Friends Remember Richard
If you have stories about Rich you'd like to share, please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I've known Rich for 27 years. My family and I moved in next door to the Petrone family in Cherry Hill, NJ in August of 1978 when I was 16. At the time, I was very defiant about moving. As a teenager rooted in South Philly and about to enter my senior year of high school, the last thing I wanted to do was move to a suburban South Jersey community. I remember sitting in our family room sulking when my mom came in and yelled for me to "come outside and meet our new neighbors, the Petrones."
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Shannon (Fadem) Winkler, February 16, 2006
I can't believe a year has gone by and you're still not here. My heartaches for your family and friends. I miss you. I miss your infectious smile, your passion for life, your enthusiasm for everything you cared about. I miss hearing you talk about Angela with such pride and love. I miss you calling after an embarrassing Eagles loss to rub it in. I miss going to concerts with you, seeing your red Phillies cap in the pit, your fist in the air, singing with everything you had. I miss your brilliant mind, your quick, razor-sharp wit. I miss your friends. Your childhood friends, high school friends, the neighborhood guys, the guys from hockey, the bands. I miss that everywhere we went, we saw someone you knew, someone who lit up when they spotted you. I miss your stories. About growing up, concerts, the shore, girlfriends, the bakery, everyday life. You told the best stories. Most of all, I miss your laughter. That's what I hear, I see and feel when I think of you. You laughing.
And I'm sorry too. I'm sorry I took for granted that I'd see you again. That we'd run into each other at a show and laugh our asses off about being idiots and losing touch. I'm sorry I never got to meet Danielle. I'm sorry you haven't met my daughter, Eve. I'm sorry I assumed you'd always be here. That someone that means so much to so many people, someone with such a huge personality would always be with us. And I guess you are. In our thoughts and prayers. Everyday.
I'm grateful for the time we shared. For all you brought to my life. Thank you.
Love, Shannon (Fadem) Winkler
Anthony Ferrara, January 08, 2006
I played ice hockey with and against Rich. He was very passionate about the game he loved and was an excellent opponent and teammate. He is a genuinely great guy from a great family. I am grateful to have known Rich and still have faith we will see him again. His kind, genuine and friendly nature has touched many people who were fortunate enough to know him. May God bless Rich and his family in this troubled time. Return to us soon my friend.
Love, Anthony Ferrara, Jr, Cynthia (Ferrara) Feast and the entire Ferrara Family.
"On the day that you were born the angels got together and decided to create a dream come true, so they sprinkled moondust in your hair of gold, and starlight in your eyes of blue." The Carpenters... I remember, although I was only six years old at the time, Grandmom Petrone's proclamation that Marge had delivered the most beautiful baby in the world. This was a point of view not to be argued with, for the opponent would lose. After several years of being blessed with several more grandchildren, Grandmom still maintained the philosophy that there is still no one to compare with her first born grandchild Little Richard. Thankfully, from Christine on down to the rest of the other eight grandchildren, none of them required therapy due to this view point. Today, I will celebrate your inner beauty as well. If inward beauty is defined by the friendships we maintain through our lifetime, then you my nephew, are truly a beautiful man. Your friends demonstrated such loyalty, comraderie and generosity during the past six months it was truly overwhelming. If inward beauty is defined by family, then again, my nephew, you truly are a beautiful man. You would beam with pride in how your parents, sisters, and daughter Angela have maintained an unwaivering belief that the truth will prevail, have maintained dignity, during times where dignity would not be an option, for the honor and respect of their son, brother and dad. Yes, I was only six when you came into this world and it is with my six year old mentality that I will celebrate you. Everyone is entitled to their own version of heaven, so as I indulge in mine, I see you and gramps, somewhere to the south of the pearly white gates, crabbing off of a pier, enjoying the day. I hope that you are in a place as beautiful as you are.
All of my love, Aunt Lisa
I saw Richard almost every day I worked & he was always one of the most friendly,generous people I've met.One doesn't realize how much someone has been a part of thier lives until you don't see them anymore.
I painted a mural over Richards bed some years ago of Bobby Clark scoring a goal on goalie Chico Resch of the NY Islanders. It was not quite life size and in full color. Well Richard got to meet Bobby not long ago and he told him he slept under this image for a long time. Bobby seemed to get a big kick out of that and had a good laugh with Richard about it. Just weeks before his dissapearance Richard shared that story with me. A new memory for him that connected him to his childhood and his childhood hero. Rich was smiling that big smile combined with his boyish excitement left me with a nice, recent memory of him. I saw a lot of Richard and his family during those years when he was playing hockey. He grew into such an incredibly responsible adult and loving father. No surprise there. He made you feel good just being around him.
I remember well the time I came to collect for the Inquirer paper on Kings Dr and Rich answered the door. He was shocked to see little me wearing a RATT concert t-shirt. "Were you at the show too?", he asked. "No, my sister was" I proudly explained. I knew then she and Little Richard would make good concert buddies and friends one day. I hope they will see a show together again soon.
Back in school in the 80s I had a handicap. I was in the school library alone by myself because no one really talked to me. Richie came over and asked me what had happened to me and asked me a lot of questions. I never forgot that. From then on he always said hi to me whenever we passed each other. I remember him as being a really nice thoughtful person.
Songwriter Dave McDonald
Songwriter Dave McDonald of Nashville wrote a song title "Look a Little Closer (at the Poster on the Wall)" inspired by Richard and Danielle and hopes it will raise awareness of all missing people. You can listen to the mp3 and read the lyrics.