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Memories & Candles

“Gone, but never forgotten.So be it , truly . ”
1 of 49 | Posted by: Lawrence Macks - Hamtramck, MI

“I still miss u.... ”
2 of 49 | Posted by: Nikki M - MI

“Stopping in to pay our respects to a fine musician player who I knew for sometime. I know your doing okay re your visit not too soon after your...Read More »
3 of 49 | Posted by: Zena Welk - Wayne, MI - Friend

“A wonderful musician and a really nice person, we miss you Rick. ”
4 of 49 | Posted by: Wolfgang Spider - Plymouth, MI

“My Deepest Sympathy to the family of Rick. I have a cd of Rick and will cherish it for a long time to come. It is sad to say, I being in the...Read More »
5 of 49 | Posted by: Bob Kobert(aka) Bobby Shawn - PA

“Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Rick will be truly missed. Even though it has been years since we have see Rick, he was always a...Read More »
6 of 49 | Posted by: Beth Peloquin - Jupiter, FL

“I'll definitely cherishes the many memories of spending time with Rick and some of my most favorite have to be our times golfing together. I'll...Read More »
7 of 49 | Posted by: Mick Salansky - Washington, MI

“Rest in peace, brother Rick. ”
8 of 49 | Posted by: Dennis Burr

“I'm privileged to have been able to call Rick my friend. I treasure the times we spent on stage playing together, and I'll never forget him. Rest in...Read More »
9 of 49 | Posted by: Dennis Burr - Chesterfield, MI

The Rick Stel Project - A fan favorite! “A fine musician, a fine person, Rick will be missed. ”
10 of 49 | Posted by: Wolfgang Spider - Plymouth, MI

“The nights up at the Blue Goose were the greatest seeing you up there. Watching you play the guitar with Mystery Train was a high lite in my life. I...Read More »
11 of 49 | Posted by: Keith Bartholomew - MI - friend

“Ona conna punna Rick!!! Thank you for being such a special person in my life. You taught me to trust, love and to enjoy red wine!!! Rest in peace my...Read More »
12 of 49 | Posted by: Carol - Roseville, MI - Friend

“We were sad to hear that Rick had passed away this week. I have so many good memories of Rick from the time we spent in the youth group at...Read More »
13 of 49 | Posted by: Larry and Gloria Gloomis - MI

“You took some dreams of mine with you when you left It's okay ....I love you anyway..xoxoxoxox's in heaven for all the stringmen...Nikki James ”
14 of 49 | Posted by: Nikki James - Grosse Pointe Park, MI

“Eric, my deepest sympathy to you and yours. I remember good times of sneaking through Memphis Smoke with you to see your Dad play. He was amazing. ...Read More »
15 of 49 | Posted by: Jennifer Bouford - Oakland, MI

“Rick was a wonderful musician and vocalist. I was glad to get to know him and work with him over these past few years. Warmest regards to his...Read More »
16 of 49 | Posted by: Pat Smillie - Chicago, IL

“Rick I've known you since I was a teenager and was married to you for sixteen years. The world is a little less bright without you. I hope you're...Read More »
17 of 49 | Posted by: Jackie MacDonald - Washington, MI

“I missed gettin' to know you better and that it is a great loss. I am sorry you left so soon for you have been a good memory many a time. ”
18 of 49 | Posted by: Rick Hemmle - Ellenwood, GA

Blue Goose 5/18/91 - jamming with the band “Our deepest sympathies to Rick's family. I have fond memories of the band inviting me up to sing and Rick always made it easy for me to fit in. I...Read More »
19 of 49 | Posted by: Dave Flansburgh & Sandy Grockau - MI

“Rick and I started a band in oh I don't know, 1970 I think. I played drums Rick played his Fender Stratocaster, Mark Slumpka played bass and Don...Read More »
20 of 49 | Posted by: Bob Frye - Nashville, TN

“Rick you were taken way too young. I will always have fond memories of being one of your first groupies back in the early 70's when you were playing...Read More »
21 of 49 | Posted by: Jennifer Hooper - Los Angeles, CA

“My love to this family <3 ”
22 of 49 | Posted by: Stella Rothe - Sterling Heights, MI

“We go through life hoping that we can be a good person who is compassionate, gentile and kind, have a positive impact on others, bring joy to others,...Read More »
23 of 49 | Posted by: Dwight Martindale - Washington, MI

Playing with Rick and the Rick Stel Project. Photo by Ingo Rautenberg. “I am honored to call you my friend Rick. You know, I was trying to recall you ever saying anything bad about anybody. I couldn't come up with...Read More »
24 of 49 | Posted by: Bobby Murray - Detroit, MI

