Rick was extraordinarily kind and gentle, yet had a fabulous sense of humor that was just one facet of his brilliance. A physics major, Rick also was an accomplished musician. He was a connoisseur of fine dining — a taste he indulged at Cloister Inn and later helped his friends indulge at Brown Hall Cooperative.
After Princeton, Rick earned a Ph.D. in 1988 from UC, Berkeley and joined the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in 1989, where he was published in prestigious journals and won an R&D 100 Award in 1997. In 2000, Rick joined Genoa Corp., a startup that developed electro-optical devices for telecommunications. After bringing novel products to market and earning several patents, Rick returned to LLNL in 2004 to work in what became the global-security directorate.
Rick will be remembered for his boyish enthusiasm that inspired colleagues and friends, for his generosity and modesty, and (among a select few) as keeper of the Book of Objective Truths. He is survived by his wife, homeopathic practitioner Iris Hagen Ratowsky; their 17-year-old son, Oren; and his parents, Frederick and Pearl Ratowsky. The class extends its deepest sympathy to them.