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Obituaries

Richard ‘Rick’ Sutton Pepersack, a chemical engineer and Habitat for Humanity volunteer, dies

Richard “Rick” Sutton Pepersack died after a lengthy illness July 12 with his wife and mother by his side at a hospice in Timonium. He was 51.

Born on Nov. 6, 1970, Mr. Pepersack grew up with two older sisters on Yorktowne Drive in Towson. His father, Richard Joseph Pepersack, worked in sales, and his mother, Harriet Sutton Pepersack, was a secretary at Johns Hopkins University.

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From a young age, he loved science and was into the solar system, said his sister Lisa A. P. Miller, of Westfield, New Jersey.

“My favorite thing about him, one hundred percent, is his sense of humor and how funny he was. He was so science centric. He always, always had experiments going,” Ms. Miller said. “Rick was by far one of the funniest people you could ever know.”

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Growing up, her brother didn’t excel at sports compared to his sisters, but he was extremely smart, Ms. Miller said.

“My sister and I always joked that all of the smart genes went right to him,” she said. “He had a very, very, quick, dry sense of humor. Really quick wit very, very, intelligent, very smart guy.”

Mr. Pepersack graduated from Towson High School in 1988. He followed suit with his sisters and attended the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1993.

Some of his best years were in college, where he met his wife and got a chance to bond with his sisters. He was also a member of Alpha Chi Sigma chemistry fraternity with his wife.

The couple moved to Bastrop, Louisiana, after college and took engineering jobs at the same company before tying the knot in April 1995.

“We got married in Maryland. We came home as all of our families were in Maryland,” said his wife Michelle, who grew up in Annapolis. “He was generous. He was very clever and quick witted. Always making me laugh. He was more romantic than me.”

Ms. Pepersack became a homemaker as the pair raised a couple of cats and dogs together and slowly made their way back east to be closer to family.

“We went grocery shopping together. We just did everything together,” his wife said. “We wanted to have children, and my plan was to be a stay-at-home mom. But then, we just we didn’t have children.”

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Mr. Pepersack worked at International Paper in Louisiana from 1993 to 1998 and obtained a secondary degree in pulp and paper science and technology from Northeast Louisiana University, now known as University of Louisiana at Monroe, in 1995.

Mr. Pepersack was a chemical engineer for 26 years. He worked in process control and optimization for several manufacturing companies, including Hercules near St. Simons Island, Georgia, until 2006, and then at Printpack in Williamsburg, Virginia, until 2016.

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He acquired several patents surrounding improved “puncturability” in the print packaging industry while in Virginia before the couple finally moved up to Salisbury. Mr. Pepersack volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in all the different places he lived, Ms. Pepersack said.

During his down time, he was a computer gamer who enjoyed music, gardening and cooking. He often experimented with new recipes using his sous vide. He also gardened with a purpose, trying his hands at planting tomatoes and corn.

He propagated his love of purple violets, replanting the smaller leaves into pots and sharing them with friends and coworkers. Gardening was the one shared common interest in the Pepersack family, his sister said.

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His love of alternative music was profound, Ms. Miller said, and he happily shared his vast knowledge of it with his friends and family.

“Rick appreciated and had a real knowledge of alternative music, mostly from the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s, from popular to more obscure bands including REM, Smashing Pumpkins, Beastie Boys, Decemberists, Fishbone,” Ms. Miller said. “You could ask him anything about these types of bands and he could give you an answer.”

Mr. Pepersack is survived by his wife Michelle; his mother Harriet Sutton Pepersack, who’s retired in Towson; his sisters, Kimberly P. Weller of St. Michael’s and Lisa A. P. Miller of Westfield, New Jersey; as well as loving nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. He is preceded in death by father Richard Joseph Pepersack, who died in 2015.

A celebration of life will be held from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Aug. 12 followed by a prayer service at Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, 6500 York Road in Baltimore County.


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