In Memoriam: Rick Servocky
Sat., Jan. 22. 2022 3:43pm EST
This is J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX.
Last Saturday, I was shocked to hear that ApologetiX alumnus drummer Rick Servocky passed away on Wednesday, January 12. I hadn't seen him in a number of years, but I've since learned that he had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks with pneumonia and COVID. He was 62 and would have been 63 next month.
As the second drummer for ApologetiX, Rick served with us from the fall of 1993 through the spring of '95. However, he also filled in for us at concerts before and after that — in the spring of '93 and the summer of '96. After retiring from ApX, he ran his own roofing and repair business.
Rick and his wife, Dana, were married in '94, and I was honored to be a member of their wedding party. They have two sons, Patrick (25) and Carman (22). I had last emailed with Dana (who also handled correspondence for Rick) in November 2018, but I contacted her Sunday after getting the tragic news.
"It's been a whirlwind," she said, "and I've been overwhelmed. Rick and I were inseparable, and it was such a sudden, shocking ending. Your continued prayers will be appreciated!"
I read online posts by each of their sons, and I'd like to share a few quotes from them:
"My father was everything to me," said Patrick. "He taught me everything I know about being a man. I always looked up to him since I was a little kid. All I ever wanted to do was be as good as he was at what he did. I wouldn't be half the person I am without his guidance as a father."
Carman echoed those sentiments: "He wasn't just a father to me; he was a best friend and a role model. My father was a great man and helped me become the man I am today. Anybody that had a chance to meet or get to know my father could attest to that."
Rick was born in a Pittsburgh hospital and grew up in the local community of Wilkinsburg, just east of the city. He and Dana made their home in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.
Rick had a great sense of humor and was a very bold witness for Christ. I first met him in '92 at the Paradise Club, the same year and place ApologetiX made its debut. At the time, he was playing drums for a country-rock-and-gospel band called Disciple. No, that's not the same group as the famous Tennessee-based Christian metal band, although they also got their start in '92.
You can hear Rick's drumming on our Radical History Tour CD (1999). The original cassette version was released in '94. We recorded it that same year at Rick's house, which was also the site of our weekly band practices during his tenure with ApologetiX.
He played on all of the tracks and is pictured on the cover and in the CD booklet. You can hear his voice in three places on that CD, shouting "dead end" at 1:02 in "(Check Out) The Book," groaning loudly as he dropped a stick (but valiantly kept playing) at 1:13 in "Not Logs Lincoln," and enthusiastically replying "Yes!" and counting us in at the beginning (0:01-0:04) of "Midnight Hour Pt. 2."
In addition, Rick played drums on the last two songs on our Isn't Wasn't Ain't: The Director's Cut CD (2005) — those songs were originally on the Radical History Tour cassette — and on seven old live and studio tracks on our Rare Not Well Done downloads (2007).
Although he attended our 20th anniversary concert in 2012, Rick does not appear in the big ApX drummer roundtable discussion on our 20:20 Video DVD; other commitments prevented him from being there for the pre-concert filming.
Rick's memorial service will not be until next month. His successor on drums for ApologetiX, Bob Flaherty, and I will be both be speaking there. We were honored to be asked.
Patrick started a GoFundMe page to help pay for expenses involved with the funeral. Because Rick died relatively young and unexpectedly, the family was caught unprepared. The page explains their situation and also includes a touching tribute Patrick wrote about his father. I asked Dana for permission to share it here:
Please pray for Dana, Patrick and Carman. Thank you.