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Richard Michael Morten (Rick, Rico), age 48 passed away unexpectedly, Friday, August 23, 2019, at his home in Lexington, KY. He was born in Somers Point, NJ, grew up in Gaithersburg, MD, attended the Damascus schools, and graduated from Damascus High School in 1989.
Rick attended the University of Maryland, College Park, graduating in 1993 with a degree in Math Education. While there, he was a member of the fraternity, Theta Chi.
He loved dinosaurs, his Big Wheel, garbage trucks, Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, his dogs Coach and Charley, and his many friends.
While in high school and college, Rick worked at several restaurants. When he graduated, the Cooker restaurant offered to put him through their management training. He accepted and learned the business from the ground up, from waiting tables to bartending, and then serving as Manager and General Manager for noteworthy national restaurant chains including the Cooker Bar and Grill, Logan’s Roadhouse, and The Cheesecake Factory. He eventually relocated to Lexington, Kentucky.
From an early age, Rick was prone to fits of absurdity. He delighted in nonsense, engaged in frequent good-natured mischief, and wrote really bad poetry. We’re talking really bad. His adolescence directly inspired the popular Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things. This claim is impossible to substantiate, of course, but it is equally impossible to disprove; the similarities-- according to his closest friends-- are uncanny… except for the part about an evil alternate universe and a science teacher with access to a ham radio.
Rick had a horrible singing voice, but shared it generously. In fact, he was generous across the board, reliably kind and universally liked. Along with his friends, Rick was a pioneer in the field of podcasting, committing hours of pointless content to innumerous audio cassettes years before the technology was available to actually distribute it… which, in hindsight, is for the best. For some unknown reason, Rick, in his late teens, grew a mullet, and developed a deep affection for “prog rock”. From the mullet, he made a full recovery. It is believed, however, that Rick carried his prog rock condition with him to the grave.
In 2005, Rick took up residence on the Draenor server in a virtual role-playing game world known as World of Warcraft. By 2013, his online persona (a warrior named Brickwall) had reached level 90. About this achievement and the inordinate amount of time it took to reach it, Rick said “I’m an idiot.” An avid collector of comic books, he remained loyal to superhero movie franchises even when they, in Rick’s words, “screwed the pooch.” He was ill at ease with the trajectory of the Skywalker saga, and had grown increasingly frustrated with the treatment of zombies in popular entertainment. Still, he remained optimistic. Late in life, Rick confessed his two greatest fears were “giant fuzzy rabbits and attending clown school graduation.”
Rick is survived by his mother Barb, father Dick, sister Kate, nieces Taylor and Samantha, his maternal grandmother, uncles, aunts, cousins, and a group of childhood friends that will remain as loyal as ever.
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8pm on Friday, September 6th, 2019 at Molesworth Funeral Home at 26401 Ridge Road, Damascus, MD. In lieu of flowers, those wishing may contribute in his memory to the Damascus Volunteer Fire Department, 26334 Ridge Road, Damascus MD 20872, or to their favorite charity.
Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.molesworthwilliams.com