Although Lewis "Rick" Volk enjoyed working as a set dresser on films with stars like Michael Douglas and Richard Gere, his true passions were blues music and, of course, the Steelers.
Mr. Volk, a member of the local chapter of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, worked at concerts and on the sets of well-known films shot locally, including "The Mothman Prophecies," "Wonder Boys" and "The Temptations."
Mr. Volk suffered from renal disease and became disabled in 2004. He remained up to date on his union dues until his death, always hoping to one day return to work.
"He wanted to get better," said long-time partner, Ronaele Hoffman. "He wanted to live forever, but I think he knew he was getting awful sick."
Mr. Volk, of Turtle Creek, died Saturday of complications from pneumonia. He was 56.
A self-taught acoustic guitarist, he immersed himself in the music scene, traveling to the Chicago Blues Festival and the Pocono Blues Festival for more than 25 years to mingle with artists such Buddy Guy, Johnny Clyde Copeland and Charlie Musselwhite.
A highlight was when he won an autographed Gibson guitar from BB King and received backstage passes to meet the star in a local radio station contest.
The Turtle Creek High School graduate and Ms. Hoffman had known each other since age 15. The couple reunited at a Christmas party in 1987 and stayed together.
"He was a wonderful man," Ms. Hoffman said. "He was nice and kind and loving and worried about other people besides himself. He loved having a good time."
Mr. Volk is survived by Ms. Hoffman of Turtle Creek; father Lewis C. Volk of Turtle Creek; sister Linda Karlar of North Braddock and brother Mark Volk of Turtle Creek; stepson Robert Dick of Turtle Creek; and a granddaughter.
Friends are welcome at Patrick Lanigan Funeral Home, 1111 Monroeville Ave., Turtle Creek, from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. Panachida will be prayed at 7 p.m. A blessing service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, with a burial to follow at Plum Creek Cemetery.
Taryn Luna: 412-263-1985 or email@example.com.