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The Nimmons Letters


Zibby solicited letters in response to the passing of Dick Nimmons. Here are the replies.

John Shelton '35 #145

Dear Dick,

I will always remember you as a special friend-one whose company was truly enjoyable and whose accomplishments (not least your generous labors for Pomona College) I greatly admired and appreciated. I'll never forget your smile and warmth; wish our paths had crossed more often during the last 60 years!

See you later, Dick.

Cartwright "Spike" Hunter '32 #101

I am enclosing my check in memory of Dick. I know that you will see that it gets to the right place.

All of us who know Dick share my feeling that he was an unusual individual. Whether he was working for the College or the fraternity, Dick was always giving 100% of his talents and personal charm. If you wanted a straight answer on anything, you could always count on Dick to give it to you.

Apparently he had a history of heart trouble but I was unaware of this: When he and I visited at the Alexander dinner back in April, Dick looked and acted like a man half his age. It was really a shock to learn of his passing. We have all lost a good friend.

David Rorick, Jr. '34 #143

Every Spring beginning in our sophomore year, Nimmons, Charlie Connor and I cut class on Friday before 1 May each year, drove to Charlie's folks home in Big Pine always with a bottle of Jameson Irish for Mr. Connor, spent the night and early next morning took off for Long Valley to fish the Owens River. Charlie knew the river like the back of his hand and he and Dick did most of the catching but we always had a great time and made it back to school in time for my 0800 German class on Monday morning!!

Charlie's mother, Mary, said to her husband, "You'll save that for when you are sick won't you." He replied, "Sure, I was never sicker than I am this minute!" And out came the cork.

Our paths crossed only rarely after school but Dick's wide, toothy smile was always there to give encouragement and inspiration!

One of my daughter Sally's most prized photos is the one Dick took of me sitting on the top rail of the horse corral in Long Valley when I was working for Stuart & Conner-I had a week's growth of beard and the butt of a Durham cigarette in the corner of my mouth-looking as tough as I could.

Lee Clearman '33 #123

Dick and I have been corresponding regularly since he moved to his retirement residence in Washington, and his last letter was to thank me for some pictures I had sent of a fishing trip we made in July of 1937. We had traveled up the east side of the Sierra for a short stay at the summer cattle range of Chuck Connors' father north of Bishop, where the fishing was great and ending up with better fishing and great hospitality along the McKenzie river in Oregon as "guests" of the Bob Booths and Mrs. Davis. For a "poor kid," Dick had quite a career.

I am sending a check for the Nu Alpha Phi memorial fund directly to the Alumni Fund office since there is a matter I wish to clear up concerning a contribution I made at the time of John Alman's death. You probably know that I had the pleasure of visiting a couple of times with the Almans in Boston when I visited with my daughter in Maine. John and I remembered the time he was earning his keep during the depression of 1933 by burning grass off vacant lots in Pasadena.

Chuck Shelton '35 #144

At my age, anything is a surprise, but I had never thought of Dick as ever dying. He was always on top. I could always see Dick as an enthusiastic booster of the best that Pomona College and Nu Alpha Phi had to offer.

I wouldn't be surprised to see Saint Peter, one of these days, sliding down one of those cyberrays and nodding to Pomona's Dean of Admissions with a polite: "Dick Nimmons, Pomona '35, sent me." (The place was too sort of holy-holy for him and he went back to Heaven on the Seventh Day.)

Dick was one of our Class of '35 at Pomona College. There were just five of us in our class in NAP. Those were lean days and few could afford the luxury of fraternities, even if assessments were minimal. But I guess that we had more fun in those days than they have known since the fraternity's earliest years.

Dick was important in the college's transformation from a "small rural" college to the place it took after WW II, as a recognized leader among small liberal arts colleges in the United States.

Paul Taylor '37 #181

The news this week of the death of our brother Dick Nimmons is the saddest thing I have experienced for a long time!

Dick Nimmons was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, enthusiastic and wonderful men I have ever known. His gracious and warm smile was always present. The loss of Dick Nimmons is the loss of one of our very best!

Back in the depression days, Dick and I worked for Pomona College. Our offices were next to each other upstairs in the old Sumner Hall (no air conditioning). Dick was in charge of Student Public Relations-sending our news releases from the college to the area where Pomona College students lived before coming to Claremont. I had a big title and a small salary as Assistant to the President, Dr. Charles K. Edmunds. Looking back I think Dick and my monthly salaries combined would be about enough today for one night's lodging in one of the less expensive rooms in the Ritz Carlton Huntington Hotel here in Pasadena!

While we were working for the college they hired a professional fund raiser, a Mr. R. Arthur Basham at a salary of $600 per month. Dick and I both thought if we could ever make that much money we would be set for life! Bash had worked for a very prestigious fund raising firm in Chicago before coming to Pomona. It was not long before Bash realized the outstanding talents of Dick, or as we called him, "Nemo," and soon convinced Dick that he was destined for greater things than what he was doing for Pomona College. Bash helped Dick with some important introductions and before long Dick left Pomona and became a full-fledged fund raiser with the City Bureau of Chicago, one of the best firms of this type in the country. In those early days I was working for Carnation Company and would often stop in to have luncheon with Dick. I will always remember his beautiful office in the Chrysler building.

Many of you know of Dick's later professional achievements, going to Hawaii in charge of Public Relations for the eight big companies, I believe called "the Factors," as well as several other fine positions before he took early retirement and came back as Vice-President of Pomona College.

We have all lost a wonderful friend and a very loyal brother. Attached is a check for $100 that Peg and I would like to contribute to the Nu Alpha Phi Scholarship Fund in loving memory of our dear friend, Dick (Nemo) Nimmons.

E. Burdette Boileau '34 #125

I am indeed saddened to receive your memo of June 25, 1996, advising of the passing of Dick Nimmons on June 21, 1996.

I so remember his warm friendship and witty and infectious smile which he always had for everyone.

His service to our fraternity and to our college will long be remembered.

The contribution to the NAP Scholarship fund has been sent to the college.

Alumni Weekend Dance: Zibby Leads the Macarena

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