Sunday, April 1, 2012

God Bless Dennis, 4 Years Gone Today

We all miss you, buddy, and we'll never forget you.

God bless and keep praying for us.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

2 Years Gone

Dennis' friend Steve here. Mrs. Rich asked if I'd be willing to update his blog. I said I would when I found the strength and had something to say (that was last July).

Dennis has been gone 2 years now, as of Holy Thursday. Since his death, the Triduum has become even more emotional for me, as I'm sure it has for many of you.

That first Triduum after he died I remember thinking warmly about his confirmation, which I had the pleasure of witnessing and the honor of co-sponsoring, and it was one of the highlights of my life. I remember that trip to DC, of praying the Divine Mercy Novena for the first time that year, of making a holistic confession and of talking with Dennis about all of the things he was looking forward to in his life as a Catholic (the Eucharist being chief among them). He was positively glowing that day.

I also remember the sense of the love of God that I had in that week after Dennis left. I attributed it to Dennis' intercession and consider it a great reinforcement of my faith in a time of deep sadness (just like Holy Week itself).

Thursday, my 2 oldest children and I participated in the tradition of visiting Catholic churches after Holy Thursday evening's mass, to spend time with the Lord in the tabernacle and to "keep watch with him" and remember his time of suffering in the Garden of Gethsemene. Every Catholic church is open for visitors until midnight on Holy Thursday, and one of the churches I have visited for years has been St. Dennis in Lockport, a 165 year old stone church sitting up on a hill overlooking rte. 83. I was there this Thursday at the hour of our friend's passing, and was reminded to make a post here on his blog.

The picture that I have uploaded here is from one of our trips to picturesque Mundelein Seminary (which, incidentally, has one of the saddest web pages I've ever seen - this link is to wikipedia, which at least has some information about the place). We would travel there for the periodic "love fest" weekends that Jim Rielley would host. The seminary sits on over 600 wooded acres encircled by a scenic car path with beautiful bridges and comes complete with its own lake. I ran across the picture a few month back, and I have to imagine that Heaven will look very like this.

Dennis, I hope that you are having a blessed Triduum and that you are spending it in the presence of our Savior, and that like your life, in death you may continue to be a beacon of love and friendship with our Lord. I pray continually for your soul and for your family, and ask you to pray for me and mine. And thank you for gifting me with so many years of friendship. It is an honor to have known you. I miss you. -Steve

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Just some thoughts from Dennis' mom: I really miss him - a lot!
Sometimes these bible verses help....

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Math. 5:4

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience (Dennis' favorite word! - NOT) and patience, experience; and experience, hope; And, hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:1-5

For thou wilt light my candle the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him. Psalm 18:28-30

All of us experience adversity and pain. When we lose something - or someone - we grieve our losses. during times of heartache, we can turn to God for solice. When we do , He comforts us and, in time, He heals us.

See! I will not forget you.. I have carved you on the palm of my hand. Isaiah 49:15

And Dennis' password for some things: Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquites; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Amazing, huh.

God still has some work to do with me.. I'm not angry with God - just confused as to why Dennis had to have this horrible disease take him from us.

Forever in Our Hearts...

"If you were once connected with someone, does it make sense that the connection is broken just because of a physical death? No, the connection stays. You may just have to listen differently. You may just have to talk differently. The truth is: the connection is never broken. It's quite impossible to break the most powerful connection in the universe. As long as you exist, the connection stays."

Copyright © 1998 Chris Collins

We all miss you Den and wish you were here...

May God ease our hearts this night... and those yet to come.
Take care and God Bless, nikki

Friday, March 20, 2009

ACS Walk/Run

On April 25th, I will being participating in an American Cancer Society Run/Walk in the Kenosha, WI area. Please view my ACS Personal page @ for details and/or to make a donation. If anyone is interested in walking with me and wouldn't mind making a trip to Wisconsin to do so, please let me know... I will also be walking in the Relay for Life in June (in Elmhurst,IL), a little closer to home for some of you. If anyone would like to join my team (either one), I'd love to have you.

As we approach the one year anniversary of Den's passing, I would like to thank everyone once again for your support and kind words over the past several months... Take care and God Bless. Nikki

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Dennis would have been 38 years old on Wednesday. He was so young. He had so many things to do, places to go, people to meet. It was a difficut day. I hope you enjoy this poem I found. I think we all feel this way. I know he knew we all loved him.

If We Could Bring You Back Again

If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.

If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.

If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.

