The Board of Directors of Good Neighbors of Park Slope is saddened by the news of the death of Dick Nininger, one of our founding members in 2014. Dick was instrumental in helping to set up the structure of many activities that we still enjoy today. Our deep condolences to his family.
The following obituary was sent to us by his niece:
Richard "Dick" Adams Nininger (1929 - 2022), the youngest of three sons, grew up in Bronxville, New York. At 14, after the death of his father, Richard spent a short year in Ft. Lauderdale with family before moving to Connecticut where he continued his education at The Taft School in Watertown. Richard went on to attend Yale University to study Architecture, graduating in 1951. A course in Greek Studies piqued his fascination in Greek culture, history, and architecture, a passion that sent him traveling to Europe and East Asia in subsequent years.
Richard was drafted into the Marine Corps where he served from 1951 to 1953. After boot camp at Paris Island and school at Fort Belvoir, Richard was assigned to the Second Marine Division in Camp Lejeune, during which time he was sent to embarkation school followed by assignments with NATO Special Forces planning military operations in the Mediterranean
and the Caribbean. As In all of his life’s endeavors, Richard served his country with honor and distinction.
In the fall of 1954, Richard returned to Yale School of Architecture to earn his Master's Degree. After graduating in 1957, he sailed for Europe, traveling from October 1957 to December 1958. He traveled throughout Western Europe outside the Iron Curtain and reached Yugoslavia and Turkey. He returned to Europe many times over his lifetime to continue exploring his
many interests and fulfilling his destiny as a lifelong learner. Upon Richard’s return home in 1958, he worked as an architect in New Haven for a year before moving to New York Clty to work in various firms as a draftsman. In 1971, he bought and renovated. almost entirely on his own, a 3-family brownstone in Park Slope - he was a skilled, self-taught craftsman.
Over the years, Richard made many contributions to building community in Park Slope. He helped to bring a much needed grocery store to the neighborhood, created ‘mini parks’ at intersections of streets bordering Flatbush Ave, and was a founding member of Good Neighbors of Park Slope (GNPS) in 2014. In his retirement, Richard enjoyed many hobbies including researching his extensive family history and writing two books documenting 13 generations of history and stories. Richard attended the many Sterling Place block parties over the years, and more recently enjoyed his membership in the GNPS 90+ Social Group.
Richard had a wry sense of humor and unmatched wit. He loved history and was known to have a story about or have knowledge of, an extensive array of topics. He recounted stories and locations of travels over 50 years prior like it was yesterday, enjoying his audiences exclamations with a soft chuckle and bounce of his crossed leg. Richard was equally adept
as a listener, taking great interest in the lives and adventures of the people in his life. A strong-willed, independent person, Richard took all challenges head on, from tackling landscaping feats in his garden to learning to navigate a smartphone at 91.
Richard was predeceased by his long time friend, Walter Barnard, and his brothers Charles and Sigourney. He leaves behind three generations of nieces and nephews who adored him, as well as great friends, near and far, whom he cherished. Richard will be buried in Lowell Cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts among Richardson ancestors, and next to his mother and father.
A memorial celebration will be held, in Park Slope in November, when his whole family can be together.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Friends of the Maryland State Archives:
or East Brooklyn Mutual Aid:
From the GNPS Caregivers’ Group:
When I discovered the GNPS Caregivers group, I was eager to join. DIck was an active participant. But the original group was filled. Three people were waiting for a new one to start. To give us enough participants to begin meeting, Dick graciously attended each session. Volunteering his hours, he gently helped us learn the delicate, unique ways to share our own experiences while interacting and empathizing with others. He was exceptionally warm, open and caring. I gained so much from his interventions, and it was a privilege (and an enormous benefit) to share some very personal time with Dick.
Prepared by Carol Milano
From the GNPS Over 90 Group:
Richard was among the first members of the GNPS "Over 90” support group. His fine sense of humor and his quick wit made him seem much younger.
Our group will be hard pressed to find a replacement for him. We join his family and friends in saying a sad goodbye.
Prepared Bernie Kleinman