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  1. Mark on February 7, 2024 at 12:49 am

    12 years slid away in whispers
    Where a life hollowed to an echo
    What was a man was in his name
    What’s left of him are soft impressions
    Traces of spirit crackling in the quiet
    Crackling like a whispered word
    In the wan winter air
    What’s left are footprints in time
    Patterns left as impressions in the snow
    Patterns left as silent memories
    In a scene or fabric or a message
    The memories spell out his name
    And write the scenes that impress
    Upon a faded book of life
    Faded, yes. But not forgotten.

  2. Eitan Feldman on February 17, 2022 at 2:35 pm

    It’s been many years since Rich passed away and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. I was never able to speak of him or write him a eulogy or anything like that and many years have gone by and it’s only fair for me to write something about him. I met Rich while working at the theater at Macalester. I was a lowly stage hand, cleaning, mopping, arranging, carrying heavy things. I was mostly ignored because I was not skilled but Rich and I hit it off over our travels to Asia. Rich taught me most of the technical aspects about theater that no one else cared to, he did so in a fun and clever way that kept me engaged even when doing the most trivial of tasks. Rich was well respected and admired among the students at Mac he worked with. He was neglected and short changed by the staff there, something that needs to be said. He mostly shrugged it off and made the best of it. I saw Rich do some of the most daunting tasks at the theater that I thought was amazing. He would climb the tallest A ladder and balance off the top, on his own, only to adjust a light he wanted just right. He would go to the top of the catwalk and lift amazing weights only to make the balancing act of lights work smoothly. He was never afraid of heights or of falling. I was always impressed by his fearlessness and his skill both handled non-chalantly by him. He used to love to swim and when we swam together he would glide in the water like a dolphin without taking a breath. He invited me to do shadow puppetry with him once along with Harry Waters, that was the most intimate and fun thing I ever did at Macalester. He loved telling stories and engaging those around him even joking about my technical difficulties with the projector lights. He was an entertainer, a dreamer, an artist and everything else you could imagine from someone who left us wanting more. He left the theater shortly after I graduated and we kept in touch, I would write Rowan letters about my travels and Rich and I would talk on the phone when I was away in China. I spoke to him shortly after he couldn’t move or use one of his sides and he was sad in a way I had never heard him sound like before. I was afraid to talk to him because I was so afraid of losing him. I wanted to go back and hang out with him and help out but he passed away so quickly I was never able to. For the longest time I’ve wanted to go visit his tomb and bring him flowers, all colors he adored but it wouldn’t do any good just to talk to him without telling the world of the amazing things he did for me and the people around me at the time. I’m sure I’ll miss him for the rest of my life but if I never wrote about these amazing things I saw him do and accomplish then you wouldn’t know about what you missed when you weren’t around his magic. Will I ever meet someone like him again? Maybe? Will his magic endure after I’m gone? Probably yes. He painted me a portrait once, my most prized possession. I have since lost it and lost him but I still have both in my memory. I’m glad we keep his memory alive and he continues to keep us company even after all these years. Big hug to all who knew him I’m sure you feel this huge void as well.

  3. Liz Welch on February 9, 2022 at 10:44 am

    Thank you Mark. ❤️

  4. Mark Hopkins on February 6, 2022 at 5:04 pm

    I see a figure silently gliding on a veranda… hands sweeping invisible energies into swirls that release daily cares long stored in weary flesh. Left he shifts… the beauty of the cornfield across the way beckons. Now reclaimed to prairie filled with birds and butterflies that inspire the morning’s musings. His foot shifts as thoughts of the world dissolve into a lone shaft of sunlight released by the pine tree that guards the scene. a breeze sends a lone hawk aloft and a hare into high alert. His foot shifts again with a deep sigh as he relaxes into form. Soon the reverie will yield to the cacophony of daily life… but not yet. One more stance… one more soft breath dissolved into a moment of peace.

    Today I remember a shadow in deep memory. The breath of that day is long lost in the wind. The veranda no longer receives his footfalls. The patch of prairie sprouts rows of corn. The hawk and the hare have forgotten that lone figure and his T’ai Ch’i ballet across the way. But others remember… I remember.

