William 'Rick' Windes
January 21, 1955 - March 14, 2004

Memorial for Rick Windes
in San Francisco

Hello all...
Lisa the president of Tsunami Swim Club has planned a memorial for Rick Windes. It will be held Monday, March 29 from 7:30-9:30 at the SF Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Center (SFLGBTCenter), 1800 Market St, 4th floor.

We'll start with a potluck dinner from 7:30-8:30 and everyone will have the  opportunity to  share memories of Rick at 8:30. If you have them, please bring any photos or memories you have of Rick that you'd like to share with the group. And please also bring something to share for the potluck.
Also, if you know folks outside of Tsunami (either in PMS or IGLA) or former Tsunamis, RockMed or HAFCi.org who are not on the team's email list who might be interested in attending this event, please feel free to invite them. And let me know if you have questions--

Best regards,
Lisa  ElisabethCongdon@yahoo.com

Grave site Services for  Rick Windes will be held on
Tuesday March 30, 2004 1:00PM
Rockville Cemetery 707-864-2421
4219 Suisun Valley Rd

Directions: (Click Here for Map) If you'd like to attend we'll see you there.
This is a nice drive to the country 1 hour away from the SF.  
Take Bay Bridge onto I-80 EAST (Portions toll). 39.9 miles
Take the SUISUN VALLEY ROAD exit. 0.2 miles
Turn LEFT onto SUISUN VALLEY RD. 1.9 miles
Suisun Valley = FAIRFIELD CA

Sympathy Cards

William 'Rick' Windes

My love swims beside me.
In clear blue water.
That caresses our bodies,
Like a mothers loving touch.

His body glistens
With the suns rays,
As he glides effortlessly
Through the water.

Our hearts pound,
As he races ahead of me,
Time seems to stand still,
With the thrill of competition.

My love smiles at me,
As he waits for me at the finish.
The exhilaration we feel,
Will last us for an eternity.

Cris Meier-Windes

{ Click Here For More Photos of Rick }

{ Discussion Forums for Rick }

{ Click Here For More Letters from Friends }

Rick Cris & Bob Christmas Eve 2003

William Richard Windes
January 21, 1957 – March 14, 2004

March 20, 2004 By John Rick's Brother-in-Law

We are here today to remember and celebrate Rick’s life and our hope in his resurrection. There are many ways to remember Rick’s life and many themes to touch on as we honor him. As with any life, there are sad ,happy, and idiosyncratic events that occur, and when I/we finish speaking here, we would like all of you to have the opportunity to share thoughts or anecdotes about Rick. Think of us/me as merely the catalyst that begins this eulogy.

Rick was born in West Germany. The family returned to live in South Dakota, Alabama, Oklahoma, California, and Hawaii, all over, but not in that order. They returned to Germany when Rick and Michele were in high school.
When I first met the Windes family back in 1976, I heard a lot about Rick, the swimmer and Rick, National Merit Scholar Finalist. 8th in the world at 800 m in swimming, a candidate for the Olympic trials while still a teenager, only to be sidelined by mononucleosis. I thought, yes, but I run faster than he can swim. All-league in 400 m, and the captain of the swim team at Santa Monica High. He swam at my high school when I was there and little did we know that our paths would cross and I would marry his sister.

 When they were kids Rick, Robin, and Michele used to play board games, usually Stratego or Risk which he won or sometimes Clue which someone else could occasionally win. And once, proving his

I was told that he pretty much could go to school anywhere he wanted to, having been accepted at the top schools in the country. He ended up sampling many of them, as he sought to figure out who he was and what he wanted to do: North Carolina State, UC Santa Cruz, Berkeley, Georgetown, Bartending School, and finally, finishing his degree at the University of San Francisco, where he ended up making his home with Cris.

I was impressed and slightly intimidated, especially when Rick, the knowledgeable one, began asking me my opinion, maybe less asking and more orating, on the successes and failures of the Confederate Army at The battle on Antietam Creek, or the events at Foggy Bottom under Coronel Mustard on Saturday the 5th of May 1866, or some such date that the rest of us failed to appreciate . We all have stories of Rick’s amazing memory and interest in the Civil War, his ability to speak to any topic with precision and knowledge of the most minute details.

