DeKALB – Ricardo Allen "Rick" "Rator" Calderon, 59, of DeKalb, Ill., passed away Wednesday, May 1, 2013, at home, following a long illness.|
Born Jan. 2, 1954, in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Casper John and Josephine Marguerite (Wacker) Calderon, Rick spent his high school years in Mexico City, where his father was employed. He then attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., starting in 1972. After spending several years in the Phoenix Valley area working at a record store, he moved to DeKalb in 1978.
He graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1982, and was employed at NIU in Instructional Communications as a technical operator until he retired in 2008. While at NIU, he was active in designing, installing and maintaining audio/visual systems around the campus. He was known as "The Sound Guy."
In 2005, NIU football coach Joe Novak credited Rick with being an important part of NIU's MAC title win by assisting in preparing the team by creating a 94-decibel sound level at the stadium during practice, to prepare players for the deafening crowd sound and chaos that they would need to endure and deal with in order to win. He was the holder of two patents for computer installed stereo PA amplifier cards.
Rick was a very active member of the DeKalb community since arriving in 1978. He created and participated in many music ensembles and performances both as a musician and as an engineer. He created Punto Cinco, an alternative music space in downtown DeKalb, which presented live concerts and performances.
Rick served as the audio engineer for the DeKalb Municipal Band for many years, assisting Dee Palmer in presenting seasons of summer concerts. He was a basketball fanatic and played at least three times weekly until very recently. A favorite quote when asked about keeping up with younger, faster players was, "They can't go to their left."
Rick's favorite mode of transportation was his feet, walking daily to and from work at the university, to his friends' houses and to the local establishments. When further distances were covered, he would take his bicycle.
Rick was a friend, companion and helper to many, and would always be there when his assistance was needed. For the last several years of his father's life, Rick would frequently travel to Texas to assist with transporting his father to his dialysis appointments and assisting his mother. When one of his friends in DeKalb became terminally ill, he drove him to appointments in Chicago, visited and stayed with him during his hospital stays, and assisted him at home. Rick was a fixture in DeKalb, and his presence will be missed.
He is survived by his mother, Josephine (Wacker) Calderon of San Antonio, Texas; brother, John Calderon of Redmond, Ore.; sister, Marguerite Calderon (Steven) Bailey of Wilmington, Del., and her daughters, Megan (Richard) Stevenson of Wilmington and their children Tucker and Bailey, Kelly (Keith) Counsellor of Smyrna, Del., and their children Amber and Jordan, and Kristen Mans of Macon, Ga., and her children Alexa, Madeline and Nickolaus; and several aunts and uncles.
Rick was preceded in death by his father, Casper Calderon.
The memorial service will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, at Anderson Funeral Home, DeKalb, with the Rev. Ray Krueger officiating. The visitation will be from 3 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Cremation will follow services at Anderson Funeral Home Crematory.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Ricardo Allen "Rick" "Rator" Calderon Memorial Fund, sent in care of Anderson Funeral Home, P.O. Box 605, 2011 S. Fourth St., DeKalb, IL 60115.
For information, visit www.AndersonFuneralHomeLtd.com or call 815-756-1022.
Published in Daily Chronicle on May 6, 2013