Richard Thomas LaMartina, 59, Viroqua, formerly Burlington, died from cancer on Nov. 16, 2011.

He was born in Racine on Aug. 26, 1952, to the late Andrea T. and Marion R. (Schliesman) LaMartina. He graduated from Bettendorf (Iowa) High School in 1970. On Sept. 15, 1990, he was united in marriage to Margaret (Peg) (Howe) in Burlington.

During the last 15 years, he had a career as an award-winning nature photographer. He leaves behind a unique legacy of work depicting the beauty and majesty of a natural world with which he loved to commune.

His spirit, kindness and great gentleness touched all those who knew him.

On Nov. 13, there was an outpouring of love and support at a celebration of his life and work entitled “Perceptions of Beauty,” held in Viroqua.

It was just five months ago that Rick was diagnosed and at that time started an online journal called “My Journey Home” His writings featured his indomitable spirit, humor and profound ideas about the world, society, living and dying.

Survivors include his wife; siblings, Michael (Dawn), Racine, Marie, Burlington, Tom (Joy), Chippewa Falls, Joe (Laura), Racine, Andrea, Racine, and Mimi, Franklin; his in-laws, Greg (Gay), Deb (Rich), Bert (Dale), Chris (Dave), Brian (Marcia), Anita (Tad), Jon; many nieces; nephews and a grand niece.

A private home vigil and visitation was held in Viroqua. A memorial to honor and celebrate his beautiful life was held Dec. 3. Memorial gifts can be made to The Crawford Stewardship Project or The Valley Stewardship Network, or plant a tree in his honor.

Rick’s family, extended family, friends and other members of his family-at-large will miss his fierce yet gentle spirit.

One Comment

  1. Dear Peg, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace and comfort from all the wonderful memories you shared. my heartfelt condolences, Jo Harrington.