  5. Mark on February 9, 2021 at 3:36 pm

    The hardest thing I ever did was to help Rich die. He was scared of that long night that loomed over him and he was furious at being cheated of the years he had always assumed he would have … to be with his family; to run out his days exploring and celebrating the magic in the world; to make the images that had built up in the years of patient sacrifice to care for others. He so desperately wanted to stay and be with Rowan as he grew to manhood… to be with Jocelyn and to complete his life’s work. To help Rich leave was to feel the profound injustice of his fate and then accept the terrifying loss that awaited him. What a betrayal… Rich tried to live life the right way. He gave of self, loved others, forgave and tried not to injure. Why him? Why then? I see him now… hear his voice… and am saddened in my continuing days for the lost ones he will never have. Is Rich in a spirit realm in coveralls and humming a tune? Are there watercolors and silk in that rarefied space? We’ll find out soon enough. Until then… here’s to Richard Ashcraft Wilson and to the privilege of having had such an amazing friend.

  6. Jocelyn S Gorham on May 5, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    I am attaching a link to the song my dear niece Amie MacDonald from Nova Scotia wrote about her uncle Rich. She wrote this after she came with her family to visit with Rich, Rowan and I over the Xmas holiday in 2011. This was less than two months before his passing. It was a very special time, and Amie spent many hours simply plucking beautiful melodies (she learned from Phil Heywood among others) on her guitar. Creating much peace in our household. Another favorite memory of that time was seeing Rich pouring over the illustrations of some Folio Society books he had ordered which featured fairy tales illustrated by many famous artists of the past. He had his grandfather’s rectangular magnifying glass in hand (as the artist was losing his sight) and it was so poignant and beautiful to see him. Rich made many beautiful illustrations that last year of his life. Of sites in Nova Scotia where we visited in August 2011, and also even after the stroke he suffered during his second surgery in October of that year, he drew wonderful drawings on the envelopes of letters to be given to Rowan down at “rehab” at Mayo. He never stopped drawing…

    I will try to share more with those of you that peruse this website from time to time. There is a treasure house to share in reality! Someday I hope to do a retrospective exhibit at the Phipps Gallery in Hudson, Wisconsin. To gather his artworks from all over and display them together, “Anatomy of an Artist”. When my life slows down enough to put this together it would be so wonderful to do! I hope very much it may happen. In the meantime I am going to add link (or at least the url) below. And my greetings to any who read my words. Rich’s memory is so very precious to me, and I know to you if you are reading my words….


  7. Mark Hopkins on February 3, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    Off on a run in the icy dusk I remembered running up the edge of the volcano in Tejakula, Bali with the fabulous Richard Crashcraft Wilson – followed by clutches of squealing children delighted at the two paleskins huffing away along the jungled path. Singing songs we ran that hill and then dropped down again, through the town, across the murderous road and down to the ocean. No sand on that magical beach. Only well-rounded rocks clunking, urged by the warm wet rhythms of sunset waves. Yep. Life was damn good. Life… Those kids are going grey now.

  8. Mark Hopkins on January 26, 2019 at 10:14 am

    It’s been years… tears… of that day… have faded.
    Dried on the breast… they attest… to dust…settling on the mind
    Cruel time…chimes…again… a seventh lonely echo.
    That quiet Winter day… much left to say… on your final, darkened afternoon.
    You left us to stride… alive… on shorter paths… toward the one you travel now.

    For what it’s worth, Rich Wilson was the most amazing artist and amazing human being I have had the privilege to have known. (Yes, Rich, you lit the whole place up, brother!)

  9. Jocelyn on September 17, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    My dearest Rich—always loved, never forgotten…

  10. Mark on February 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    Didn’t you draw from the aether
    God’s own Love?
    Then sing to distant deafened ears?
    You made your notes in staves
    of red and blue and lined them well.

    A lark, a jay, a robin on the twig…
    Ah, to fly and loose the lover’s cuff.
    Freed from the din of Kali’s quarrel.
    Over oil; over hills; over time.
    Not lost to you but gone none the less.

    Time came and time left.
    Are you alone now?
    Singing to a wilderness?
    Maybe some of younger draught
    will catch the tune… swig the song…
    As you did, my friend…

    A while ago, in greying moments gone.

  11. Mark on September 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    Rich would have been 59 today. The heart aches that he has no candle… no cake… on a beautiful and warm day. Thoughts for you, brother… blessings for you… peace for you.

  12. Mark Hopkins on February 12, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Quiet snow falls on a day lost… drained away in eager night. A fire forgets itself in an empty hearth and relaxes into coals while chills pass across a dusted floor. How come I can’t keep this bloody place warm? The snow inches up with each passing glance. It will soon drift its way into the house… In the cold of Winter it is good to remember the warm. Remember… the quiet qualities of days and snow. Peace in that good night, brother.

  13. Ken Levy on February 16, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Hello Jocelyn,

    I’m sorry it has taken so long to respond. I only just saw your response to my 2013 post. Please contact me through my email address: kenmarc @ yahoo dot com. I would be more than happy to send you images of the pieces I have.

