Ric, beloved and admired by all, died at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor Feb. 22, 2004.
He came to Princeton from the Lawrenceville School, where he spent a year after graduating from Grosse Pointe [Mich.] High School. Ric was a star running back at both schools, heavily recruited by major college programs, but a terrible car accident during his Lawrenceville year left him paralyzed from the waist down. His good humor, musical talents, and indomitable courage were inspiring to all. In the days before ramps, friends would simply hoist him in his wheelchair up any steps he needed to climb. On flat terrain, in his golf cart, he was completely independent.
Majoring in architecture, Ric gave a spirited defense of his thesis, the design of a zoo, while dressed in full gorilla costume. He was a member of Ivy Club.
After Princeton, Ric joined his family's automotive engineering and design business, Gonzalez Design Group, which he ran after his father's untimely death, overseeing its expansion to the West Coast and diversification into different industries.
Ric is survived by his wife, Ricca; a brother, Gary; two step-siblings, Patrick and Michelle; and many nieces and nephews. The class sends its condolences to all the family.
The Class of 1972