No doubt, this was the big story of the week. When they set up 200 chairs at the Jewel Box for Rick Desloge's Celebration of Life, that was hardly enough. A shoulder to shoulder crowd packed every inch of space inside this historic attraction, the location where Rick and Nancy were married 31 years earlier.
The memorial service was both a tribute to Rick and a chance to reflect on all the good he did for his family and his community. One praiser after another shared stories and values from his life, including his elder son Rick Jr. This is surely one journalist's passing that will hardly go unnoticed.
I’m trying to absorb the shocking news. KMOX Radio just reported that Rick Desloge, age 63, lifetime journalist had died of pancreatic cancer. I am in a state of mourning. Fellow Patch editor Dan Barger, Fenton-High Ridge tipped me last week that Rick was really in bad shape, and was moved to Hospice Care at home.
This is how it was just reported on KMOX Radio. Here is how the Business Journals reported Rick's passing to its readers.
In the print business, there are unions and there are brotherhoods. Dan, Rick and I all toiled under the watchful eye of Frank Bick and Howard Etling at the Suburban Journals. Both of these gentlemen are still alive, way up in their salad years. They will be heartbroken to hear the news.
Rick was married to his newsroom sweetheart Nancy Solomon, a talent in her own right. Nancy handles the publicity for the Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Until his untimely death, Rick was a dedicated reporter for American City Business Journals. Heck, he was the Business Journal. Nancy made sure one of her major assignments was to marry Rick.
Business news hounds could count on dozens of well crafted business oriented stories from this red-headed, red bearded wonder. Rick gave the business updates daily on KMOX (CBS) Radio.
Rick was proud of lots of things. He loved his boys - Rick and Nick - and talked about them endlessly. Rick Jr. is a budding acting talent on and off Broadway in New York. The Desloge boys could act and they could play ice hockey.
Rick graduated St. Louis U. High and never let anyone forget he was a passionate Junior Billiken.
He graduated from Missouri's School of Journalism and you knew Rick was a Tiger too. But foremost, he was crazy about Cardinals Baseball. He often wore a Cardinals cap in the newsroom.
Hundreds of scribes passed through the Journal newsroom during the 16 years I dropped anchor there with the fun and games sports department.
Rick was the talent everyone looked up to. If a story was breaking, you’d expect Rick’s byline on it. He always had a reporter’s notebook tucked away in his back pocket.
Rick had a curiosity about the world few others had. He could turn any routine episode into a spine tingler.
The Desloges made their home in Kirkwood. They are pillars of the community. I’m sure Rick took pride in Pioneer athletics, but I didn’t really know that chapter of his life.
A couple of years ago, we ran into Rick and Nancy at Ted Drewes. Rick had his Cardinals ball cap on that night as usual. They probably were coming from a home game. They were season ticket holders and doubtful if Rick missed many of those.
There has to be a team in Heaven for old over the hill scribes and for those still at the Zenith of their careers. Put Rick Desloge on the St. Louis Cardinals franchise model. He’s earned his spot on that team.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.