Rick Jackson, Commodore 2011-12
With great sorrow, we mark the passing of Past Commodore Frederick “Rick” Jackson on May 16, 2017.
A member of EYC for more than 25 years, Rick first stepped up to serve on the Executive Board as Keeper of the Log in 2006, moving on to Rear Commodore (2007-2008), Vice Commodore (2009-2010) and Commodore (2011-2012) before concluding eight active years of service with a term as Past Commodore in 2013.
As EYC launched a major redevelopment, starting with redesigning and rebuilding the marina, completed in 2006, and going on to replace the aging and outgrown clubhouse with the current building, which opened in 2012, Rick was on the front lines through it all. His vision, dedication, and sometimes sheer force of will, combined with seemingly endless hours of effort, were essential to the completion of both of these major projects.
He accomplished all of it while nearly always maintaining his signature sense of humor and infectious good spirits. In fact, his ebullient outlook and unwillingness to settle for defeat marked most of what he did, even through the largest challenges, and served to inspire his teammates.
A longtime active member of the Race Committee and veteran offshore sailor, Rick also was involved with the Annapolis Bermuda Ocean Race, in which he finished second in division in 2002 before taking the helm as its organizing committee chair in 2005 – a job he had to give up to join the Executive Board the following year.
It would be difficult to name a club committee or major event in which he did not take part, if not play a prominent leading role. Typically one of the first to volunteer for any activity, and to encourage others to join him, Rick did not hesitate to apply his considerable energy, many talents, and can-do attitude to everything in which he took part.
Rick was a keen competitor, both on and off the water, whether racing or participating in winter Trivia Nights. While he savored quiet times with family and friends, he was always interested in the next adventure and seldom relaxed for long.
His and Eileen’s two-year cruise on Jackson’s Hole was a dream realized but the need to do, to be involved, to make things happen, won out in the end and they returned to Annapolis and EYC, where he found an ever-widening circle of friends and more than enough to do, to be involved, and to make things happen.
If Rick’s enthusiastic support for all things EYC was remarkable, it paled in comparison to his devotion to his family – wife Eileen and their five children and seven grandchildren in particular, as well as his mother and five brothers and their families – and his many friends.
In a personal introduction he wrote for the View from the Bridge when he joined the Executive Board in 2006, Rick concluded:
If I can pass on one thing to you, it is get involved and help make EYC even better than it is today. Each of us became members of EYC because a friend introduced us to it. We liked what we saw. And while one friend is nice, a room full of friends is even better. You can have all of that and more when you become involved and participate in the EYC. Find a committee and volunteer. Become part of our future.
In addition to an entire club full of friends, Rick is survived by his wife Eileen; daughter Kara Jackson (James LeBlanc) and sons John Abruzzo (Mary Beth), Matt Abruzzo (Leighann), Mark Abruzzo (Lindsay) and Todd Jackson (Stephanie), and grandchildren Johnny, Isabella, Warren, Caiden, Masen, Madlyn, and Tobin; his mother Becky Kaplan, and brothers Gary, Bill, Richard, Chris, and Steve Jackson.
Rick’s family suggests that donations in his memory may be made to the Eastport Yacht Club Foundation (www.eycfoundation.org), a charity that teaches and encourages the love of sailing and Bay stewardship.