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June 27, 1951 - May 7, 2013 OKLAHOMA CITY Frederick Michael Black, affectionately known to many as "Rickey", passed away in Palo Alto, CA surrounded by his family on May 7, 2013 at age 61. He was born on June 27, 1951 in New York City, the son of Melitta and Dr. Jack Black. In 1969 he graduated from Horace Mann School in Riverdale, NY and continued his education at Oberlin College graduating with a BA in Geology in 1973. There he met his wife, Robin. He went on to pursue an MS in Geology from University of Wisconsin in 1977. Hired by Gulf Oil, Rickey moved to Oklahoma with Robin several months after they were married in 1977. Later, he worked for Slawson Oil and eventually started his own company, B&W Exploration, in 1988 with partner Kirk Whitman. Rickey was admired by his peers for his passionate love of geology and the integrity of his work.Rickey made an impact on his community by serving as a board member and treasurer of Temple B'nai Israel and board member and treasurer of Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City. He also generously fostered the succeeding generations of the Oberlin College community by contributing to the rebuilding of the geology department and funding field camp scholarships. He also had a long history of philanthropy, supporting Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.Skiing, sailing, travel, poetry, art, music, and the ocean were among his many interests, but his greatest passion was for his family and friends. He loved the outdoors and spent much of his time exploring the beauty of New Mexico, his home away from home. Rickey made all of his family and friends feel listened to and loved. He was nurturing, accepting, wise, caring, and full of life. He always lit up the room with love and laughter. His strong and generous spirit was with him until the very end.He is survived by his wife of 35 years Robin S. Black and three children Hillary, Evan, and Lily Black. He is also survived by his brother Dr. Robert Black of Hamden, CT. A memorial service will be 11 a.m., Friday, May 10, 2013, at Temple B'nai Israel. Donations can be made to the Rick Black Memorial Fund for medical research at Bank First of Oklahoma, Attn: Ed Alexander.His life rose in the east and set in the west, but he shared the world with us from the middle of the country, his geological outpost of Oklahoma City.

Published in The Oklahoman on May 10, 2013
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