Eric (Rick) Michael Coonce

Passed away very suddenly at Nanaimo General Hospital on February 25th. He was 64 years old. Wife Barbara, son Trevor (Vossie), daughter Emily, grandchildren Chloe, Aidan, Alina, brothers Phil, Gary and sister Joan, survive him.

Rick was born in Los Angeles, California. From a very early age his musical abilities shone. At 17 he joined 3 other musicians to form a hit group – The Grass Roots. Rick was the drummer and percussionist. They had a series of hits from 1967 to 1972, with songs on the Billboard charts for an amazing 307 straight weeks. (http://rickcoonce.com/) Rick left the group in 1971 and moved to Coombs to farm. He soon found work at the Brannen Lake Juvenile Centre. When it closed down he joined the Ministry of Human Resources in Port Alberni, starting as a youth worker and then becoming a social worker in 1981. He was known as “West Coast Rick” and had a unique, beloved style of social work. Rick retired in 2002, and lived quietly at his farm until his death. Throughout the decades living on Vancouver Island, Rick played with and inspired many local musicians. Rick was a strong supporter of the Coombs community. He was a charter member of the Coombs Pensioners Hobby Craft Association and volunteered regularly for the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association.

Rick’s insight and sense of humour will be sorely missed.

A celebration of Rick’s life will be held in Coombs at the Arrowsmith Activity Centre (Coombs Fairgrounds on Ford Road), on Saturday March 12, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


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