February 22, 2018 Surrounded by family and dearest friends, Rick lost his battle with lung cancer on February 22nd. Born in Berkeley and raised in Sacramento, Rick was a naturalist from childhood. He attended Encina High School and CSUS where he obtained degrees in Biology. He loved nature and the outdoors and spent many hours throughout his life exploring flora and fauna around the world. Rick was a star in cross country and track at Encina HS and enjoyed running throughout his life including the Boston Marathon in 1985. An avid bird watcher, Rick loved sharing his knowledge and after retiring as Director of the Western IPM Center at UC Davis, he became a docent at the Yolo Basin Foundation where he taught pond study for the Discover the Flyway program teaching children K-8th about ecosystems. Rick also led tours of the Davis Wetlands and Yolo Basin Wildlife area. Rick was a brewer of beer, nature photographer, gardener, voracious reader and a good friend to all. He was always willing to lend a hand or share information with friends, neighbors and colleagues. The outpouring of love and support for Rick during his final weeks was a testament to his legacy. Rick is survived by his wife of nearly 38 years, Oleta, son Eric and brothers Mark (Debbie) and John (Marilyn) Melnicoe, Cheryl Magnus and nieces and nephews who he dearly loved. He was preceded in death by his parents William Melnicoe and Jean Shirley. The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff of the UCD Medical Center, Davis Tower, 14th floor for their compassion and support. If desired, donations may be made to the UCD Health System, Thoracic Oncology Research Fund(HORJ401/Riess), 4900 Broadway, Suite 1150, Sacramento, CA 95820 or the YBF Discover the Flyway, PO Box 943, Davis, CA 95617. A celebration of life will be held in June.
Published in The Sacramento Bee from Mar. 2 to Mar. 4, 2018.