302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Richard W. Nopper, Jr.

Richard William Nopper, Jr., age 70, of Wilmington, died on April 11, 2019 at St. Francis Hospital.

Valedictorian of his high school, Rick went on to receive a B.S. from John Carroll University, an M.S. from Brown University, and a Ph.D. from Boston College, where he also taught two courses.

After his first job at the Air Force Geophysical Lab, he went on to become an officer in the Signal Corps of the Army Reserves, a senior research scientist in exploration, research, and development at Conoco, a senior research associate in engineering and central research and development at DuPont and he ended his career at Chemours.

A talented musician, he played in numerous jazz bands including Charles Hoefgen’s Dance Band and the Arbitrary Constants, a band he started at Chemours. For many years, he sang in his church choir and was a member of the Madrigal Singers.

Rick’s wide-ranging interests included languages (especially dead ones), food (eating and cooking it and especially trying new things), and reading. He loved travel and photography. He was known by many for his sense of humor, quick wit, and kindness.

He is survived by his wife Ellen, his daughters Katie (Joseph) and Andrea (Jimmy), his son Joseph (Laura), his grandchildren Izabella, Noah, Dominic, Julian, and JJ, his mother Jean, and his sisters Linda (Rick), Becky (Gino), and Mary (Hilary) and a large extended family. He is predeceased by his father, Richard William Nopper, Sr.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at 11:00 am at Immaculate Heart of Mary, 4701 Weldin Road, Wilmington, DE 19803, followed by burial at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine. Friends are welcome on Tuesday, April 16 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Chandler Funeral Home, 2506 Concord Pike, Wilmington.

Funeral Services

Visitation: Tuesday April 16, 2019 at Chandler Funeral Home from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

Mass:  Wednesday April 17, 2019 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church at 11:00

Interment:  Wednesday April 17, 2019 in St. Joseph on the Brandywine following Mass


