucker. He grew up loving to camp in the deserts of Arabia, swimming, sailing and diving in the Persian Gulf. He spent six years in Beirut, Lebanon. It was an experience of living history in a land steeped in multicultural influences that induced a lifelong appreciation for different cultures and peoples. Everywhere he went, Rick found ways to connect with the people around him, leaving an imprint on all who met him.
He graduated from Cushing Academy in Massachusetts, and California State University at Chico with a degree in Psychology. He moved to San Francisco where he discovered surfing and Joseph Campbell. His adventurous spirit led him to rock climbing, wilderness survival, and a variety of occupations that included becoming a carpenter, chef, emergency medical technician, paralegal, private investigator, and housing counselor. He was an advocate for the rights of individuals, and worked for local non-profit agencies to provide legal assistance to the most needy in our community. Finally, as a housing counselor for Bank of America, he sought solutions for financially troubled families during the worst recession of his generation.
Rick spent much of his adult life in Nevada, and by the shores of Lake Tahoe met and married his wife, Laurie. His greatest adventure, and greatest achievement, was being a father to his lovely daughters, Samantha and Jacqueline.
His family gives thanks to the school and legal communities, to their friends and neighbors, to the circles of family and friends around the world who have traveled this final journey with him. In the words of Joe Campbell, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." Rick was.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an educational fund for his daughters at First Independent Bank of Nevada, (775) 824-4382, 5335 Kietzke Lane, Reno, NV 89571.
Please keep Rick and his family in your thoughts and prayers.
-Danny Norton DH 79
Sunny Berkeley, CA
Friend, Eric Borders, is collecting funds to commemorate Rick's life with a dedication stone and possibly a tree. Details can be viewed on Facebook at Rick Drucker Memorial Tree and Stone Donation Page!
Thanks to the suggestion of Julie Sawaya and in order to commemorate the passing of our friend, Rick Drucker (Dhahran Class of '79 to melanoma), I am coordinating the collection of funds to dedicate both a stone inscription and possibly a tree in a park near Rick and his family's home in Reno.
Rick's wife, Laurie, has offered the following suggestions:
"We are having his memorial at Rancho San Rafael Park in Reno. They have an arboretum and might be willing to plant a tree with a plaque there. They also have a labyrinth that Rick and I walked frequently, there is a path leading to the labyrinth with stones that can be inscribed...
We are also setting up an education fund for our daughters if people want to make donations to that, the account is at First Independent Bank of Nevada 775-824-4382, 5335 Kietzke Lane, Reno, NV 89571.
Any of these options are good for me, and my thanks to all who want to remember Rick in this way, Laurie"
I am going to contact the park tomorrow and find out the details about contributions. I will probably just set up a a PayPal account to collect the funds unless someone has an easier way in mind.
If you wish to contact Laurie by mail to express your condolences personally, Dan Norton has provided the following address that you can send cards and letters to:
3868 Vista Crest Drive
Reno, NV 89509
Thanks for your time and continue to hold your loved ones close.