Navarro, Richard “Dick”, passed peacefully May 13, 2022, surrounded by his family.
He is survived by Virginia Navarro (nee Dreyer), loving wife of 52 years; sister Lynn (Navarro) Wicke; and four children and nine grandchildren: Paul, wife Mary Beth (Foster) and daughter Kate; Kevin, wife Jessica (Kingsborough) and children Dylan, Annabel, and Grayson; Jonathan, wife Tara (Schultz), and children Jenna, Ryan, and James; and Claire Gauen, husband Mark, and children Quinn and Eliot.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel Donato and Edna (Pfitzmayer) Navarro.
Born and raised in New York City, Dick was a Sputnik-era child, attending Stuyvesant High School, an accelerated math/science school, which led to a degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University, and later three master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, technology and business administration, and an honorary doctorate from Missouri University of Science and Technology.
In his 42-year career at McDonnell Aircraft (later Boeing), Dick worked in avionics/ground support equipment engineering and then information technology. He retired in 2006 as director of information technology and corporate business systems architect. After leaving Boeing, he joined the faculty of the University of Missouri--St. Louis, where he taught in the College of Business Administration and became an Emeritus Founders’ Professor.
Dick was an engineer in the way he thought and acted, but it may be just as accurate to say, “He knew what was right and always tried to do it.” He would not get out of line at the grocery store to pick up that one last thing, nor cross a street at anything but a crosswalk, or break rules for personal convenience or gain. He always modeled doing the right thing. Family always came first for Dick, and he was adored by all his children and grandchildren. Friends around the world remember his deep voice and dry, offbeat humor. He showed kindness and respect to everyone he met.
Dick was a world traveler, having visited over 26 countries for work and pleasure. He taught in China and Germany and, with Virginia, experienced amazing travel adventures, especially after retirement. Dick’s love of trains and travel led him to create model railroads, to serve as a Rails ‘n Trails guide for Amtrak, and to volunteer at the National Museum of Transportation.
Always central to Dick’s values was family. He was quietly brilliant, humorous, hard-working, humble, and loving. The very definition, and model for us all, of a good man.
Visitation at Bopp Chapel, June 24, 2022, from 4 to 8 p.m., 10610 Manchester Road, Kirkwood, MO 63122. Call 314-965-7680 for more information. A memorial service will occur on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at 9:30 a.m. at the same venue. Arrangements by Bopp Chapel.