Print Obituary & Condolences    


Richard Nordlof, 84, passed away on January 31, 2018. He was born in 1933 and raised in Rockford, Illinois, a 1951 graduate of Rockford East High School and a 1955 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. He married Joanne (Jody) Stafford of Salem, Massachusetts in October 1955. They moved to Rockford where they raised their children, Gregory , Bradley and twin daughters, Diane and Donna. Jody died in 2002, after 46 years of marriage.
Early employment involved designing Transfer Pumps for George D. Roper Corp. and then, in 1957, began to work for Mechanical Tool & Engineering Co. He founded Rapid-Air Corp., MTE Hydraulics, and Delta Power Hydraulic Co. Richard was CEO and former President of MTE Hydraulics and Rapid-Air Corp., Vice President of Delta Power Hydraulic Co, Board Member of Rockford Symphony Orchestra Foundation, a member of the MIT Council for the Arts, and the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee of Music and Theater Arts.
Richard was a past member of the Board of Directors of Amcore Bank, Rockford, former Board Member of Amcore Foundation, former President of the Coronado Performing Arts Center, Board of Directors of Swedish American Hospital, the Rockford College Board of Counselors, and a member of MIT's Board of Councilors. He was a Performing Member and Board President of Mendelssohn Club, Board Member of Rockford Area Arts Council, and Board President of Keith School. He was a Registered Professional Engineer, having been President of the Rockford Chapter of the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, a member of the Illinois and National Society of Professional Engineers, and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
Avocations include golf, music, photography and flying, with a multi-engine and instrument ratings. For many years Dick played the flute and piccolo with the Rockford Concert Band, Kishwaukee Valley Concert Band, the Rock Valley College Concert Band, and the Christian Fellowship Band.
Richard's awards include the Starr of Excellence Award from the Mendelssohn Club and, with Jody, the Mayors Arts Advocate Award from the Rockford Area Arts Council. He was awarded the 2007 Excaliber Award. Richard and Jody supported many endeavors in the Arts community.
Survivors include his children, Gregory (Ginny) Nordlof, Bradley (Duawn) Nordlof, Diane (Larry Perez) Nordlof, and Donna (Brian) Nordlof-Hampton; grandchildren, Eric (Shannon Chilton) Nordlof, Sarah (Scott) Affeldt, Paley Nordlof, and Paige Nordlof; brother, Ronald (Judy) Nordlof, sister-in-law, Priscilla Stafford; and special friend, LoRayne Logan. Predeceased by his wife Jody, and parents.
A celebration of life will be held at Rockford Country Club, 2500 Oxford St., Rockford, on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. Music and memories at 2:30 p.m. Memorials may be made to the donor's wishes. Arrangements by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd.

Condolences & Shared Memories (21)

  1. Larry & Stacy Morrissey

    Our deepest condolences on the passing of one of Rockford's greatest citizens. Dick was a pillar of our community and truly a renaissance man, an expert and leader in engineering, business, philanthropy and the arts. How fortunate we are to have the lasting legacy of his many talents and treasures that manifest in the civic institutions and lives that will bear his mark forever. Larry & Stacy Morrissey

  2. John Zimmerman

    Brad and family. My sincere condolences and prayers for the loss of your father.

  3. Don Manzullo

    The country has lost one of its great industrial leaders and an outstanding individual with Richard's passing. His friendship will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers to the family.

  4. Lars Björsell

    The Nordlof family has always meant something special to me. Being an exchange student in Manitowoc Wisconsin 1967, I was picked up by Dick and Ron in their airplane for a weekend visit to Rockford, a memory for life. We met again in Rockford five years ago with my wife Ã…sa and our daughters Kajsa and Tove. With great hospitality we were taken care by Dick, Greg and Ginny. They arranged an memorable evening with many members of the wonderful Nordlof family. Our deepest condolences to entire Nordlof family from your relatives in Sweden.

  5. Joe and Jeanette Geraghty

    Greg and Ginny, so sorry for your loss. Dick was an inspiration to many people, and his legacy will live on. Our thought and prayers are with you.

  6. Dathal constance

    Good bless your family, may God give you comfort and peace and until you meet again may he fill your hearts and minds with wonderful memories ,

  7. Cindy & Rick Simonovich

    Ginny & Greg, we're so sorry for your loss. An unselfish humanitarian as Dick was will be greatly missed in our community. Our thoughts & prayers go out to you.

  8. Frank Beach

    I have known Dick for many years and had the pleasure of play with him for many seasons with the Rockford concert band. Dick was a gentle giant , kind ,caring and compassionate. I pray for God's strength and blessings for his family during this time of loss. Please accept our deepest sympathy. Frank & Sonja Beach

  9. Nancy Bauman

    Dick will be missed. I believe I met him for the first time at the Flute Club of Rockford. We were on the board together, and he was President there, too! We played together in the Christian Fellowship, Kishwaukee Valley, and Rockford Concert Bands. I also knew him from Mendelssohn Club. He was always generous with his time and support. We moved to Florida in 2002 and he was always good about sending Christmas cards until recently. Knowing my husband - a fellow mechanical engineer - was a diehard Red Socks fan he sent us a beautiful picture taken of Fenway Park from his hotel room the year they won the World Series. That may have been the last time I talked to him, when I called to thank him. It was very unexpected and much appreciated. It's hanging in our computer room, so it gets seen every day. The Rockford community as a whole and particularly the music community - even nationally - has lost a friend.

  10. Andrea Larson

    Heartfelt condolences to the entire Nordlof family. Your father was an awesome contributor to the Rockford community.

  11. Gregory F. Wall

    My sincere condolences to the family

  12. Juliana

    My deepest condolences to the family... 😢🕯⚘🕯

  13. Jill Glaser

    Paige- so sorry for your loss.

  14. Janis Gustaveson

    Dear Ron just heard of the passing of your brother, you have my condolences.

  15. Donetta Lyle

    Diane so sorry for your loss prayers for you and your family at this time of need.

  16. Jan Pastores

    Brad. I am so sorry for your loss. Your father was a great man and I truly appreciate the opportunity you and your family provided for me. Please accept my condolences. Your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. Respectfully Jan Pastores

  17. W. Timothy Simms

    I'd like to express my deepest and most sincere condolences to the entire Nordlof family. Dick was a kind, caring, and intelligent member of our community whom will be sorely missed. His earthly footprint of accomplishments will leave a lasting mark on both his family and our community for many years to come.

  18. Roberta E. Ingrassia

    Dear Donna and Diane, Your father was a public spirited and generous Rockfordian. His support of the community was valuable to all the citizens of the community. He and your mother were generous and loving people. I know you will miss him, but I hope that the memories of happy times bring you comfort in the days ahead. Peace be with you.

  19. Beth Gleichman and Charley Englund

    I am so sorry to hear of Dick's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.. Gentle thoughts of peace and love to you all. Much Love

  20. Pat Clinton Sullivan

    My deepest condolences to the wonderful Nordlof family and to LoRayne, on the loss of Mr. Nordlof, a man who made Rockford a better community for all of us. Love to all of you.

  21. Tony/Michelle Arbisi

    Brad and family so sorry to hear about your loss. Our prayers are with you in this trying time.

Leave Condolences or Share a Memory