Ralph McQuarrie passed away at the age of 82. A friend of mine put it in words that are much better than anything I could write. You can see his post here at Life Needs Art.
For my part, Star Wars was a movie that changed how I saw things. The visuals that Ralph Mcquarrie created were a major part of that view. I know he not only influenced me but many others as well.
He was a master.