Rear Admiral Richard J. Nibe, passed away at home on November 27, 2018, with Phyllis, his loving and devoted wife of 50 years, at his side.
He was born in Boone, Iowa, on February 17, 1946, the son of his late parents, Lt. Col. Melbourne (USAF, Ret.) and Maxine Nibe.
A military son, he spent his early life in various locations before he received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1964, graduating in 1968. On the day following his graduation, Ensign Nibe and Phyllis Mauk were married in the US Naval Academy Chapel, the couple was honored by his peers with an exit under crossed swords. He then earned a Masters in Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University. His first naval assignment was at the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida, where he began flight training in 1970. During the Vietnam era, he distinguished himself as a pilot and as a leader. Following assignments in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans with VA-164 (Ghostriders) and VA-147 (Argonauts), the Pentagon, and additional training at the Naval War College in Newport, he became Executive Officer of Attack Squadron VA-83 (Rampagers). While aboard the USS SARATOGA (CV-60) in the Mediterranean, he assumed his first command as Commanding Officer of the Rampagers in 1986. He was then selected into the Navy’s Nuclear Power Training Program and at the completion was named Executive Officer of the USS NIMITZ (CVN-68) in 1989, and then assumed command of the USS CORONADO (AGF-11) in 1991. In September 1993, he became Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN (CVN-72). He was then selected for flag rank, and was named the Director of Intelligence at North American Aerospace Defense (NORAD) in Colorado Springs. His final tour was with the National Reconnaissance Office in Washington, DC, as the Deputy Director. He retired from the Navy in April 1999 and did professional consulting for several more years.
Surviving Rear Admiral Nibe are his wife, Phyllis, his daughter, Kristin Nibe Janzow and her husband Gregory, along with their children Nicholas, Nathan, and Jack, of Lexington, Kentucky, and his son, John Richard Nibe, and his wife, Shannon, along with their children Sydney and Colton of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Also surviving are his two sisters, Phyllis Ashe of Houston, Texas, and Dianne Clader of Lutz, Florida, and their husbands, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Following his retirement, he loved to cruise, play golf, and spend time with friends. More than anything else, he loved his country and his family.
Services will be held at the United States Naval Academy on December 13, 2018. Donations may be made to Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.