21 September 2021

The WANP was saddened to learn of the untimely passing of Dr. Esteban Ryciak on 3 September 2021. You are invited to attend a memorial in his honor from 6 to 7:30 pm on 29 September 2021 in Pike Place Market near his long-standing naturopathic medical practice. From Dr. Ryciak's loved ones:

"Dr. Esteban Ryciak was a dedicated practitioner of naturopathic medicine at his office in the Pike Place Market for 39 years. It was his life’s mission. Dr. Ryciak treated anyone and everyone that came to his door, with means or without, as if they were a member of his own family — with kindness, compassion and love. He put his heart and soul into his practice, his patients, his students, his family and everyone who he encountered. Fluent in Spanish, Dr. Ryciak took great pride and care in treating Seattle's Latino community. In the 70s he founded the Latin American Clinic in Costa Rica, and started his own line of herbal medicines, which were sold nationally in health food stores for more than 30 years. As a graduate of the first class of John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine, now Bastyr University, he stayed on as faculty during its early years. Dr. Ryciak was an influential and appreciated medical voice through his regular HIV-AIDS column in the Seattle Gay News throughout the "Act Up!" era. During the Aids Crisis in the 1980s, he was one of the first doctors to care for and touch his patients with AIDS, demonstrating both his knowledge as well as his compassion. Dr. Ryciak showed the same rare level of care during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it ultimately cost him his life. He was a strong proponent of receiving the Covid Vaccine. He fought tirelessly to help improve the health of not only his patients, but for all of those in need, especially those mistreated or nominalized by mainstream society. He was integral in gaining reimbursable naturopathic care for patients in Washington State in 1996, and in 1998 he was named “Physician of the Year” by the Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians. He also helped to found and co-direct the Sombrero Club, a community medicine clinical training program for naturopathic medical students. He was a passionate doctor known to push the envelope and quoted many times saying, 'If we're all thinking the same, nobody is thinking!'

"He is survived by his daughter Maritza Ryciak, who he lovingly raised as a single father, and his grandson Wylie Benjamin. The devotion to caring for others in his life was remarkable. He was a dedicated single dad when there were few single dads. He was a doctor who did house calls when few doctors did house calls. Dr. Ryciak was an extraordinary individual who forged his own path with such force that it is hard to believe that he is gone. He will be deeply missed."

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