RIP RichVR: now bending God's ear with tales of his rambunctious early days

I’m sorry to have to tell you all that RichVR died over the weekend, presumably from a stroke or a fall. His ex-wife contacted me to let me know that he’d been experiencing difficulty with mobility and had called EMS a few times to help him after suffering a fall. It seems that he might have hit his head during one of the episodes. She went to check on him Monday morning and found he’d died.

I don’t have any additional info at this time, and I confess I don’t know his last name, so searching for obituaries in Florida isn’t very helpful. If anyone has more info to pass along, please feel free, and I’ll add anything else I learn here. I’m told donations aren’t necessary and there likely won’t be a funeral service.

His ex-wife did want to stress how much we’d all meant to him:

I never met Rich in person, but I did spend some time with him over the phone. He was fussing about having to get a walker, and I told him about the “Foodbot” I have to jack into to eat since I can’t swallow anything, and how I’d given it a name and put stickers on it and made it my own rather than thinking of it as an impersonal medical device I need. I’m not sure if he ever gave his walker a name, but my suggestion was “Legs”. He seemed to take the suggestion with his characteristic gruffness. I know I’m not the only one to have spent time with Rich in recent months.

For those of us who got to know him through threads here – Rich was NOT shy about sharing his backstory! – we met a Brooklyn biker and bouncer who used to rub elbows with the moderately rich and famous, who had a ready store of lively anecdotes about his youth, and who eventually moved to Florida to hang out with all the other whackjobs and nutbags and retirees. When I think of Florida, I have to admit I have a bit of a softer spot for it because Rich had lived there, because he had swirled some of his own craziness in with the retirees and Cubans and rednecks and swamprats, because he had made it his own a little. Now when I think of Florida, I’ll think of the man I never met but knew well, who wrapped himself in its weirdness and owned a little of it for a time. I’ll miss him, but I’ll never forget him, and I’m glad he’s found peace.

Aw, man, that is the absolute worst. I know he was going through a tough spot but we were all pulling for him to get things back in line. I’ll miss his stories, he truly had a fascinating life and was fun to talk with. If there’s a rest after this life, he’s earned it. I enjoyed knowing you, Rich.

Well shit. Hats off to ya, Rich. You’re one of my favorites. And thank you again for the wonderful Secret Santa gift.

Oh my god. Tomorrow really is promised to none.

RIP Rich. Or rest in a continual state of troublemaking if you prefer.

Hugs :(

I was just reminded that I’d done a podcast with Rich in 2017, which is obviously one of the reasons I felt l knew him as well as I did:

I had thought his last name was Romano, but Google didn’t return any recent obituaries under that name yet.

RIP, Rich.

Holy shit! What a loss! Fuck. FUCK. RIP sir. Fuck!

I’m so sorry to hear it. Rest in peace, Rich.

RIP Rich, I hope you are in a better happier place now.

Aw, that’s crummy news. I loved his outrageous stories, and was (like all of us) pulling for him to get back to a string of good days. He’ll be missed.

I move that the Empire State Building be renamed to the Rich Romano Memorial Building.

RIP RichVR. Always loved hearing the stories, and generally anything he’d post.

I did get to meet Rich once in person when I was down in Orlando (pictured below - @arrendek , me, Rich). He came across just the same in person as what you get online, the retired guy next door with a whole heck of a lot of crazy stories about his younger days. I’ll miss his occasional random thought post or outlandish story, but I’m sure he’s much more at peace now without those physical ailments that troubled him.

Ah man that sucks. He had such a distinct voice and point of view and subversive humor. We’ll miss you, Rich.

This is shitty news. Very sorry to hear that Rich has passed. Rest in peace gamesman.

Ugh. RIP Rich.

Oh man, this sucks. :(

May he rest in peace. I’ll miss him.

Rest in peace, the world is a bit worse now.

I’m really sorry to hear this! Rest in peace, Rich. :(

Damn. This was not the update I wanted to see.

Man I’m really sorry to read this. Rich was one of the great characters of QT3 and I loved his stories that came out mid-thread that just gave you pause to think about how varied here we all are, yet the same in our love for this place.

We all know he was having a tough time of late, and his unmentioned comments at other things, perhaps that was the medical ailments he was suffering from. So sad to hear he passed, and even sadder that it may have been at home, alone.

Rest in peace, friend. I’ll miss you. Give me a big neon sign so I can see you and wander over to chat once I pass as well, brother.