By Joanna Fuchs

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

Four years ago on this date Dennis and I flew home from Washington, D.C. with the belief that Dr. Sugarbaker was correct in that Dennis' cancer was gone. It was a happy time and the people at American Airlines were most accommodating when they heard about why we had delayed our return home several times until he was released from the hospital. The cancer was gone. So we thought. I believed in miracles. I did up to the very second Dennis took his last breath. I know he is in Heaven - with Jesus - on His birthday. What a wonderful thought. But I miss him. Every Christmas he was home. Every Christmas. I am so thankful that Dennis was in our lives. I know you all miss him. I pray you all have a wonderful Christmas. God Bless us - everyone.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Footprints on the Heart

Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Some people move our souls to dance.
They awaken us to new understanding with the passing whisper of their wisdom.
Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon.
They stay in our lives for awhile, leave footprints on our hearts.
And we are never, ever the same.

Favia Weedn

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Memorial Marker

Hi everyone,

I learned TODAY how to post to Dennis' blog. I am sooo not techy!

Just wanted to let you know that the marker was finally delivered and is in place.
It is red granite, has a rough edged top - because Dennis did go hiking, biking,
and other physical activities he enjoyed so much, not to mention the football
matches the day after Thanksgiving and New Years. He would say they would play until it got dark and then play a little longer. The next day of course, he'd be groaning about his aching body - BUT he had fun!

On the back of the marker it has a guitar on the left side. The inscription
reads as follows: Line 1 - "DR. D.", Line 2 - A MAN OF GOD AND SCIENCE

I miss him so much. We all miss him so much. Thank you all for being a part of his life. You all are great!

God Bless You
Dennis' mom

Memorial Service

Joliet Hospice is having a Fall Memorial Service on Sunday, Nov. 16. It will begin at 2:30 pm and is at the First Assembly of God, 1741 Essington Rd.,Joliet, IL 60435. This service is for their patients who have died in the months March through September, 2008. There will be a candle lighting service. They encourage everyone to bring photographs, preferably framed, which they will display during the service.

Please feel free to attend in memory of Dennis.
God Bless - Dennis' Family

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Thoughts for the Day

Thinking of you, Den:

"Life is not always what one wants it to be, but to make the best of it as it is, is the only way of being happy."

""We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough and we'll be more content when they are. After that we're frustrated that we have teenagers to deal with. We will certainly be happy when they are out of that stage. We tell ourselves that our life will be complete when our spouse gets his or her act together, when we get a nicer car, are able to go on a nice vacation, when we retire.

The truth is, there's no better time to be happy than right now.
If not now ... when? Your life will always be filled with challenges. It's best to admit this to yourself and decide to be happy anyway.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Alfred D Souza ...

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."

This perspective has helped me to see that there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So, treasure every moment that you have. And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time ... and remember that time waits for no one ...

So stop waiting until you finish school ... until you go back to school ... until you lose ten pounds ... until you gain ten pounds ... until you have kids ... until your kids leave the house ... until you start work ... until you retire ... until you get married ... until you get divorced ... until Friday night ... until Sunday morning ... until you get a new car or home ... until your car or home is paid off ... until spring, until summer ... until fall ... until winter ... until you are off welfare ... until the first or fifteenth ... until your song comes on ... until you've had a drink ... until you've sobered up ... until you die ... until you are born again to decide that there is no better time than right now to be happy ...

Happiness is a journey ... not a destination!!""

Crystal Boyd

My sentiments exactly.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

"The Plan of the Master Weaver"

Author unknown...

Our lives are but fine weavings
That God and we prepare,
Each life becomes a fabric planned
And fashioned in his care.
We may not always see just how
The weavings intertwine,
But we must trust the Master's hand
And follow His design,
For he can view the pattern
Upon the upper side,
While we must look from underneath
And trust in Him to guide...

Sometimes a strand of sorrow
Is added to His plan,
And though it's difficult for us,
We still must understand
That it's He who fills the shuttle,
It's He who knows what's best,
So we must weave in patience
And leave to Him the rest...

Not till the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas
And explain the reason why--
The dark threads are as needed
In the Weaver's skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned.

God Bless, nikki

Friday, August 1, 2008


It is very hard to believe that Dennis has been gone from this world, his family and his friends, for four months today. Not a day goes by where I don't think about him... His nephews talk about him and say "I bet Uncle Dennis is here with us right now..." You know, I believe they're right. He's looking down with a smile on his face and a prayer in his heart for each and every one of us. Hold his memory close in your heart and know that he is there...

