In Memory

Rick Melnicoe

Passed away on February 22, 2018, at age 66, in Davis, CA.


Richard Melnicoe

Surrounded by family and dearest friends, Rick lost his battle with lung cancer on February 22nd, 2018. 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 on Mar. 2, 2018.

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03/02/18 08:24 PM #1    

Lynda Benvenuti (Taylor)




 I am sorry I didnt know Rick better. He was a wonderful and interesting person.   My sympathy to his family and friends...


03/03/18 08:12 AM #2    

Linda Sheppard

This is such sad news. Rick, Debbie Moore, Gary Gunderson and I had a running joke All through high school. Wish I could share it with you but he and Gary never let Debbie or me know how to spell the secret word. He even brought it up at the last reunion we both attended. Such a full of life and kind guy. Always brightened the day when you talked with him. My heart goes out to his family. 

03/04/18 11:34 AM #3    

Rick Bragg

I knew Rick mostly from P.E. classes and cross country.  I was the worst of the 8 varsity runners, he was by far the best.  He was humble and encouraging, especially on those few occasions when I kept up with him for awhile.  I know he always hoped I'd catch or pass him in a race.  Nice guys finish first and last!


03/04/18 01:07 PM #4    

Michael Brown

I really didn't know Rick all that well,  But my prayers goes to his family.

03/05/18 08:43 AM #5    

Charla Meacham (Francis)

Sorry to see this obituary. I remember Rick as friendly, a good student and pleasant young man.  Happy to see he was interested and engaged in environmental activities.

03/05/18 02:17 PM #6    

Mike Macaulay

I new Rick as a junior and senior. He introduced me to a conservation club run by his Dad. We made several field trips working closely with Fish and Game. We were friends but did not keep in touch after graduation. Rick was a great guy that contributed much to our world. 

03/15/18 10:41 AM #7    

Jane Larson (Smith)

As clearly expressed in these comments, Rick always expressed a keen and honest interest in YOU in conversation. Such a gift. It's sad to hear of his passing.

03/17/18 07:46 PM #8    

Vernon Mar

I am sadden to hear of Rick's passing.  I knew him as a teammate in Cross Country and Track, remember him to be a gifted runner which I aspired to, and happy to hear of his contributions to environmental conservation and education.


03/18/18 03:48 PM #9    

Gary Gunderson

Sad news.  Rick and I were really good friends in high school and kept in touch at Sac State.  From cross country, track, to hunting together we did spend alot of time together.  Went to his cabin near Gold Lake with him and his dad who was also my advisor at Sac State.  Lost touch after college but met him at a fun run years later.  Always a class act which gave me something to aspire to although I don't think I ever made it.  Adios my friend,  see you on the other side.

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