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USS IWO JIMA (LPH-2)

The first time I met Ricky was in 1985 (June?) during our Youngster Cruise.  He and I were both assigned to the USS IWO JIMA (LPH-2).  Ricky and I hit it off immediately and introduced Virginia Beach to a new form of wackiness.  I remember trying to keep up with his zany antics, but in hindsight I must admit I failed.  His sheer energy was impossible to match and his imagination knew no equal!

While that summer eventually ended, it turned out our partnership did not, and Ricky and I met again in 7th Company after the Class of ’88 scrambled from our Plebe companies.  In fact, Ricky, John Garcia, Mike Danford (odd man out?) and I shared a room informally referred to as our Spanish Ghetto.  With Mike’s huge stereo, my “unique” organizational skills and Ricky’s character, we were quite a hit with the Powers-That-Be.  I think John was smart enough to lay low and work hard so to avoid the Wrath of Winsor (our Company Officer) and the ultimate Battle With Barry (our Battalion Officer).   But I think Ricky, Mike and I were standing side-by-side at modified attention when CDR Barry blew cigar smoke in our faces, calling us punks and slugs and advising us that, when it came to playing hardball, he “wrote the book.”
During Hurricane Gloria, classes were called off and Ricky was blasting his stereo with the tune “Walking On Sunshine.”  Typical Ricky.

From his obituary in the Yuma Sun:

Ricardo Miguel Gonzalez (1966-2011)

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Ricardo Miguel Gonzalez, age 45, passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2011 in Yuma, AZ. He was born on March 4, 1966, in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Ricardo attended school in Academia Santa Maria in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Then graduated as a naval officer from The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He served as an officer for seven years, and fought during the Persian Gulf War on the U.S.S. Midway. He also studied in San Diego University were he received his certificate as an interpreter and translator. He worked in Maricopa County and since 2003 as an interpreter at the Federal District Court in Yuma, AZ.

Ricardo is survived by his parents: Jesus and Juanita Gonzalez and sisters Maria J. and Lourdes. He will be missed by his relatives in Puerto Rico and friends who knew and loved him in Yuma.
Viewing will be held at Yuma Mortuary on Thursday, December 15, 2011 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Friday, December 16, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. with rosary at 7p.m. Mass will be held at St. Francis Catholic Church on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.

Published in The Yuma Sun on December 15, 2011
From the 1988 Lucky Bag:
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Comments on: "Roommate, Classmate, Shipmate, Friend" (1)

  1. Robert Durand said:

    Ricky, as I knew him, was a beacon of light – always in a good mood, always quick with a joke, always ready to make the dark January days of the Naval Academy a little brighter. Seems I saw him most school nights after dinner in Steerage, the snack bar in the dorm. He would make the rounds, stop by our booth, hang out for a few minutes, crack some jokes, and move on, leaving us wanting more. As with too many casual friends, we did not stay in contact after graduation. But it seems he stayed the same buoyant, incandescent person I always saw. Fair winds always, shipmate.

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