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RICHARD A. JASANY

RICHARD A. JASANY - BURLINGTON - Richard A. Jasany, 75, died suddenly and unexpectedly in his Burlington home on Nov. 22, 2012. Rick, as he was known to his countless friends, was born on Aug. 15, 1937, to John and Dorothy Levine Jasany in Cleveland, Ohio, an only child. Rick was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and had lived in San Francisco, Boston, and in Burlington since 1992, a city that he grew to love dearly. First and foremost, Rick was an avid film aficionado. He spent endless childhood hours in the darkened confines of his beloved Ezella Theatre in Cleveland, and the magic of 1940's movies were pivotal and instrumental in the formation of young Richie, as he was then called, and were the foundation of the values and ideals of the man known as Rick. He never outgrew the optimism and happy endings that those '40s films engendered, and he was an incurable romantic and sentimentalist, as well as an individual who placed trustworthiness at the very top of all human traits and virtues. During his college years in the '50s, Rick worked as a DJ and announcer at WGAR radio station in Cleveland where he hosted a late night jazz and American standards program. He often spoke of that experience with great fondness. Rick found great pleasure, joy, excitement, inspiration, and solace, not only in movie houses, but in ballparks, beer joints, jazz clubs, cabarets, concert halls, opera houses, live theatre venues, greasy spoons, and the very finest of dining establishments. He loved life! And he loved animals, especially cats! By his own admission, he despised cats until 1966 when a certain cat named Tiger weaseled its way into Rick's life and won over Rick's heart and mind. From that day forward, Rick absolutely adored cats for their unconditional love and suspended state of childishness. During his career, Rick worked in public relations as a writer and photographer during the '60s and '70s in San Francisco and was speechwriter for the President of Chevron Corporation during some of those years, as well as in public relations with Wells Fargo Bank, among others. He later worked for the New England Telephone Co. and Harvard University Medical School in Boston and IDX in Burlington. Rick was an avid and accomplished photographer. He worked as a free-lance photographer while living in San Francisco in the late 70's. At that time, he also worked in Harvey Milk's Camera Shop on Castro Street and was a front row participant and eyewitness to Harvey Milk's historic campaign and election as an openly gay candidate to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Some of his photography from this period chronicling the history of the San Francisco gay community is archived in various San Francisco historical organizations and web sites. More recently, Rick had exhibited his photography in Burlington. In addition to his photography, Rick had dabbled in acting during his past twenty years in Burlington. He performed leading roles in Champlain College Players' productions of "Merchant of Venice", "Ordinary People", "Thieves' Carnival", and "Death of a Salesman". Rick is survived by an extended family of friends in Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and California. Those who were fortunate to call Rick a friend will remember his wit, keen intelligence, humor, genuineness, commitment and loyalty to friends, his love of food and Shiraz wine, his thirst for knowledge and experiences, his love of travel and exploring new places, his love of sports, especially baseball and hockey. It was uncanny how Rick, not an athlete himself nor athletically inclined, had a special and unique love of sports. His favorite professional teams were the Cleveland Browns, the Cleveland Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco 49'ers, the Boston Red Sox, and last but not least, his beloved Boston Bruins hockey team. Rick could speak with passion and knowledge on many different subjects ranging from politics, to sports, to film, to music, to opera, and more! He was a truly remarkable conversationalist, as well as an interested listener. Rick's intelligence, intuition, ability to "read" people, and his grand life experiences were all factors that contributed to his ability to enrich the lives of others. He was a wise and compassionate mentor who embraced and enjoyed the role of "big brother" or "father figure" to many of his younger friends. Surviving friends who merit a special mention are Lee Soucie, Johnny Alexander, Rob Roach, Don Rowe, Carlene and Mitch Sperry, Harve and Jean Lubin, Carmen Hull, Frank and Gerry Hoffert, Shawn Berard., Scott Raymond, Ralph Simmons and Clay Marshia, affectionately known as "The Aunties", and the many residents of McCauley Square who remember Rick with much fondness and affection. And last, but not least, Rick is survived by his beloved cat, Eartha, who has now found a wonderful forever home with a trusted friend, a development that would thrill and gladden his heart beyond words! There will be no services at this time. There will be a memorial service/"farewell party", per Rick's written wishes, at a later date in the first half of 2013, and the date, time, and place will be announced. Disposal of Rick's ashes will take place at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, as Rick requested, sometime in the spring or summer of 2013. Arrangements are in the care of the Cremation Society of Chittenden County, a division of the Ready Family, Burlington. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.cremationsocietycc.com. For those who wish, contributions in honor of Rick's memory can be directed to the Humane Society of Chittenden County, 142 Kindness Court, South Burlington, VT 05403.


Published in The Burlington Free Press on Dec. 5, 2012
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