Monday, June 11, 2012

Gordon Riner 1924-2012

I neglected to mention back in April about the passing of Gordon Riner. I worked with Gordon at NCR in Millsboro Delaware in the 1970's. At that time NCR routinely had a round of layoffs every three or four years. It didn't matter how long you had worked with them if your boss wasn't supporting you at the time, odds were you got layoff. So it was with Gordon who as I recall had 15 or 20 years with NCR. Anyway Gordon enjoyed sports parachuting and he connected with DEL TECH in Georgetown to teach a sport Parachuting course. I took the course and since I am still alive it shows he was an okay instructor. It was a good buy, for $25 you had four nights of instructions than they took you to Milford and threw you out of an airplane with a parachute. Gordon was involved in sports parachuting all over the shore but mainly in Ridgely, Maryland and Laurel Delaware and I feel was a driving force in the field. He is another one that will be missed.

Coastal point obituary

 Gordon E. Riner, 87

Gordon E. Riner, 87, passed away Sunday, April 8, 2012.
He was born Aug. 17, 1924, in Richmond, Ind., one of four boys, to Clifford E. and Mary Johnson Riner. He was a loving husband to his wife, Marian, for 62 years and the proud father of three daughters, Deborah, Cynthia and Robyn. Riner loved being a father and spending time with his daughters, whether it was taking them to gymnastics or the airport, reading, going on walks or just listening to them and instilling the belief that, with enough hard work, they were capable of anything.

Riner served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific in World War II. After his discharge, he was a catcher for the Wilson Tobacconists baseball team in the Coastal Plains League. He was a competitive pistol shooter, winning national competitions. He was also an avid astronomer, built his own telescopes and patiently taught those interested, including his grateful son-in-law Jack, about the beauty of the heavens.

In 1963, Riner found his calling in the sport of parachuting. He was a member of the U.S. Parachute Team in 1968. He then became a judge, culminating in his judging the international sports parachuting meet in Graz, Austria. He often remarked how fleeting childhood was and realized that some moments can never be recaptured. He shared his love of life with his grandchildren, Lance, Matthew, Morgan and her husband, Jason Fry, Maggie, Frances, John and Gordon. He introduced countless people to the sport of skydiving and described parachuting, paraphrasing Lewis Carroll, “It’s like falling down a rabbit hole into the magical kingdom of the sky.”

A funeral service was scheduled for Thursday, April 12, 2012, at 12:30 p.m. at Watson Funeral Home, Millsboro, Del. The Rev. Earl Baker was to officiate, and interment was to follow at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Millsboro.

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