    Eve Townsend writes,
    Prayers for the family at such a difficult and sad time. May Rick Rest in Peace with the Lord. Bob and Eve Townsend
    04/14/2019 09:18 am
    Nancy Elliott writes,
    My prayers and deepest sympathy to all the family.
    04/14/2019 09:19 am
    Christina Leet lit a candle and writes,
    Deepest sympathies to your family, and wishing you warmth through this difficult time
    04/14/2019 09:50 am
    Liza Lensico lit a candle and writes,
    Andrea so sorry for your loss... Sending prayers and sympathy to you and your family...
    04/14/2019 11:12 am
    Drew Pachasa writes,
    I’m so very glad I met you at Vera’s funeral. You were easily the smartest man I knew. Godspeed.
    04/14/2019 11:24 am
    Larry Boyer lit a candle and writes,
    My deepest sympathy to Ellen and children and grandchildren and his mother Jean. I grew up with Rick and considered him my best friend during grade school and into high school. Words cannot express my feelings for the loss of such a great individual. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely Larry. It was nice to catch up with him and meet Ellen at our 50th reunion. 🙏
    04/14/2019 11:34 am
    Marie revells Dilgart writes,
    My sincerest condolences to the nopper family . I went to st. Agnes school with him and he was the most brilliant man I ever met. I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen when they were here for the reunion. Bless all of you as you share your grief. Love marie revells Dilgart
    04/14/2019 11:43 am
    Mark Bassett lit a candle and writes,
    Rick was one of the smartest, yet kindest, men I've ever known. When we were Exchange Students in Germany together, he was the peacemaker in the group, and was respected by all of us. It was great catching up with him at our last Class Reunion. I will always remember him fondly. I feel the most for his grandchildren, who will miss having an outstanding Grandfather who could have taught them so much. My condolences to the entire family. Mark Bassett Class of '66
    04/14/2019 11:53 am
    Bob Daney lit a candle and writes,
    So sorry for your loss. Enjoyed visiting with Rick a few years ago ay our 50th High School reunion. A true scholar! Bob Daney St. Francis de Sales High School Class of 1966.
    04/14/2019 12:11 pm
    Susan Lechlak Fandrey writes,
    Just heartbroken for the profound sadness Rick's passing brings to so many. May you all find comfort and peace in your memories.
    04/14/2019 12:44 pm
    Lindsay Whitacre lit a candle and writes,
    My heart breaks for all of you. I feel fortunate to have gotten to know Mr. Nopper and always appreciated his warmth and sense of humor. His love for his family was obvious. Sending light and love.
    04/14/2019 01:54 pm
    Kris Parson writes,
    Joe and family, Please accept our sincere condolences. What an amazing man with so many outstanding accomplishments. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Kris and Maurice
    04/14/2019 02:59 pm
    Steven and Hope Place writes,
    We were so sad to hear this news of Ricks passing, our thoughts and prayers go out to Ellen and the family... Sending Love and strength through this hard time.. Steve and Hope Place~
    04/14/2019 04:58 pm
    Eileen DePasquale writes,
    We met Rick when our son, Joe, fell in love with Katie. Our son was blessed with wonderful in-laws and we were blessed with fantastic new friends. Rick and Joes' fathers' love of music made for many enjoyable gigs and concerts. We'll miss him terribly but know that heavens choir has become much richer. Our deepest condolences to Rick's beloved wife and family. Much love, Eileen and Joe, Sr.
    04/14/2019 07:43 pm
    Andy Pachasa writes,
    Aunt Jean, Ellen and families, Nancy and I were shocked and saddened to learn of Rick’s passing. He was truly a very special person! Some things just make no sense whatsoever. I will always remember and thankful that he and Ellen traveled to Cleveland for Mom’s funeral. God bless you all! Andy and Nancy Pachasa
    04/14/2019 08:37 pm
    Janet DiLeonardo lit a candle and writes,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family! Aunt Janet Alvin, Texas
    04/14/2019 09:22 pm
    Bill Rabara writes,
    Nothing but pleasant memories. Met Rick when attending St. Francis. He was loved and respected by all. He was the "brains" of the class of '66 and one of the smartest and most unassuming persons I have ever known.
    04/15/2019 09:36 am
    Charles Hoefgen writes,
    I will always remember Rick's great humour. He was a great friend.. always there for you. You when he was near the house for band practice when you heard the rumble of his mustang and he came down the driveway with his keyboard sticking out and a wide smile! A fantastic musician who also could scribe music by just listening to a song. What a talent! We will miss him. Thank you Ellen for sharing him with us. You are in our prayers. Charles Hoefgen
    04/15/2019 09:38 am
    Tony Martino writes,
    I am deeply saddened to learn about Rick's passing. He was a wonderful person, an esteemed colleague at DuPont, a good friend, and a great musician. He was also my TechCon buddy at DuPont, even after he left the company as part of the Chemours separation, continuing to provide musical entertainment with the Arbitrary Constants. I just want to say that Heaven is probably a happier place right now, even though we may be sad here. Sing on, brother!
    04/15/2019 10:14 am
    Frank Zychowicz lit a candle and writes,
    Rest in peace, Brother Knight. Truly one of the most intelligent people I ever knew. It was great to talk with him at our 50th high school reunion.
    04/15/2019 10:44 am
    CHARLES F NOPPER writes,
    Rick and I go back to High School. We had the same last name, but never figured out if we were related for sure. He was the smartest kid in our SFS class of "66". I on the other hand was not quite so smart. In fact, when we applied to St Francis, I got his letter of acceptance and he got my letter of denial. They ended up letting me in and I am grateful for that. I guess if it were not for him I probably would not be where I am today. It was nice to meet his wife Ellen and talk with him at our 50th Class Reunion. Rest In Peace my long lost cousin! Charlie Nopper SFS "66"
    04/15/2019 12:23 pm
    Keisha McDowell writes,
    Rick was as very special colleague at DuPont and a joy to work with on many projects. I will miss him.
    04/15/2019 12:55 pm
    Mark Lemieux lit a candle and writes,
    Rick was the nicest person I've ever known....a funny guy with a quick wit...incredibly brilliant... caring.. extremely personable ... gone way too soon... condolences to Ellen and the kids and grandkids...
    04/15/2019 01:18 pm
    Kymm and Joe Hockman writes,
    Rick was such a great guy! We sat and ate many a lunch together in E320 while laughing and sharing our lives. He was always so positive and encouraging.... and funny, when appropriate. We've only seen each other a few times in recent years due to our companies diverging, but I always remember Rick with real fondness. This breaks my heart to know the world has lost such a bright spot! But I have faith I'll see him again some day. Until then..... I'll treasure the memories. Prayers are with the family.
    04/15/2019 02:30 pm
    Jim Lareau writes,