I miss you bro'. I wanted very much for you to visit us at our new house - I firmly believe you had a hand in us selling to great buyers in the end, thank-you!! To have you sleep in our "Heroes" guestroom/playroom... Play video games with the boys... Teach them about the joys of music... God... and physics. Hang out with me...
I know I am not the only loved one with thoughts of you constantly flitting through my mind. You are greatly missed. I pray that you are happier than anyone could ever imagine where you are... Rock on, Bro.

Love you and miss you lots - Your Favorite Sister, Nik

Friday, April 11, 2008



Dennis, we will remember you.
Your family

You fought a good fight and now you can rest in the presence of the king. You have left a rich legacy in family and friends, those who loved you and respected you.
In Christ,
John Appleton-jim’s friend and red wing partner

Hey Dude, Shaggy, Dr. D, Deeeeeenis,
Well, on to the next great adventure. Enjoy the journey, peace is now yours, and you are most deserving of it. Thanks for you. Peace out! Megan J

Hi Dr. D,
You are finally home! I will miss our Sunday chats. Thanks for being a great friend and a great example of God’s love. Nancy

Dear Dennis,
Your brilliance, friendship, warmth and humor will be greatly missed. Thanks for all the fond memories from the Happening, Turkey Bowls, and long discussions into the night. Now that you are at peace, I hope that you will intercede in our lives and keep an eye on us. We’ll need it. –Andrew

Dr. D,
You’ve run the race and heard those wondrous words, “Welcome home, good and faithful servant!” And what a race you ran. Please pray for those of us left who will miss you terribly. I’m thankful to God for having known you, your courage and faithfulness. Mary Ann

Well, having just completed the sorrowful mysteries at your wake, I felt moved to come type a message to you, who were Christ to so many. Meditating on the agony in the garden, the scourging at the pillar, the crowning with thorns, the carrying of the cross, and the crucifixion, I can’t help but think of all the trials and suffering you went through. Dennis, my friend, even before being afflicted with this terrible disease, you struggled to work out your salvation in fear and trembling, and every step of the way you put yourself in the loving care of the Lord. Taking risks, both social, spiritual, and emotional, you sought the truth no matter where it was hiding. And in the process, you shared your love with a servant’s heart. In the end, I do believe that your suffering, both corporal and spiritual, tempered you into a man of great faith, and pure heart. Like Nathaniel, you my friend were without guile. I will miss you with all of my heart. I will miss spending time with you, sharing my life with you, and sharing my faith journey with you, and I am working out now how to interact with you in your new role – your new station. You’ve been promoted, buddy – from the church militant to the church triumphant. I’ll miss your servant’s heart and your doctor’s brain, and I will strive to imitate the best in you. I’ll miss you my friend. God take you and keep you. Pray for us.
Pax Christi,

I can call you brother, because you were like a brother to me. For thirty years you and I have been friends. It is with deep sorrow in my heart that I must let you go, but I know it is time, and you are no longer in pain. You are the bravest man I know, and my life was touched like so many others by your kind spirit, and wonderful outlook on life. You could have become bitter, but you never were. You could have given up, but you never did. I think of you often, and I will miss you the rest of my time on Earth.
Until we meet again,

Thank you for your friendship, your love, and for just being you. We will miss you. Peace -Chrissy

DC Mass for Dennis

Dennis' CUA friends invite all to attend a mass for Dennis. Fr. Pritzl, Dean of Philosophy at CUA will say a mass to Tuesday, April 15, 5:00 p.m. Caldwell Chapel, CUA.
CUA's address is 620 Michigan Ave, D.C. 20064. Caldwell chapel is on the campus, in Caldwell Hall, which is the first large old building north of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Any questions, please email


Monday, April 7, 2008

Far From Home

Many of you knew that Dennis was in a country rock band in Germany... Follow this link to see the band's tribute to him:

Thank-you Far From Home, you were all very special to him. Thank-you for being his "family", for caring for and loving him while he was in Germany... far from home.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Memorial Gifts for Dennis Rich

Dear friends and family, below is the information of where and how to donate in Dennis' memory. It is our hope that in some way we can help make a postive difference in the life of someone with cancer through Dr Mulcahy's research. We would like to share with you some words Dennis wrote on January 28th, 2008 and posted to his blog:

"The battles ahead will be as much psychological as physical. Everything one lives for comes to the fore when faced with one's mortality. Were the sacrifices of the life of faith worthwhile? For that matter, can I even boast in what little "sacrifices" I may have made? I trust in my God at this point, which is all we can do. He Who has proven able to turn the greatest of evils into the greatest of goods, can certainly turn my life into something of value. And even the end of my life."

