An inspiration to all who have known you
Your soul so light and free
Like the Butterfly wings
Love you forever, Mom, Oma, Tante Helen,
Onkel Jack and everyone that ever knew you.
Celebrating Rik’s Life - Erik “Rik” George Weiss
Erik was born September 10, 1977 at Jewish Hospital St Louis, MO. to loving Parents Emma Schleiss (Weiss) and George Weiss.
Erik graduated from Parkway South HS and West County Tech in June 1996 where he was involved in an Environmental Studies Program. He also played a variety of sports, and was on the water polo team at Parkway South
After graduation, Erik went to Europe with his mother initially, but continued to travel extensively throughout western and eastern Europe for 5 months, meeting many new friends, and working in London for a period of time. He accomplished and saw so much more than most people during his life.
He moved to Los Angeles, California on his return from Europe, and began his transformation from Erik to "Rik", where he continued his education at
Santa Monica Community College in California. He continued to travel extensively, surfing and camping in Thailand, on the islands of Indonesia, and the beaches of Hawaii.
Because of his outstanding 3.8 grade point average, he was accepted to UCLA, where he graduated with an Economics degree in September 2001. He loved the California sun where he surfed; mountain biked and climbed, skied, etc. He was in paradise there and made many friends.
Erik joined the Peace Corp very soon after that in January 2002.
As a Peace Corp member, he was assigned to a remote area on the island of Cantanduanes in the Bicol region of the Philippines. He loved the people and his home on the island. As a Peace Corp Volunteer, he organized workshops on business planning, management, and leadership. He assisted young people in promoting livelihood development by writing grants and initiating various work projects to help them become more self-sufficient economically. Seaweed harvesting, cloth weaving, squid trapping were some of the projects he helped start, and are continuing to this day.
While there, he became ill with nosebleeds and a seizure, and was soon airlifted to Georgetown University Hospital in D.C, where he was diagnosed with a rare cancer called Esthesioneuroblastoma or Olfactory neurobalstoma which manifested itself as a fast growing brain tumor, cells replicating themselves many times over.
His courage, love, and good spirits inspired all of those around him.
After battling multiple surgeries, radiation, chemo, etc over a 15-month period, doctors gave up hope of saving him from this dread disease after the MRI in June 2004 showed eight new tumor growths. He spent the last five weeks of his life in the home of his father in Redondo Beach, CA surrounded by family and friends. His great courage, grace, humor, and his strong spiritual conviction and positive attitude, brought many people from allover the world into his life, who deeply loved and respected him. Finally his physical body became useless, and on July 9th at 10 p.m., our Lord enveloped him in his loving arms and set his wonderful spirit free. Erik was a living example of how one should live life -with courage, strength, and calm acceptance. The dignity and peacefulness with which he accepted the ravages wrought by the cancer is and always will be a great inspiration to all who witnessed it. We celebrate Rik's life, his faith, courage, friendship, and love for the people he served in the Philippines.
Emma (Weiss) Schleiss Proud to be Rik's Mom