    My condolences to Rick's family and friends. Rick and I met at St. Francis where we were in several classes together. RIP Rick. Jim Lareau, SFS Class of 1966.
    04/15/2019 04:46 pm
    scott jackson lit a candle and writes,
    Rick was a great guy. The microbial enhanced oil recovery team at DuPont used his experitise to understand the complex flow through an oil reservoir. He was the right person at the right time. His quick wit and accomodation personality provided much interesting conversation through the years that we interacted while working at DuPont. My sincerest condolences to his family -- he will be missed.
    04/15/2019 04:56 pm
    Kerri Cardelli lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Ellen and family, I was so shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Rick. Please know your all in my prayers. I only had the pleasure of meeting Rick once when I visited with Dan, truly enjoyed his conversation, intelligence and wit!
    04/15/2019 05:15 pm
    Bill & Dianne Gross writes,
    So sorry for your loss, prayers to Ellen & family.
    04/15/2019 05:26 pm
    Aaron (and Nassya) Owens writes,
    We were surprised and devastated to learn about Rick's quick and untimely passing. He was a gentleman, scholar, musician, and close friend. I heard him give a great talk at a conference and recruited him to move from Oklahoma to join our DuPont Applied Math Group in Wilmington, where he had a very successful career. He opened up his den for occasional rehearsals for a pick-up jazz group that became the "Arbitrary Constants", which he founded and organized, as well as playing as featured jazz pianist. That group played for dozens of events for DuPont and several of its successors and is still active. Rick was a wonderful human being, smart and sensitive, with a great (subtle) sense of humor. We were privileged to meet Ellen, his son and daughters, and even grandchildren, and send them our heart-felt condolences. The loss of such a great man, way too soon, may leave a gaping hole in their lives now, but we pray that faith and love can soon make them whole again soon.
    04/15/2019 06:09 pm
    Chet Miller writes,
    Jo and I want to extend our deepest sympathy to Ellen and the rest of Rick's family. Rick and I actually shared two careers together, one at DuPont as scientists and the other as musicians in the Charles Hoefgen band. Rick was a shining star in both. I always thought of him as the ultimate professional in his DuPont work endeavors, and, as a musician, I greatly admired (and even envied) his musical talent. The world will sorely miss this caring and talented individual.
    04/15/2019 07:09 pm
    Mimi Keating lit a candle and writes,
    My sincere condolences to Ellen and her extended family. I met Ellen in my IHM parish afternoon tea group visiting Foulk Manor Nursing Home. The news of Rick's passing came as a shock. May him rest in peace. I've not met Rick, even having worked in DuPont CR&D for 26 years.
    04/15/2019 07:42 pm
    Gerry Krajewsk lit a candle and writes,
    I met Rick at SFS when mysteriously they elevated me to Senior 1, AKA “The Hucksters “, I think I was there to make up the numbers whereas Rick KNEW all about numbers and seemingly everything else as well! Many of us probably were in awe of his unassuming intellect. Spending some time with him and his wonderful wife, Ellen, at our 50th gave me a chance to know him a bit better, but still be impressed by him. From reading the above, I sense that his passing will leave a big gap in many peoples’ lives. Even at this distance, I feel a sense of loss. I’m sure you’ll be the DUX of your new class as you were of ours, Rick. RIP. Gerry Krajewski, SFS 66
    04/16/2019 07:23 am
    Michael Piovoso lit a candle and writes,
    I remember Rick well from my days at DuPont. Rick had a quick wit , a kind smile and a friendly word. I am deeply saddened to learn that he has passed. We lost someone who was respected by everyone. My sincerest sympathy to Rick's entire family.
    04/16/2019 08:12 am
    Rick and Alicia Walsh lit a candle and writes,
    A memory that has made me smile for years, showing Rick's wry wit: At work one day I (Alicia) wore a jacket with a zig-zag print on it and with it wore a matching zig-zag lapel pin and zig-zag earrings. At lunch in the E320 lunchroom that day, Rick, with a wry smile and that amused twinkle in his eye, said, "You look like you had a run-in with Zoro!" For years afterward, whenever I wore the jacket and/or jewelry, I would laugh and think, "Looks like a Zoro day!" Ellen, please accept our deepest condolences for you and for the entire family. We will always remember Rick's intelligence, musical talent, and his great wit, as well as his kindness and his deep love for his family. We will miss seeing him in the choir at church, and we are sorry that God has called him home so suddenly. God bless you and your family at this difficult time.
    04/16/2019 01:58 pm
    Albert Alsop writes,
    I had the pleasure to have worked with Rick for several years at DuPont. He was a man of rare intellect and skills. A true gentleman. We are poorer for his passing.
    04/16/2019 06:45 pm
    Bill and Claire Cardelli writes,
    Ellen and family , We are saddened to hear of Ricks passing and know he will be greatly missed. He was a good man with a strong family behind him, may he Rest In Peace.
    04/17/2019 07:31 am
    The Gordus Family lit a candle and writes,
    We were so sorry to hear this sad news. Rick was a wonderful, interesting person and we are so happy we had the chance to get to know him a bit. Our heartfelt condolences.
    04/18/2019 10:23 am
    Pat Radecki lit a candle and writes,
    Condolences to the Family. Rick is one of our class's shooting stars, brilliant, leaving a warmth or after-glow in his path as reflected in his family and his many friends. I enjoyed a visit to his ham radio set up one day in high school. Gifted and Giving as few are and do.
    04/18/2019 07:43 pm
    Mike Johnston writes,
    Rick led the way his whole life and probably continues to do so. We were classmates in grades 1 through 5 and through high school. Rick was one of the guys who made me glad to have attended the 50 year reunion. Many have commented about his unmatched brilliance but I also remember us crawling along the neighborhood on our bellies "reenacting" Civil War battles in the 4th grade. I'm proud to have known you brother Knight and wish your family well.
    04/19/2019 01:52 am
    Allan Moser writes,
    I worked with Rick for several years at Dupont. He was a wonderful person, a pleasure to work with, and one of the nicest people I've met. Please accept my most sincere condolences.
    04/19/2019 11:00 pm
    Judy Mazzeo lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Ellen and children, I am visiting my children and grandchildren for Easter and was shocked to hear of Rick's passing. My only time to spend with him was that short time when he worked in CCD at IHM many years ago. Ellen I will be in touch with you and Andrea and Joe when I return home in a few days. I had both of them in my class at IHM but I missed Katie. I wish you all the peace of Christ as you deal with this loss in your life. It isn't easy for sure. Judy
    04/23/2019 08:25 pm

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