This is not a formal obituary, simply a note to a friend. Richard was always here for our Krewe. Whether taking his beautiful daughter, Hailey (Princess Nasty), to Training Camp or watching his son Austin grow into the strong young man you know as Big Swole, Richard was intently focused on making sure his family knew how important they were. He encouraged his children to pursue their dreams, whatever those dreams looked like. The Zeller family was always tight; Richard and his wife, Amy, had a clear focus on that. And if you were a friend to the Zellers, you were family. We were fortunate to be part of that.
If you knew Richard, you know that when he loved something, he was evangelical about it. Proudly carrying the nickname “Stuck,” Richard could talk for hours about the things he loved. If you listened, his stories focused on his family, his friends and the Bucs – all of which he loved and fiercely supported.
As we remember Richard, we hope to learn from the things he did that make today so hard. He always had time for you. He always cared. He was always passionate. He loved the people in his life without limit or hesitation. And he was, as a Bucs fan and a person, decidedly optimistic.
We talk a lot about what it means to be family. With Richard and the Zellers, we were part of a family that experienced the good and bad together. And from Richards’s perspective there was no difference between our Krewe and his crew. They were the same family. Sometimes we get reminders of how deeply family can impact us. Sometimes those reminders are warm feelings brought on by celebrations of wins, tailgating or charity events. Sometimes it’s seeing the graduation pictures of our friend’s children and remembering a time when they couldn’t even drive.
But now, it’s wishing we could spend some extra time wrapped up in one of those stories Richard told with such passion. That passion defined him.
May all of you find some solace in those reminders while remembering our friend and his family.
We certainly will.
We will be dedicating this season to Richard Zeller. We have no idea what that means yet, but when we do we will let everyone know. We will also share details for Richard’s Celebration of Life as they become available.