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March 31, 1942 – December 27, 2010

Rick MaloofYesterday I learned that the photographer Rick Maloof passed away on December 27th. I didn’t know Rick well but did have the good fortune of spending a day with him and his wife Joan, a Terrain.org contributor, up in the old-growth rainforests of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, in the summer of 2009. That trip resulted in an article by Joan with slideshow by Rick in Terrain.org’s Fall/Winter 2009 issue: view it here.

Though I only had that small window of interaction, I knew right away that Rick was a caring, compassionate, wonderful individual. I’ve long known that about Joan. Rick and I spent hours along the trails and the bumpiest bus ride in my memory, anyway, talking photography, conservation, literature, and beyond. Even in that short time he has inspired and influenced me, as his memory and photographs will continue to do. Safe travels, Rick.

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Obituary from the memorial service, held January 16 at Salisbury University:

Richard D. Maloof of Quantico passed away peacefully at home on the morning of December 27th, just as the sun came out on the fresh snow. The cause of death was renal cell carcinoma which was diagnosed in late September. Rick is well known as a photographer-philosopher. His work has been shown in many local galleries, and it continues to enliven many walls.

Rick leaves behind a wife of 32 years, Joan Maloof, and five children: Natalie Maloof; Richard Maloof Jr. of Quantico, MD; Traci Stroupe of Lost Creek, WV; David Maloof of Big Sur, CA; and Alyssa Maloof of Philadelphia, PA. He also leaves behind two brothers: Daniel Maloof and Robert Maloof. He was preceded in death by his parents: Caroline Morris Watson Maloof and Daniel Maloof. Rick made friends very easily and he also leaves behind many close friends.

Rick Maloof was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1942. He graduated from Bladensburg High School in 1959 and joined the Army in 1960. He was part of a Long Range Recon Patrol company and later joined the Special Forces. He served his country in Vietnam and eventually became a commissioned officer, attaining the rank of Captain. His last years in the military were spent teaching ROTC at the University of Delaware and Salisbury University. Although Rick served 23 years in the Army, he was a pacifist at heart and supported many organizations promoting nonviolence.

After retiring from service, Rick devoted his time to photography. He produced many “slide shows” for local nonprofit agencies, and he worked for a while as Salisbury University’s official photographer. He photographed countless weddings and produced an endless stream of artwork. His years in photography bridged the era of film and darkroom to digital and lightroom.

Rick led an adventurous life and had many skills. He traveled all around the world, including Greece, India, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Germany, Spain, New Zealand, China, Indonesia, and many more places. He was a pilot, a skydiver, a scuba diver, and a backpacker. In addition, he was a great cook and a lover of fine red wines. He felt very satisfied with all that he had experienced, and he left this life with no regrets.

Donations in his memory, and all proceeds from his artwork, will be used to print a book of his forest photography titled A Path to Beauty: Ecology of Ancient Forests.

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