As a staff member at Nevada Trust Company, Rick Maltin was the contract bookkeeper for the Liberace Foundation for two years. When I first met him, he just rubbed me the wrong way. That wouldn’t last.
Rick despised having to take time to explain what he knew so well. He was confident in his profession because he was so very competent, and he knew it. I soon learned he was light years ahead of any other bookkeeper I had ever worked with. He grew on me.
Then he became a stalwart Liberace defender. Rick found overcharges by several licensing and government entities, insurance companies and more. He became a terrifying call when his number showed up on the caller ID of many. Rufunds tumbled in as he jumped into the trenches with me negotiating and stretching dollars. He joined me in personally supporting the Foundation financially. His desk was an undulating sea of paper, always in flux as he handled the books for the Liberace Foundation and so much more. He was a study in tenacity.
Above his desk was a large photo of his daughter, and a couple of mementos from the Liberace Foundation. One day, he told me he had seen an auto museum that would be an ideal place to move Liberace’s expensively stored cars. What became Liberace Garage was his idea, and it was Rick who pushed me to approach our partner to make it happen.
Rick was really good at his job. He got me thinking in accoutning terms all the time. Every transaction became filtered through the potential accounting consequences or costs. He taught me much.
One day last year I was in Rick’s office when he got a call which sounded like a trying health diagnosis. He was as matter-of-fact about it as he was anything else.
Yesterday, we lost him.
The passing of Rick Maltin leaves a giant hole in the Liberace Foundation. Personally, I’ll miss my colleague, my taskmaster, my friend. But I also am inspired by his tenacity, to jump back in the trenches in which he and I fought so hard the past two years, and start slugging away harder than ever. Rick believed we will succeed in our new endeavors, and he never stopped looking to that future. If I were to let up, he wouldn’t have it.
The Liberace Foundation and I offer deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rick Maltin. He has a permanent place in the Liberace legacy, and we will miss him dearly.
Jonathan Warren Chairman