“Extremely sorry for your loss. May The Lord give you strength thru this difficult time. ”
25 of 49 | Posted by: Jeff Deneweth - Clinton Township, MI

“A talented and warm MusicMaker! ”
26 of 49 | Posted by: Elayne Sikelianos - Detroit, MI

“Such a beautifully worded obituary a nice tribute. Was deeply saddened to hear of Rick's passing. A great talent who was much needed to make his...Read More »
27 of 49 | Posted by: Diana Samuel Wilczewski - TX

“Dear Rick, you leave am impression on my heart , I will remember you always . Rest in Peace my friend ! ”
28 of 49 | Posted by: Lisa W - Troy, MI - Friend

“Dearest Dick, Eric, Laura, & Family, we're so sorry for the loss of your loved one .Rick was special and so was his music . Our thoughts and prayers...Read More »
29 of 49 | Posted by: Robin & Mike Preziosi - FL

“Richard Salansky Sr., We are saddened by the loss of your son Rick and know well that your faith and trust in God will bring support to your family...Read More »
30 of 49 | Posted by: Joe and Candace Davi - Orlando, FL

“Used to see Rick at the Goose on jam nights and sometimes when the band was playing. Very talented guitarist and vocalist. His kindness will be...Read More »
31 of 49 | Posted by: Tommy Curcuru - St. Clair Shores, MI

“Rick was an Excellent Worker and an Excellent Musician. Holding a conversation with him was very interesting as well. He will be missed. ”
32 of 49 | Posted by: Daniel Birg - Marine City, MI

“May music lift your new wings ”
33 of 49 | Posted by: Paula Marie Deubel - MI

“My Colleague, my neighbor, my friend. It has been a fun ride. From being your cube-mate in years past at GM, to admiring your profound musical...Read More »
34 of 49 | Posted by: Craig Pichette - Utica, MI

“Fondest of memories, Rick. R.I.P. my friend. ”
35 of 49 | Posted by: Les Hall - Gaylord, MI

“My deepest sympathies Eric to you and your family. You're father had a major impact on my life. When I was a teenager he seemed larger than life...Read More »
36 of 49 | Posted by: Dylan Dunbar - Saint Clair Shores, MI

“Dear sweet Rick, out time together might have only been for a year, but I know our relationship will continue throughout eternity. You are and will...Read More »
37 of 49 | Posted by: Renee Lock - Allen Park, MI

“I fell for Rick the first time I met him in the Roadhouse parking lot in Ann Arbor. So nice so good-looking and of course he was one of the best...Read More »
38 of 49 | Posted by: Maureen Ferrell - Ann Arbor, MI

“Eric and Family, My deepest Sympathy. My thoughts and prayers are with you. ”
39 of 49 | Posted by: Tina Marie Veasey - Southfield, MI

Our date night! “My wonderful sweet bf! I love you! Thankyou for just being you! Oh how I miss you so.I will never forget you and I will never forget that look on...Read More »
40 of 49 | Posted by: Nikki Miljan ~Detroit Blues Baby~ - MI

“I'm so very sorry of the loss of Rick. I didn't know him well, but heard him play and was blown away. We briefly spoke one night and I remember...Read More »
41 of 49 | Posted by: Karal - Utica, MI - Fan

“I'll always love you bro. , r.i.p. ”
42 of 49 | Posted by: larry macks - Hamtramck, MI

“So sad to hear this he was such a nice man. Rest in peace Rick. ”
43 of 49 | Posted by: Marie Coom - Washington, MI

“Thank you for having crossed my path and filling it with melodies, hugs, smiles, conversation and memories. I wonder if you ever really knew just how...Read More »
44 of 49 | Posted by: Lauren (Elle) Jenkins - MI

“For a friend out of touch but close at heart. RIP Rick. ”
45 of 49 | Posted by: Sharon Zalewski

“Rick was an excellent guitar player and a multi-talented musician. He was a class act and had ZERO ego. He will surely be missed play all of those...Read More »
46 of 49 | Posted by: Steve Allen - Oxford, MI

“Rick will be missed . My condolences to the Salansky family. I've known Rick since Junior High having shared the same home room class. And, had the...Read More »
47 of 49 | Posted by: Paul Thomas - Washington Twp, MI

“To the family of Rick I only knew Rick from his music. It was always friendly and fun. We had a few laughs at Freddys or Blue Goose. ...Read More »
48 of 49 | Posted by: Janet Falendysz - Clitnton Twp

