Richard Bury

Date of Birth

April 18, 1946

Date of Death

July 21, 2019

Rick joined his ancestors after following their guidance for 73 years.

After receiving his birth certificate in Hollywood, CA life brought him to the Coarsegold family ranch in the foothills of the Sierra where he developed an early love for the outdoors.  Eight years later he moved to Santa Barbara.  Here he attended Jefferson Elementary School, SB Junior High and SB High School where he met people who remained special lifetime friends.

The college years were shared between UCSB, Chapman College and the University of Hawaii, where he graduated with a degree in Anthropology.

Over the course of his life, Rick constructed houses in Florida and the Bahamas, worked avocado orchards, built and raced sea kayaks, worked as an anthropologist, a photographer, and a rock art cultural resource management consultant for Public Lands, locally, as well as in the Grand Canyon, and Vandenberg AFB.  In this work, he often sought and incorporated the wisdom of the native elders.  Rick formed two businesses: The Best of What’s Left, a fine art photography business, and with two partners, he established the Rock Art Documentation Group or RAD.  He served the public as a firefighter with the Carpinteria Summerland Fire District for nearly 30 years, retiring as Fire Chief.

It was during the firefighting years he met his wife of 29 years, Carol, while backpacking in the Los Padres National Forest.  Rick enjoyed the road less traveled, preferably accompanied by Carol.  He visited many countries embarking first with a Semester at Sea through Chapman College and continuing into his adult life in search of hidden rock art throughout the world.  Rick and Carol’s honeymoon included a memorable two months hitchhiking, backpacking and exploring in Southern Africa.  Carol navigated their other extensive trips to Peru, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, and the painted caves of France. Each year their Christmas card delivered greetings from places across the globe. Closer to home, the wilderness of the American Southwest was always calling.

Rick was a classic longboard surfer.  Surfing since the 50’s and living in the Carpinteria area allowed him to surf uncrowded beaches from Baja to Hollister Ranch.  He played guitar and loved live music, frequently attending concerts, preferring the small venues and sitting ‘up-close’ and always to the ‘left of center’.

In addition to surfing and music, he enjoyed kayaking, backpacking, photography and reading.  The backcountry and the ocean provided refuge where he found peace and calm.  “Dawn Patrol” walks to Jelly Bowl provided great joy when he was no longer able to backpack or surf.

The oldest son of Richard and Dorothy, at an early age he became guardian of his two brothers, John and David, following the premature death of his mother.  Two other family members very close to him, his youngest brother and a nephew, predeceased him.

Rick treasured his small extended family, pals at the gym, rock art and archaeological compadres, music associates, hiking buddies, and lifetime friends – all who have uplifted him.  Rick takes many great memories with him.

Rick was a lovely, generous, patient, gracious, Renaissance man.  He enjoyed and engaged in conversations on multiple topics.  He excelled in making people feel valued and their point of view appreciated.  He was always offering encouragement and comforting words to others while he himself lived courageously with advanced prostate cancer.  He was Carol’s champion and companion.  Words cannot express how much he will be missed.

Rick passed on July 21, 2019.

To celebrate his life, it would honor him to be remembered through donations to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum Anthropology Department (2559 Puesta Del Sol, SB, CA 93105), or the Citizens for the Carpinteria Bluffs (PO Box 700, Carpinteria, CA 93013).  To honor and support the caregivers who provided Rick with exceptional and enduring care, a memorial gift can be sent to The Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara (601 W. Junipero Street, SB, CA 93105).  All these organizations were close to his heart.


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