On Friday night, April 24, the world lost a truly incredible man. Richard (Dick) Norval Fults passed away in his Placerville, CA home.
At his bedside were his lifelong love and devoted friend Janet Maineri, her sister Suzanne, and two dear friends.
Dick died as he lived: with tolerance, optimism, patience, generosity of spirit, curiosity, humor, strength and grace.
Dick was born on March 26th in Lawton, OK, the son of Dixie and Norval Fults, and stepson of Bob Agnew. Dick’s personality was greatly shaped by his Oklahoma roots, growing up next door to his grandparents, Stanley and Mary Arlena Bates. He had many colorful stories from those times, as well as life lessons learned working for Billy Bob Ramey at the local pawn shop and racking balls at Pont Ramey’s pool hall.
A graduate of Southwestern State, Dick permanently left Oklahoma for California, settling in LA and later the San Francisco Bay Area. One of Dick’s life-changing events was his 1979 purchase of an Apple II computer. Shortly afterward, he founded his first business, Microshows, hosting computer swap meets for similarly minded hobbyists.
It was during the early days of Microshows that Janet Maineri came into his life. Dick and Janet remained beautifully entangled in a deep and loving friendship ever since. In 2014, Dick left the Bay Area for Placerville, a small town in the foothills of the California Gold Country, bringing him closer to Janet and back to his country roots.
Although a man of science, Dick’s exceptional curiosity and intelligence made him knowledgeable on a wide range of topics. His interests included science, ham radio, astronomy, photography, quantum physics, sci-fi, politics, computers, electronics, flying, sailing, traveling, food (the greasier, the better!) and cooking.
He loved figuring out how things worked and using his ingenuity to create, improve or repair things. That inventive mind was behind Dick’s second business, Flash and Pass, producing flash card study aids for folks preparing for their ham radio and pilot licenses.
Dick also had an incredibly sweet, sentimental side and a generous, big heart. He had a soft spot for kids, dogs, and living beings of all kinds. He fed the birds and “critters” outside his home and welcomed ants and spiders within.
At Thanksgiving, he'd make a full turkey dinner with all the fixin's, package it up, and bring it in his suitcase to Oklahoma to share with his mom and stepdad, Dixie and Bob. At Christmas time, he would load up a couple of shopping carts with cool, fun toys, which he brought to Toys for Tots.
Dick was a once-in-a-lifetime friend: a multi-faceted, uniquely interesting man who was deeply loved, cherished, and treasured. He is truly irreplaceable.
Dickie Lau, you repeatedly told us, “you ain’t gettin’ outta here alive.” For once, we were really hoping to prove you wrong.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Dick’s name to the Lawton Food Bank www.lawtonfoodbank.org. For memorial info, photos and stories of Dick’s life, go to: dickfults.forevermissed.com .