“I met Rick back around 2002 along with his cousin Mic when I was assigned to work on the GMT 201 program. (GM minivan program) Rick was my body...Read More »
49 of 49 | Posted by: Todd Sturm - Warren, MI


When Richard Keith Salansky sat down at the piano or picked up any musical instrument to play it, you knew you were in for a real show. If you had the pleasure of hearing his music live or on recording, you knew you were listening to a true musical genius. For over forty years, Rick (as he was known by loved ones) gave us show after show; album after album. He shared his many gifts and talents with the world only seeking the approval of an always grateful audience. He delighted in nothing more than to see them toe-tapping, dancing and having a good time to his music. It is our turn now to honor this great man and reflect on the decades he devoted to his family, his friends and the craft that he loved so dearly and offered so freely.

It was the year 1953; the old crooners like Dean Martin, Eddie Fischer and Perry Como were dropping hit after hit and music was slowly entering into a new era of rock 'n roll amongst the younger crowd. It was into this exciting new era that Richard Keith Salansky would begin his life on May 24, 1953. He was the first born son and oldest of two children born to Richard and the Nancy Salansky (née Downs) in the bustling city of Detroit, Michigan. "He couldn't have been a happy baby," offers his father. "You could sit little Ricky in a play-pen, give him anything to play with and he would occupy himself for hours."

As he grew into a young man, Rick would devote much of his time to two main hobbies; sports and music. He was the quarterback in high school and was active on the baseball and basketball teams as well. His parents started him taking music lessons, but it was quickly realized by everyone that Rick was not to be held back by the strict structure of the musical notes on the page. There were too many keys on the piano and strings on the guitar to not try and use them all-and that is exactly what Rick taught himself to do. It was during this time that Rick would begin improving on his life's passion; as a self-taught musician honing his skills whenever afforded the opportunity.

Rick would start and join many bands during his lifetime; first with his brother, Dale, who performed as the Yazoo Bros., with the Detroit Blues Band, Mystery Train and The Rick Stel Project most notably. Ricks favorite music to perform was up-tempo Blues, specializing on the electric guitar and keyboards. Once he and his bands were heard, there was no question of who would be performing every weekend and they would have the club booked for the entire month! Rick could boast of performing with many of the musical celebrities of his day; he opened for B.B. King, backed Otis Rush, and had the pleasure of performing with legendary Detroit Blues performer, Willie D. Warren and countless others. But he always stayed humble and true to the fans that had recognized his talent years earlier. Rick received no greater pleasure than performing around the local clubs like Memphis Smoke and the Blue Goose week after week to his adoring fans.

After graduation from Utica High in 1971, Rick held several jobs; as a short-order cook at the Purple Pickle in downtown Utica, most notably. Rick would later be employed with Marsh Industries, a rubber-parts manufacturing company located in Chesterfield, Michigan. Here he would work his way up the corporate ladder, serving diligently for twenty years and retiring with the title of Supervisor.

Rick, always with a mind for design who kept up with the technological trends in all aspects of his life, decided his talents could be best utilized next with EDAG Engineering. After taking several courses in drafting and design at Macomb Community College, Rick would begin his career with EDAG as an Electrical Designer creating various types of instrument panels for General Motors. He would stay with the company until recent weeks when his health began to fail him.

During Rick's younger years, he learned quickly that playing in a band could promote you to a status with the ladies that could be the envy of other men and offer you many opportunities to meet and date a variety of adoring female fans. However in 1974, Rick decided it was time to stop "chasing girls down" and settle down with a nice young lady named Jackie. From their union came the pride of Rick's life, his son, Eric, in 1977. The family would move to Rick's home on Brownell Street in Utica in 1981 and enjoyed many happy times together.

Rick was a wonderful father and even with his busy work schedule and weekly performance gigs, he always made time to take Eric out in the backyard and toss around a few baseballs and perfect his baseball bat swing. The family took frequent trips Tennessee and Florida and Rick was always proud to introduce his son to the great musical artists he performed with. Though Rick's marriage to Jackie would not last, their love for the family they created and respect they shared for each other would stand the test of time.

During Rick's lifetime he would produce ten albums of blues music that could be considered nothing less than pure gold. He took his art very seriously and used his own voice on all the tracks and played nearly all the instruments heard on the albums. When not recording in the studio, Rick could be found hitting holes in one on his favorite golf courses. He enjoyed spending holidays with his family and keeping up with the many friends he had made over the years in the musical circuit and from work. His home reflected his life in many ways; from the countless albums including the works of Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Eric Clapton and Albert Collins, to the two pianos; one in

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