Dr. Richard Lee Wall of Sylva, N.C., lovingly known as Rick or “Doc,” passed away on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, at age 66.

He was born in Salisbury, N.C., on March 7, 1953, to the late Walter Lee and Shirley Baker Wall.

Rick was a North Carolinian his whole life, attending Western Carolina for his undergraduate degree and North Carolina State University for his Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. He spent his life taking care of the community’s much-loved furry family members at Sylva Animal Hospital. He treasured life in the mountains and enjoyed living here for the majority of his life.

Rick was an avid sports fan, enjoying NASCAR, football and basketball. He always cheered on his N.C. State Wolfpack. Rick was an Army veteran and enjoyed visiting with friends at the VFW and American Legion while sipping on an ice cold Corona.

Rick loved animals and liked people. He lived life on his own terms. He loved rock and roll music and fast cars, especially his most recent custom designed Dodge Challenger Hellcat. He also liked to give most everyone he knew a nickname, whether they liked it or not.

Left to cherish his memory are Rick’s sister, Jeanne Melvin, her husband, Michael of Concord, N.C., and their two daughters, Nicole Tate and husband Kyle of Richmond, Va., and Brandi Melvin-Scammell and husband Mark Scammell of Hillsborough, N.C. Rick had one great-niece, Eleanor Scammell.

A celebration of Rick’s life will be held on what would have been his 67th birthday, Saturday, March 7, from 1-4 p.m. at the American Legion in Waynesville, N.C.

If you are so inclined to continue to spread your love to the animals like Rick always did, we ask that you make donations to the following nonprofit organizations that he held near to his heart: Catman2 Inc., www.catman2.org; and ARF, aka Humane Society of Jackson County, Inc., http://animal.jacksonnc.org.