Tribute to Richie

by Rachele Schneekloth July. 28, 2020 7660 views

Richie was a West Side regular who I was enjoying getting to know. He was a kind, smart, funny, insightful person and he had a twinkle in his eye. He was tragically killed Sunday night in a hit-and-run. The neighborhood truly won't be the same without him.

This was the first day I met Richie, about two months ago. He introduced himself as West Side Richie.

This was the first day I met Richie, about two months ago. He introduced himself as West Side Richie.

Stopping traffic at his intersection, W Ferry & Grant. I saw many instances of various people in the neighborhood helping keep him safe when he was not himself. "Come on, Richie, let's get you out of the street." People brought him water on hot days and made sure he was ok.

Stopping traffic at his intersection, W Ferry & Grant. I saw many instances of various people in the neighborhood helping keep him safe when he was not himself. "Come on, Richie, let's get you out of the street." People brought him water on hot days and made sure he was ok.

Outside the bank on Grant St., one of his hang-outs.

Outside the bank on Grant St., one of his hang-outs.

It's true that Richie made some mistakes and bad choices in his life, but it is also true that he had bad choices to choose from. He had it rough and he really struggled. He was a good, good person and had a kind heart.

It's true that Richie made some mistakes and bad choices in his life, but it is also true that he had bad choices to choose from. He had it rough and he really struggled. He was a good, good person and had a kind heart.

When Richie saw me coming with my camera on Saturday, he painstakingly cleaned up his spot and set up this scene. It took a long time because of his broken foot. He wanted the photo to tell a story.

When Richie saw me coming with my camera on Saturday, he painstakingly cleaned up his spot and set up this scene. It took a long time because of his broken foot. He wanted the photo to tell a story.

We talked for a long time. He told me about his rough childhood & early years. I asked him about his behavior in the street, making us worry for his safety. "I know, I know..." he said. "I get so saucy!" He was grateful for the care of "his boys" who kept him safe when he needed help.

We talked for a long time. He told me about his rough childhood & early years. I asked him about his behavior in the street, making us worry for his safety. "I know, I know..." he said. "I get so saucy!" He was grateful for the care of "his boys" who kept him safe when he needed help.

He liked taking pictures, and was really proud of the photos I brought him. He said he gave one to his sister. He talked with love about his family. When I asked him if his father would help him if he asked, he said "he's helping me right now." This was our last conversation.

He liked taking pictures, and was really proud of the photos I brought him. He said he gave one to his sister. He talked with love about his family. When I asked him if his father would help him if he asked, he said "he's helping me right now." This was our last conversation.

I attended a candlelight vigil for Richie at the corner where he died. I met his lovely family and got to hear their  memories and stories, join them in laughter about Richie's antics, pray with them, and share with them the warmth which with he talked about them on Saturday.

I attended a candlelight vigil for Richie at the corner where he died. I met his lovely family and got to hear their memories and stories, join them in laughter about Richie's antics, pray with them, and share with them the warmth which with he talked about them on Saturday.

One of Richie's sisters. "Let's have a last toast to Richie, in the spot where he took his last breath."

One of Richie's sisters. "Let's have a last toast to Richie, in the spot where he took his last breath."

Some of Richie's beloved family. Two of his sisters and his father.

Some of Richie's beloved family. Two of his sisters and his father.

Many came to pay their respects

Many came to pay their respects

Richie was loved.

Richie was loved.

I visited the next night, and met Richie's "boys."

I visited the next night, and met Richie's "boys."

They're keeping the candles lit.

They're keeping the candles lit.

RIP Richie. We're going to miss you.

RIP Richie. We're going to miss you.

Join the conversation
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There are 12 comments , add yours!
Piotr Buraczewski 1 year, 1 month ago

How beautiful and friendly his eyes are!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth Replied to Piotr Buraczewski 1 year, 1 month ago

Richie was a really special person, and I'm glad you can see it in his eyes. It's such a loss.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
David Robertson 1 year, 1 month ago

Incredible tribute.  Didn't know him, but sharing the tears anyway.  You really are excellent at capturing folks, and that is a skill I wish I had.  Nice.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth Replied to David Robertson 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you so much for your kind comment and for including Richie in your circle of empathy!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Beautiful tribute

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you, Russell. I am so grateful that I got to know Richie a little bit.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Melissa Dodge 1 year, 1 month ago

Rest up Richie . Missed by many . Many good times on the west side . Memories will always be upon us . Well known west side Mr.

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth Replied to Melissa Dodge 1 year, 1 month ago

broken heart

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Laurie Betsch 1 year, 1 month ago

What a beautiful tribute to my little brother 
Thanks for publishing this and showing everyone that he was somebody and he was loved by all 
Richie left his footprint everywhere and everyone that knew him loved him for who he was 
A kind loving man with a big heart ❤️ that loved his family

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Rachele Schneekloth Replied to Laurie Betsch 1 year, 1 month ago

cry

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Camellia Staab 1 year, 1 month ago

WOW!! What a tribute, very  very well done. No doubt he appreciated your friendship. Thank you for sharing these photos and story with us smile

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Bridgetevans 1 year, 1 month ago

What a beautiful tribute. Brought tears to my eyes.  Thank you for getting to know Richie and telling us about him!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
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