Richard L. Norgaard PhD, professor emeritus and philanthropist, of Mansfield Center, CT died at his home on October 9. He was 89.
Richard served his country on the USS New Jersey in the Korean War. His professional life was dedicated to academics as a professor of finance at the universities of Texas, Southern California, and Connecticut where he worked with the Small Business Administration assisting businesses with finance and founded the Bureau of Utility Research. After retirement Richard spent much of his time supporting the arts and academics at the universities of Hartford and Connecticut.
Born to Ralph Norgaard and Margaret Lima in St. Paul, Minnesota on March 5, 1930 Richard grew up in Buffalo before moving with his family to Minneapolis. He joined the Navy and went to Oregon State and later the University of Minnesota on the GI Bill.
Richard married his first wife, Betty Pyle, in 1952. He worked in insurance before earning a doctorate in finance from the University of Minnesota. Together they had two children, Kilborn, married to Rebecca Anderson, residing in Minnetonka, Minnesota and Tiffany, married to Brad Olson, residing in Carmel, Indiana.
After meeting Corine Thompson and marrying her in 1967, the couple moved to Los Angeles where Richard taught finance at University of Southern California. Seeking an arrangement where they could live in a more rural setting, they both accepted positions at the University of Connecticut and moved to Mansfield Center where they would both remain until their deaths. Their son Thor and his former wife Anna Shakun settled nearby in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
A fitness and adventure enthusiast Richard completed several marathons, climbed Mount Rainier, Mount Kenya and Mount Aconcagua and was a regular at the UConn fitness facilities. Richard loved bicycling and would often spend hours on his recumbent bicycle on the local roads. His travels included Europe, Africa, China and Latin America.
Tragedy struck the family in 2011 when, shortly after the death of his beloved Corine, the family home was destroyed by fire. Richard bounced back with the help of his confidante Karen Zimmer, building a new home. He dedicated himself to supporting the arts and started the Women’s Lecture Series at the University of Hartford in memory of his wife.
Richard was diagnosed with dementia and his remaining years were spent in his home cared for by Doris Wisniewski and others. He passed away peacefully surrounded by his family and loved ones.
Services will be held at Storrs Congregational Church on Saturday, November 9 at 2 PM EST, with a reception to follow immediately. The family requests, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Jorgensen Center Director’s Fund, care of the UConn Foundation, 2390 Alumni Drive, Unit 3206, Storrs, CT, 06269 or https://uconn.networkforgood.com/projects/32698 in memory of Richard Norgaard.
Richard is survived by his children Thor, Kilb and Tiffany, sister Nancy Knickerbocker, companion Karen Zimmer, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For an online guestbook please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com
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