Monday, June 03, 2013

Richard Vining (1938-2013)

Richard Vining, a longtime advocate of Orange County history, passed away on March 18, 2013 at age 75. He served on the board of the Orange County Historical Society beginning in 1989, and served as president from 1993 through 1998. He immediately preceeded me as OCHS's vice president and program chair, and I learned a good deal about the job from him. Considering his demeanor during numerous turbulent board meetings, I can bear witness to his unusual patience and even temper.

Richard was born in Los Angeles on Dec 20, 1938, and grew up in Costa Mesa. He attended Newport Harbor High School and graduated from Orange Coast College. He served in the U.S. Army as an instructor at Redstone Missile Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. He was a licensed electrician and later taught in the apprenticeship program for the Electrical Unions at Santa Ana Valley High School. Richard and his wife Sally, who died in 2005, restored a beautiful 1912 Craftsman style home to its original grandeur on Main St. in Tustin.

Richard had a phenomenal memory for details and was always ready to share stories of growing up in Orange County, some of which he related in his president’s messages in the County Courier.

I also remember Richard as a regular at the big Vintage Postcard & Paper Fairs, held in Pasadena, Santa Ana, and later Glendale. He always had a purpose to his collecting, and he new how to find the "good stuff" amid a sea of "miscellaneous other." His postcards and his knowledge of local history both came in handy when OCHS put together a book for Arcadia Publishing. He often came to the County Archives to do research during that time, and I was impressed with his dogged determination to "get it right." 

Richard is survived by his son, Matt, daughter, Lisa, and their spouses and children. A graveside service was held at Olive Lawn Cemetery in La Mirada on April 13.  He is certainly missed.

My thanks to Betsy Vigus for writing most of the "background" portions of this article. I really should have posted this news a lot sooner, but honestly, I couldn't quite cope with yet another obit on my blog so soon. These past 12 months have been particularly bad for the local historical community.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Matt and Lisa and their families. I will miss seeing seeing him ride his tractor in the Tustin Tiller Days Parade. Richard was well known in Downtown and friends to all of us. He will be sorely missed.