Frederic Edward Supple Jr.
August 24, 1925 – May 4, 2021
After 95 years of living a remarkable life, Frederic E. Supple, also known as “Big Ric,” has passed away in Palm Springs. Ric and his beloved wife, Rozene, shared nearly 50 years together, with most of that time living on Smoke Tree Ranch.
Ric was born in San Francisco on August 24, 1925, to Margaret Jackson Supple and Frederic E. Supple Sr. He considered his father his best teacher, with fond memories of learning how to sail and fish on Clear Lake, play golf, and pursue studies at home with his father’s coaching.
Ric had two sisters, Laura Supple Simonds and Mary Margaret McAuliffe, who preceded him in death. The Supple house was a lively place. His father played the clarinet, Laura the piano, and Ric belted tunes on the trombone. This family trio produced a cacophony of sounds that drifted through the neighborhood. Ric developed a love for Big Band music and he played the trombone with the ROTC band at St. Ignatius High School.
His first summer job at Clear Lake was picking pears on 14-foot ladders. For a few weeks each summer, he picked from sun up to sundown, earning $8 per week. He dreamed of becoming an artist and was inspired by painter Fred Ludekens, who was a neighbor.
Ric attended Stanford University during WWII, when there were three women for every one man. He hashed at the Delta Gamma house where he met his first love, Jacqueline McCurdy, whom he married upon graduation. During his time at Stanford, he was a yell leader, captain of the 1945 football team, and a rugby player — at 6’ 4”, he was known as a BMOC (Big Man On Campus). He graduated with a degree in political science and economics, and would later serve on the Stanford Athletic Board because of his passionate interest in sports.
With a love for the arts and creativity, he decided to experiment on the job front. Upon graduation, he worked for an advertising agency in Chicago where he wrote copy and earned $29 per week. He later worked at J.J. Weiner Co. in San Francisco and received his first commission for placing an ad for Belfast sparkling water. Like his father, he enjoyed writing and he landed a freelance job with Sunset Magazine. One of his most memorable articles was a story about Fred Ludekens and Stan Galli on their painting expedition to the Four Corners area.
Life took a turn when he discovered a new pursuit in the field of insurance. A quick learner, he enjoyed the profession and developed a successful career with Fred S. James and the Provident Mutual Insurance Co. in San Francisco. For many years, Ric and his family cherished their time living in Belvedere overlooking the S.F. Bay.
After the untimely loss of Jacqueline, Ric met Rozene Richards Moore at a Stanford reunion. He recognized her from his old Delta Gamma days. They had gone on one date while in college.
Ric and Rozene discovered they had much in common, with a shared love of the arts and the losses of their spouses. They married and settled in Palm Springs, a place that Rozene knew well from her high school days while living on Smoke Tree Ranch.
Ric’s love for music blossomed in Palm Springs. In partnership, Ric and Rozene owned and managed five radio stations including KPSI, KWXY, KKGX, KPTR, and KDES. R&R Broadcasting experimented with a variety of music genres, from country and Big Band, to rock ’n’ roll and easy-listening music. Over a 40-year period they grew to love and support an engaging family of DJs and talk show hosts.
Ric and Rozene also enjoyed bringing new forms of entertainment to Palm Springs. In 1989, they founded the Palm Springs International Film Festival with Sonny Bono. With their interest in movies and Hollywood just down the road, they decided to purchase and renovate the Camelot Theatres, which became the flagship arts theatre.
Ric served for many years on the Desert Regional Hospital board and as president of the Desert Hospital Foundation. With Rozene, they donated funds to renovate the hospital and construct the Richards Emergency Trauma Center in honor of Rozene’s father, George Richards. Their joint interest in philanthropy has resulted in many community contributions, including a major gift to construct the Richards Center for the Arts at Palm Springs High School.
In 2007, Ric and Rozene founded the Palm Springs Cultural Center, a nonprofit organization which sponsors a number of popular film festivals, such as the American Documentary Film Festival, Cinema Diverse, and Film Noir, along with the popular Farmers Market. As a special legacy gift, they donated the Camelot Theatres to the Palm Springs Cultural Center so that the community would always have the opportunity to enjoy movies, live theater, and other entertainment.
Ric will be remembered for his priceless storytelling and humor that would light up any room with laughter, and his huge spirit of generosity and kindness to all whom he knew.
His family and friends will miss him deeply, but his legacy of love and laughter will live on in our hearts forever.
He is survived by Rozene, his wife of nearly 50 years, his children and their spouses, Debbie Miller (Dennis), Kate Klein (Tom), Johanna Cullip, Judy Freiha, Georgie Hay (Roy), and Abby O’Connor, and his stepson, Rick Moore (Sarah Romo), and his eight grandchildren, Robin and Casey Miller, Jack and Matthew Klein, Hassiba (Kenton), Issam and Elissa Freiha, and Emma O’Connor, along with many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the special caregivers who helped Ric during this past year: Casey Consiglio, Jhaye Lopez, Bob Munson, and Ronnie Moreno.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Palm Springs Cultural Center.