In Memory of Rick Golightly

Hi everyone. My name is Whitney, and I was asked by friends of the Golightly family to write this on behalf of Rick and his journey with Covid-19. Even though I have never met Rick, over the past month and a half, he has gained a very special place in my heart through his fearless fight. Through conversations with those who know him well, it was easily made known that he was the best husband, father, Papa, friend, neighbor, etc. to everyone around.

On Sunday, November 29th, Rick began feeling symptoms. He woke up dizzy with a slight headache. By late afternoon, he had the chills and did not feel well. By Monday, his headache had worsened and was persistent. On Tuesday, family was finally able to convince Rick into having  a Covid test done. His headache continued to get worse and the fatigue set in. This lasted for a week. On Tuesday, December 8th, Sherry convinced Rick to go to the ER. This was very difficult as Sherry had to drop him off at the front entrance and was not allowed to go in. She waited in the parking lot alone for hours until Rick finally called and told her to go home because he was going to be admitted.

Rick was put on 6 liters of oxygen quickly and over the next 24 hours, his oxygen requirements grew even higher. Sherry sat at home waiting for an update, but even when she received one, it was very vague. Eventually, on day two of his admission, an angel of a nurse helped Sherry FaceTime with Rick. Multiple nurses, doctors, technicians, respiratory therapists, etc. took amazing care of Rick over his stay. He charmed them with his Rick’s witticisms, which of course brought him more attention :) 

Three weeks and four days, Rick struggled to breathe. He had good days and bad. On his good days, he would call his family and friends joking with them and reassuring them that he was okay. Finally, on day 25, Rick, Sherry, and the kids decided it was time to give Rick’s body a rest. They made the decision to place Rick on a ventilator, knowing the chances were not great. He fought for another six days, but his poor body was so exhausted and could not battle any longer.

Sherry and the family were called in on three separate occasions with warnings from the doctors and nurses that this could be the last. On day 29, it was decided that Papa should hear from his grandkids who naturally wanted to have a “pow wow” with him. The kids talked, encouraged, and laughed with hopes that Papa was able to hear them. The next day was a good day for Rick. He fought like hell, his vitals were stable, and he tolerated all care he received, but that night, Rick’s body decided it had had enough. Sherry and the family were called in for a fourth and final time to say their goodbyes. On Friday, January 8th, Rick gained his angel wings at 12:30am.

If you had the pleasure of knowing Rick, it’s no surprise that he was one of the most humble, generous, caring, and loving people. He was committed to his marriage and celebrated his love with Sherry for 38 years; almost as much as he was committed to his jokes. He was known for his love of snowmobiles, dune buggies, and motorcycles, and he had a passion for repairing small engines. If you called Rick to ask for help with something today, you could probably still hear him answer with, “Whatdja do now?” Above all else, Rick was a family man. He cherished his children and his grandchildren to no end.

If Rick were here now, he would want you to remember all the great memories you shared with him. He would want you to continue to laugh with him in spirit. But most of all, Rick would want you to “Get on with your bad self!”

Rick’s wishes were to be cremated, and the celebration of life is in the process. I have high hopes that this GoFundMe will help ease Sherry and the family’s minds as they begin to take on the medical expenses of a 31-day stay in an ICU. If you could find it in your hearts, please share Rick’s story with your friends and family and donate to help offset these medical expenses.


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  • Gwen Olds 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Zoran and Robin Novak & Boys 
    • $50 
    • 2 d
  • Jane McGee 
    • $50 
    • 4 d
  • Mark Brannick 
    • $100 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 8 d
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Whitney Rose Whitney 
Jackson, MI
Sherry Golightly 
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