One of my favorite anecdotes on Rick’s ability to talk comes from my mother. A few years back, when my parents visited Rick and Cris in San Francisco, they were treated to a show called Beachblanket Babylon and they went out to dinner in triangularly shaped restaurant. As the meal arrived, Rick , enthusiastically and characteristically, launched into a topic on something that required a great deal of explanation. He talked and talked. The food began to grow cold. Cris waited patiently and Rick continued on. Finally, with his gentle nature that Michele and I have come to respect and admire all through Rick’s illness, Cris reached over to Rick, patted him on the arm and said,” Don’t forget to eat.”

When he was so sick and being treated for diabetes, I thought he was supposed to watch his diet, eat fruits and vegetables, drink milk, and go to sleep at eight, but he seemed to eat whatever he could find and he drank a lot of Coca Cola. I have a picture of him in my mind holding the door of the refrigerator open, leaning over and evaluating the contents of the frig for minutes at a time. Deciding, evaluating the pros and cons of each item. Since he didn’t really have a bedtime, he would often read until late into the night, or work on the computer, and of course, he would get hungry and go foraging in the kitchen.

Once upon a time we had a large dog named Jack and we fed Jack dog jerky from a large Costco bucket that had emblazoned on the side the word jerky in large letters. As it was late at night and Rick had only one good eye, he failed to detect the name of the species for which the food was intended. So in the morning when I went to get a treat for the dog, I cried out, “ Hey, where’d all the dog jerky go?” Sheepishly, he admitted that it had tasted pretty good. The story is now legend in our family.
Rick would travel by air, boat, train, or car. He had this indomitable spirit and never quit wanting to experience life. We picked him up once in Dana Point just two years ago in our little 17 foot boat when the neuropathy had deadened the feeling in his feet. His feet flopped as he walked onto the dock. Everything bobbed and moved on the water, and Rick, with staff in hand steadied himself and eased onto the boat. We motored two very pleasant hours down the coast to Oceanside, stopping for Rachel to surf and JM to fish on the way back. He was happy with that.

He worked for the Army as a civilian for many years, and he loved opera. He was the founder of the Masters Swim team in San Francisco. He skied using the unique Japanese technique of Akimbo, arms and legs akimbo. (How someone could swim so well, better than 99.9% of the human race, and ski with that Japanese style fascinated me. But then I heard that he fell off the high dive onto the pool deck when he was a kid. That let me know that he was an athletic mortal.) He was an uncle who cherished his nieces and nephews. I have fond memories of the children riding on his shoulders when they were little and he was healthier. He remembered their birthdays and sent them gifts.

On Robin’s 12th birthday, Rick had left for the US to live in Santa Monica and swim for a certain coach, the rest of the family was still in Germany. Bill picked Robin up from school and there was a lovely bouquet of flowers on the seat for her 12th birthday. The flowers were from Rick. This was her first bouquet and it was special to receive them from Rick since he was so far away and they missed him.
He was the protective big brother, once taking the heat as a kid when his sisters ran away from his supervision.

Rick was tough and fought his ailments for a long time. He suffered from AIDS, and later had to deal with the loss of feeling in his feet as the medicines’ life prolonging side effects took their toll. He became blind in one eye, learned to live with the annoyance of diabetes, and suffered the withering effects of a liver that stopped doing its job. He continued to swim when he could, and to provide leadership to the Tsunami swim team. We thought he was gone many times but he amazed us all by rallying. He was resilient and he wanted to live.

He took communion last Thursday and found hope in Christ’s resurrection. As we mourn our loss and remember his life, we will do well to remember his resiliency, his hope.

When life gets difficult and things are tough, I’ll remember Rick, and the effort that he made to live and enjoy the gift of life that God gave him.
Tell me not , in mournful numbers--
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
and things are not what they seem.

Life is real! Life is EARNEST!
and the grave is not the goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,