An update to The Genius on Campus

I rarely post three times a week but this post is worth it.

Last week I wrote about my friend Rich, the Genius on Campus. Kat and Rene expressed interest on Rich’s life after college. Curious myself I took timeout on Sunday, found my old college yearbook and did some investigating.

I immediately found our dorm with me and my fellow residents standing out front. Not surprisingly Rich was not with us. As mentioned in the post he was always away working on his studies.

Thankfully the page included a list of names. I knew his first name but could not remember his last.

Doing some investigating it didn’t take long to find Rich. Unfortunately the news was not what I had expected.

Rich died of cancer in October of 2014.

Life is interesting, isn’t it? Here is guy up until last month I had not thought of for a long time. Had it not been for a chance meeting with him and his English assignment he would have blended in with all the other faces.

The last time I saw Rich was in 1991. Probably graduation day. But the sadness I felt learning of his passing struck me as though I had lost a good friend.

Memories have that effect, don’t they.

The post I wrote had a lot to do with me and how smart I felt helping the genius on campus. But I have a feeling Rich would have done just fine without me. Had I not come across him that day I’m positive he would have collected himself, picked up the pieces and created the type of work the teacher wanted.

For my part all I did was speed up the process. On the plus side the experience allowed me to get to know this quiet genius for a little while.

If I were to have had the chance to have spoken to Rich in his final months I have a feeling he would have had little to no regrets in his professional life.

He had a passion and a dream and he succeeded in making them a reality. That is something we all strive for.

I’ve included the link to his obituary at the bottom of the page. If I messed up and it doesn’t work do a Google search – Richard Bley Ashland, Oregon. If that doesn’t work e-mail me and I’ll send you the link:

I was never the type of student he was but I hope my craziness gave him an occasional smile. I do know this: I now know what it’s like to be dedicated to a craft and fulling a dream.

Thanks, Rich.




21 thoughts on “An update to The Genius on Campus

  1. Even though your college friend was very far removed from where I am at, some how hearing he passed brought sadness after reading his obit. As I read it I realized he never married, God Bless Rich.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a gut punch this is Bryan – it was a sad obituary. He went so far in life and clearly all his hard work paid off, and all for naught as he was not around long to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dang, 5 patents! You weren’t kidding when you said he was brainy. But the thing that made me sad was that he’d be “greatly missed by his family and many friends,” and I’m sure it was his family and friends, not his patents, that made his life so full.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes you are right Priscilla and his parents had already predeceased him and someone else they mentioned. Yes, the patents were his passion and made his life so full. Very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. As I was mentioning to Roberta, many of us naturally assume we’ll be alive for a long time. Not once did it enter my mind he may have died. He followed his passion. That’s a lot to say about someone.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel such a strange pain learning of Rich’s passing and I had never met him! I’m sorry for your loss Bryan. You are a wonderful human. I wish this world has more people like you.
    Again I am so sorry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kat. Thank you.

      I’ve haven’t seen him since 1991 and aside from the work him and I did on his assignment there wasn’t a lot of interaction, but like you said there is a pain in learning of his passing. Maybe bringing a memory back brings a person to life. I don’t know.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you, Staci.

    That is my favorite memory. The campus bar was conveniently set just down the hill. I have a feeling I took him way out of his natural environment. Who knows, that might have set the tone of getting out and having fun later in life. I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is so sad. It sounds like he was very accomplished and also very loved, judging by the amount of people listed on his obituary. It’s been some time, but may he rest in peace!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Jay. It was a shock to me as well. A lot of time has passed since I last saw him but I assumed he was alive and well. We forget sometimes that isn’t always the case. On a positive note he led a full life and followed his passion. Thank you for your comment.

    Liked by 1 person

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