Rik Nilsson was a proud Submariner. He joined the US Navy in 1962 and served aboard the USS Cubera, SS 347 for two years. He qualified as a Submariner in 1964 allowing him to proudly wear the coveted Silver Dolphins signifying his achievement. Rik left the US Navy in 1966, after serving as an Electronics Technician, specializing in radar and sonar equipment repair and maintenance. In line with his pride in having served on Submarines, he joined the United States Submarine Veterans, Inc (USSVI) in April 2009 as a Life Member and served consistently until April 2021. He was a valuable member and Secretary of the Rogue-Umpqua Base of the USSVI organization for several years up until his passing.
It can be difficult to write an informative and insightful short story about some people, but we have the benefit of Rik having done that for us just a few months prior to his untimely departure.
In May, 2020 the Editor of the Rogue-Umpqua Base newsletter asked everyone to tell us what they were doing during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Here is Rik’s reply:
“What's all the fuss about? When Robin and I were both young, working hard and making the 'big' bucks, we bought a patch of land in the hills 45 minutes south of civilization with a large old hunting lodge-style cedar house on it. After years and years of intolerable air travel, boring business meetings, hectic field service, hopeful sales presentations, we WANTED reclusive seclusion. So, in middle-age we made our choices: We didn't vacation, we didn't take cruises, we didn't party, we didn't eat out, we kept our vehicles running for decades, instead we paid off our mortgage by making double payments to the principle. We live on a wooded hillside and can't see our neighbors except when we sometimes meet a mile north where the pavement ends to check our clustered mailboxes. We shop weekly for groceries, monthly at Costco for the rest. We stock basement shelves with extras just in case... What we can't get locally we order from Amazon and UPS brings it in two days. I've been 'social distancing' for the last dozen or so years. Robin's now working from home by satellite as a software professional during the pandemic sequestration. What do I do? I mow. I prune.
I thin the forest to reduce wildfire fuel. I fall and buck trees and split my heating wood with a maul. I weed the small yard around the house. I fix pipes, doors, windows, gates, fences and instead of homebrew ale, at 75 and T2 diabetic I now sip tea sweetened with stevia in the afternoon sun. I take daily hikes up into the forest. I don't call that 'fortunate,' I call it earned. Social distancing is our way of life...”
Thank you, Rik, for this succinct and insightful insight into yours and Robin’s life and personality.
A committal service will be held 2:00 p.m., August 6, 2021 at Eagle Point National Cemetery, Eagle Point, Oregon.