Richard D. Rilliet

Date of Birth

May 17, 1951

Date of Death

January 11, 2012

City of Death

Landing, NJ; formerly of Santa Barbara

05/17/1951 – 01/11/2012

Memorial Reception to be held in Santa Barbara on May 12

Richard D. Rilliet of Landing, NJ peacefully passed away on January 11, 2012 at home after a courageous battle with cancer. His wife Susan was by his side. He was 60.

Born in Paterson, NJ, Rich grew up in Waldwick, NJ. After graduation from Waldwick High School, he attended New York-Phoenix School of Design in NYC & Bergen Community College. Always artistically inclined, Rich apprenticed as a hand engraver for 2 years, then began his career in jewelry design at Adrian Jewelers, Wyckoff, NJ. He continued studies at GIA in NYC & CA.

Rich moved to Santa Barbara in 1989. As a custom jewelry maker & hand engraver, Rich designed for many private clients. He was well-known as the only hand engraver in town for Bryant & Sons, Silverhorn, Oliver & Espig & Churchill’s Jewelers. He collaborated extensively on design & fabrication with Daniel Gibbings at Fibula from 1997-2000.

Rich met beloved wife Susan (nee Barker) of Park Ridge, NJ in LA in 1991 through their mutual love of music & art, animals & the desert. They spent leisure time hiking the deserts of CA & loved mountain biking under a full moon in Joshua Tree, coyotes trotting alongside. In 2000 Rich was engaged by Tiffany & Co. as a master engraver & the couple returned to NJ.

Live music was a passion that Rich indulged from an early age. A self-taught musician, Rich played in bands from the moment he first heard the Beatles. An accomplished guitar player, he continued to play in bands as an adult. Locally, Rich played guitar with Big Al & the Pawnbrokers at the Creekside Inn. He played a mean blues guitar & regularly jammed with Chris Pagliaro & his crew.

In his spare time, Rich enjoyed attending live concerts, spent hours poring over anything related to guitars & taught himself to play mandolin & ukelele. More recently, Rich learned to build acoustic guitars. He was passionate about animals & animal welfare, adopting & sponsoring many needy animals throughout his life.

Beloved husband of Susan, Rich is predeceased by his parents, survived by sister Arlene, extended family & faithful feline friends Twinkie, ZoZo and Derby.

Friends are respectfully invited to attend a Memorial in celebration of his life at a private reception on Saturday May 12 from 3-6PM with Memorial Service at 5PM.
RSVP: to this email address for further information.

A Musical Tribute to Rich may be viewed online at this YouTube link


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