65, had a marvelous yet rare infectious enthusiasm
Richard Charles Waldorf died on Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.
He was born on Sept. 16, 1952, the fifth child of Miriam and Helmuth Waldorf of Manhasset, N.Y.
After attending the local public schools, Rick spent his high school years at Suffield Academy in Connecticut where he was a star fullback on the varsity soccer team.
Rick was a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, where he earned a B.A. in Art History and English Literature in 1974. He earned a Masters in Architecture from Virginia Tech University, where he met Elizabeth Morrow, who was also pursuing a degree in architecture. They married in 1983.
After architecture school, Rick and Elizabeth looked westward, seeing professional opportunities in Denver, which was emerging as the dynamic city of the West. After working corporately for a few years (The Luckman Partnership, Perez Associates, Communication Arts), Rick formed his own company, Forma Design Arts. Through Forma Design Arts, he participated in many architectural, graphic arts, design and development projects across the greater Denver area and in Buena Vista. Rick designed the mail center for Game Trail subdivision north of Buena Vista.
Rick possessed the drawing talent of an artist, the eye of a photographer and the mastery of scale, dimension, beauty and balance essential to an architect. He brought all these and other talents to his professional work, along with his overall friendliness and gift for appreciating and collaborating with colleagues and clients.
Over the years Rick often expressed his spiritual appreciation of the West. He admired the wide skies, with their dramatic weather panoramas. He engaged with Colorado’s weather daily as a miracle he appreciated and understood. Any friend or family member who wanted to know about a lovely road trip, anywhere in the West, called Rick. He drew upon detailed maps, offered detailed routes and named carefully identified pleasures along the way. Rick deftly introduced many people to the Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming and Idaho views that he loved.
His annual motorcycling trips with family and friends were the summer highlight for Rick. He organized the trips, took responsibility for his fellow cyclists and relished it all.
Chief among Rick’s endearing qualities was his enthusiasm. Whether he was taking the stairs two steps at a time, cheering Andrew, Jono and Sarah at their sports events, exhorting the Tar Heels and the Broncos to beat Duke and the Cowboys, raving over Elizabeth’s phenomenally delicious meals, praising the weather, greeting the day with a perfect cup of coffee – Rick had that marvelous yet rare infectious enthusiasm.
Dearest to his heart, always, were Elizabeth, Andrew, Jono and Sarah Belle. Luca, the cosmic cat, also had a straight line to Rick’s heart. For Rick, his family was number one. The most important and treasured part of his life, every day.
The kidney cancer that took Rick away was cruel. Every day there was suffering and the heavy weight of uncertainty. Nonetheless, Rick remained hopeful, determined and focused. He never lost his grip.
Before he left us, Rick lost his brother Bert Waldorf in 1970, and his sister Carol Waldorf Lohr in 2008.
He is survived by his loving brothers Bill Waldorf of Buena Vista and Gary Waldorf of Chapel Hill, N.C. And he leaves behind his most loved ones, his true love Elizabeth Morrow Waldorf and the children he adored, Andrew, Jonathan and Sarah.
Rick’s family expresses special gratefulness to Bill and Arlene Waldorf, for all of their advice and support over the final year of his life. No other people could have performed this service so well and lovingly. The family also sends heartfelt thanks to Sevier and Jennifer Bonnie, best friends for life and a warm source of support during Rick’s illness.
A memorial service will be held at Olinger Chapel Hill in Centennial, Saturday, Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.
Only in the days to come will we know how much we miss him.