Richard “Rick” Lee Cramer Jr.


On Friday, March 15, 2019, Richard “Rick” Lee Cramer Jr., 43 years young and UCSB’s Director of IT for the Department of Geography, passed away unexpectedly.  He was killed while driving his motorcycle on his early morning commute to work.

Born on June 8th, 1975 in Santa Barbara, CA, he was a first born son and grew to raise a ruckus with his four little brothers, until he graduated from San Marcos High School in 1994.  He went on to serve in the U.S. Navy where he excelled in his class in the Nuclear Field Program.  During his diverse professional career he developed a deep understanding of Information Technology and was an IT Tech at the University of California, Santa Barbara for nearly 10 years.  His co-workers describe him as kind, generous, patient and a great person to work with.

Rick was an amazing husband with a wide easy smile and sparkling blue eyes.  He was a best friend, a big brother, and a loyal coworker.  He was everybody’s biggest cheerleader and a supporter of the underdog.  He was a fan of action adventure and sci-fi, and would be sure to tell you about his strong belief that ‘Die Hard’ is the best Christmas movie ever made.  Rick was a dedicated football fan with a healthy obsession for the Green Bay Packers … living the truth that there is no off season.  He followed MotoGP closely and collected every motorcycle movie ever made.  He was a lover of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and would never turn down an offer of the blue box mac-n-cheese.

Rick was more than a motorcycle enthusiast.  It was his passion.  His brothers all teased that talking to him was like hearing ‘Motorcycle, motorcycle, motorcycle!’  He was a lifelong motorcyclist, even his first vehicle was a motorcycle.  Rick was a naturally talented rider who raced and held expert and pro licenses in the various organizations throughout California (AFM, SMRRC, WSMC, AMA, etc.).  He had a tremendous love for the motorcycling community and rode both on the road, and on closed course tracks on both asphalt and dirt.  Rick was a stickler for wearing protective gear and always put safety first, preaching it to everyone that would listen and encouraging all motorists to take motorcycle safety courses … even making a sweet deal with his wife, Kristine (Rathsack) Cramer, that she needed to get her motorcycle license by completing the safety school before they could get married.

All the lives that this man has touched with his sense of humor, joy for life, positive spirit, and non judgement ‘you do you’ attitude will serve as our inspiration going forward.  We promise to live the rest of our days more as Rick did … with passion, laughter, generosity and fun.  Our lives will forever be better because of having known the goodness of who he was.

Ride on Rick, ride on … you will forever be in our hearts!!

“I want to share this photo, not only because it is one of my favorites of us, but I feel that it captures the entire feeling of our relationship and the joy that Rick brought to me, and really to so many others. For the last 13 and a half years…Rick has made me laugh…Every. Single. Day. Without fail.” -Kristine Cramer