After a four-year battle with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, Sheep Shape co-star Rick Carone passed away Thursday suddenly at the age of 46.
The news broke when the Team Carone Foundation, which focuses in the areas of cancer support and research, announced the grim news on their Facebook page on Thursday afternoon.
In addition to the impact resonating across the outdoor world, the Cary, Illinois native also made an impact in the world of professional baseball, playing competitively in college before being drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1994. There, he spent four years playing in the White Sox’s minor league system before entrenching himself in the outdoor industry.
Working as a field editor and videographer for the Buck Commander TV series, Carone was thrust into the outdoor world by none other than Willie Robertson in 2003. He went on to also co-star on Sheep Shape TV on the Sportsman Channel and served as V.P. of Sales for Hard Core Brands and Bone Collector in Illinois.
In the handful of years I knew @rickcarone, he made a profound impact on me. During the entire time of our friendship he was fighting for his life but he wouldn’t use his illness as an excuse. He showed me what tough really was. As he battled cancer, he hit home runs, lifted weights and ran the mountain with me, went on some amazing and tough hunts, and was successful! He fought and loved, he fought and lead, he fought and worshipped, he fought and lived life to the fullest! Rick was an example of a man I’d like to become. The way he lived his life, smiling while hurting and being an amazing, supportive and unwavering friend to many as cancer tried to beat him down continually had me wondering, Could I be a better person, a better friend, could I be as strong as Rick? Thank you for your positive influence on me brother. I’m going to miss you dearly. My heart breaks for your daughters and your family and I pray that grief passes gently. I love you Rick. Cam
The outpouring from both the baseball and outdoor communities is a true testament of Rick’s character and passion for living a positive life, even after his terminal diagnosis. Modeling his life through God, family, and friends, Carone never questioned how he was going to live out his life to the best of his abilities.
I cannot begin to even explain how much this guy has meant to me and has inspired me to be a better, more Christ like man! @rickcarone thank you brother for all the lives you have touched and for always doing it for Gods Glory and not your own. Thank you for always fighting for what you believe in and for your girls! You are one of the strongest men mentally, physically, and most importantly spiritually that I've ever known. A lot of times we question why things happen to certain ones and that's probably something we will never truly understand, but I do know that because of you, thousands and thousands of other lives have been changed! Including my own. Although we now mourn your physical passing, we rejoice that you are no longer in pain and you are with the King of Kings watching down on all of us now! We all love you and miss you brother! You have my word that your wishes will be fulfilled and I will see you again one day buddy! God Bless your two beautiful girls and family! #shutdowncancer #kcancer @teamcarone @teamcaronefoundation @the108stitches
“The cancer has spread from my pancreas to my liver and kidneys. It is Stage IV Terminal; It is what it is. God has a plan, I choose the positive direction,” a quote on the Sheep Shape TV website reads.
His initial diagnosis in 2013, Carone was given a 15 percent chance of survival past year one. He leaves behind two daughters, Karsyn, currently enrolled at Ole Miss, and Tyler, a high school senior in Texas.
For those interested in contributing, a donation to the Carone Family Trust can be made and will go towards funding Rick’s daughter’s education.