Memorial gifts can be made as follows:

Checks payable to: Northwestern University

Send to:
Jeff Nearhoof
Northwestern University Development
Rubloff Building, 9th Floor
750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611

In the memo section of the check or with a separate note, the individual should indicate that the gift is in memory of Dennis Rich. If someone wishes to make a gift using a credit card, they can call Jeff at 312 503-3088.

Northwestern will track all contributions made in memory of Dennis. All gifts will be added to a research fund that is controlled by Dr. Mulcahy so she can use the gifts to advance her research in cancer.

Thank-you so very much, God bless - Dennis' Family

Friday, April 4, 2008


Many have asked where we would like donations sent in lieu of flowers. We know Dr Mulcahy (Den's doctor at Northwestern in Chicago) has a research fund and we are looking into getting the details now. I will post it to the blog as soon as we have it. Thank-you and God bless - Nikki

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Den's sister again... For those of you who have recently joined us in reading Dennis' blog for information, please read the "comments" after each posting. Not only will you find more information regarding the past several days, between the time of Dennis' last post and the one I just posted, but you will also see comments shared by Dennis' loving friends and family. He was a wonderful Son, Brother, Grandson, Nephew, and not least of all, Friend. We will miss him, yet we are grateful for the end of his pain and the beginning of his new life with our Father in Heaven. Thank-you all for your thoughts and prayers at this time. Feel free to add your thoughts and comments to share as well... Thank-you. Nikki

Family Update

OK, folks. We figured out how to make a post on Den's blog. Please read below the information that Steve Pavlis had posted in the comments section of Dennis' last posting. More information will follow as we have it. Please refer people to Den's blog for information as you pass on the sad news of his passing. Thank-you, Den's sister, Nikki

Steve said...
It is with a very heavy heart that I leave this comment to let everyone know that our beloved Dennis took his leave last night at around half past 10 in the evening. He was surrounded by his family and close friends, and was lifted up in love to the Lord. I will post arrangements in the next blog comment but for now I just wanted to take a moment to remember this special person, who was Christ to so many of us, and who strived so well to unite his sufferings with those of Christ.Dennis' brother Jim had hooked up Dennis' I-Pod so that he could have the music that he loved playing in the background in his final days with us. You could tell that he was very thankful to hear the music that he loved keeping him and his many visitors company. As you can imagine, the selection was eclectic (to say the least), consisting of over 1400 tracks ranging from Jazz to Bluegrass, to the Bluegrass/Jazz Fusion of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; to Blues to Contemporary Christian music to progressive rock to folk music to...German language lessons!At the very end, the I-Pod was set to play random selections and at the moment of his passing it was a great consolation to me that the Phil Keaggy song Tender Love was floating from the speakers. Many of you who read the blog know of Dennis' love for music, and his love for Phil Keaggy, and this song was truly a fitting send-off for our great friend. He will be sorely, sorely missed...SteveTender LovePhil KeaggyAlbum: Phil KeaggyIt's a tender love that's gonna see you through, Whispering to your heart So that you'll know what to do. It's a tender love not about to let you go, It's a tender love and there's So much more to know. Love that's holding me, tender and true, Love that's molding me, seeing me through. I've stood in true amazement Of all you've done for me, My faith so small, you do it all, And you give it all for free. It's a tender love that's gonna see you through, Whispering to your heart So that you'll know what to do. It's a tender love not about to let you go, It's a tender love and there's So much more to know. Let go of the past, get up off the ground. This love will last, this love I've found. I stand in true amazement of all you've done for me, I'm in a daze, yes I'm amazed, Embracing the change, I'm free. It's a tender love that's gonna see you through, Whispering to your heart So that you'll know what to do. It's a tender love not about to let you go, It's a tender love and there's So much more to know. It's a tender love that's gonna see you through, Whispering to your heart So that you'll know what to do. It's a tender love not about to let you go, It's a tender love and there's So much more to know.
April 2, 2008 3:46 PM
Steve said...
The arrangements are as follows:The visitation will be on Friday from 3pm - 8pm at the Boingbrook-McCauley Funeral Chapel Funeral Chapel & Crematorium530 W Boughton Rd.Bolingbrook, IL 60440630-759-1212The funeral services will begin with a prayer service at the funeral chapel on Saturday morning at 9 am, followed by the funeral mass at 10 am at St. Francis of Assissi Church in Bolingbrook (those attending the funeral may begin at the funeral home and process to the church or simply meet at the church for the 10 am mass). Francis of Assisi Parish 1501 W Boughton Road Bolingbrook, IL 60440Phone: (630) 759-7588 Fax: (630) 759-5257Pax Christi,Steve
April 2, 2008 3:49 PM