  14. Mark on February 9, 2016 at 8:50 pm


    An empty boat… an empty chair… a brush lays silent…

    beside an unrequited dream.

  15. Janet Johnson on February 9, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    Rich, on your third year away from us, you are still within us. Your love, your sharing, your warmth, your art work is still a light in our world. Loving you! .

  16. Jocelyn Gorham on May 3, 2014 at 9:34 pm

    Hello :)

    I am Jocelyn Gorham, Rich Wilson’s widow. I was just going over his website, as our friend who set it up reworked/rearranged it awhile ago. I saw your message for the first time and was wondering if you might be able to send some photos of the art you have of Rich’s? It was fun to hear of someone on Maui who remembers him and treasures his art. He used to tell stories of his crazy hobo-ish trip to Maui (not the only crazy stories he liked to tell!). So, if it is not difficult, maybe you could send photos? And if you don’t, that’s okay, too. I thank you for your kind thoughts of my special husband…

    Jocelyn Gorham

  17. Sara S. Fenn on July 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I finally caught my breath about this tremendous loss. I can’t imagine what Rich’s family are going through. My whole heart and fervent prayers are with all of you for healing and strength.
    Rich’s art and nature were so generous to everyone that he knew and worked with. I thank G-d continually for his presence and will always be saddened profoundly by his loss.
    This tribute is so incredible, thank you for sharing it!

  18. Ken Levy on June 2, 2013 at 8:44 am

    I met Richard A. Wilson on Maui. I had a graphic art studio in Paia and Rich often stopped by to visit.

    I have a small number of paintings (large and small watercolors, but also one spectacular acrylic) that are among my most treasured possessions.

    Rich was surely one of the most talented artists I ever met and I’m sorry that it has taken so long to find him that I missed him completely.

  19. Gerry Girouard on September 18, 2012 at 6:05 pm


    Thanks for creating this website of Rich’s art. His work translate well onto the screen. Having light coming through Rich’s art illuminates the details. It is truly a wonderful memorial.

    Thanks once again.


  20. EW Dopp on September 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Dear Joceyln. Thank you for the shout out for Rich’s birthday. You probably know that my oldest, Alex, shares the same birthday. What you might not know, is that Rich made a beautiful painting that celebrated Alex’s first birthday, a painting that Alex has carried with him to his new home in Missouri.

    Dear Richard. Happy Birthday, man. We love you! I know I’m technically a day early, but I just couldn’t wait. Peace brother. Peace.

  21. Sheri Magnuson on September 16, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    Very Beautiful website, wonderful tribute and a fantastic source of peace for Rowan! Every time I see him, I see Rich. Rowan really had a very special Dad—I am sorry for him the time was cut so short. But how proud he can be of who is father was! Bless you all on his birthday! Love and hugs!

  22. Jacob Richardt on May 18, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    Quote from Jacob at dinner the other night.

    “Do you know who my favorite artist is that’s not famous? Rich Wilson. Do you know who my favorite famous artist is? Van Gogh. Do you know my favorite artist of everyone? Rich Wilson”

  23. Kerstin Gorham on May 17, 2012 at 10:05 am

    I can’t stop crying after seeing the You Are the Light of the World video for the first time. This a beautiful website, sharing so many different parts of Rich and times of his life. I will always miss him so much, but thank you for this site. He truly was and is a special light (what better word could describe him!), in the world and in our hearts.

  24. Gail Freedman on May 11, 2012 at 11:17 am

    This is by far the most beautiful tribute sites I’ve ever seen. I can understand the wonder of Rich and how he lived his life although I never met him (I am friends with one of his sibs). I am sorry for the loss of such a lovely human being from this world. Thank you for creating it.

  25. Jamie McNaughton & Family on May 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to such a loving and caring person who touched the lives of so many – including ours.
    …Remembering a contagious smile, a truly loving and giving spirit to all, complete adoration for his beautiful family and Lewis and Clark shadow puppets!

  26. EW Dopp on May 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm

    I can’t think of a more loving tribute, nor can I think of a more fitting time, the day before May Day Parade, for this tribute to be launched. A phrase I often remember from a May Day past, reverberates throughout this day: Dear brother, “I am another yourself.”

  27. Catherine Olson on May 4, 2012 at 10:27 pm

    ThankyouThankyouThankyou for creating this place.
    These are the days when Rich’s absence really begins to sink in. Through every part of MayDay Parade I will think of Rich…..Let the parade Dragon ROAR!

  28. Jenny Monroe on May 2, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    This is stunning! What a beautiful tribute to a life of love.

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