Richard Nesmith Jessup

Obituary Condolences

Richard Nesmith Jessup Richard was born March 25, 1925 in Roslyn, New York, died July 21, 2012 at his home in Mill Valley, CA of congestive heart failure. He was 87. He was an acclaimed Mill Valley architect, civic leader and devoted husband and father. Dick was the son of Dr. Everett and Helen Jessup of Roslyn, Long Island, New York. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Marilyn Smith Jessup, daughters, Katie Jessup of Mount Shasta CA, Carson Taylor (Tom) of Iberia MO, Robin Tyler (Verl) of Reedley, CA and Kimberly Jessup (Anne) of Mill Valley. He was preceded in death by daughter Lynlie Hermann in 2008. He is also survived by eight grandchildren and one great grandchild, sisters, Mary Amonette, Joanie Eddie, and brother John Jessup (Carolyn). At an early age he suffered from asthma and was sent to the Orme Ranch in Mayer, Arizona for schooling at age ten. He lived with the Orme family on a working cattle ranch for seven years and later returned to the east to complete high school. Dick studied architecture at Princeton University for two years and graduated from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY in 1954. Dick was called back to Arizona by the Orme family to design and construct a chapel in memory of his friend, Mort Orme. While there he met and married the love of his life, Lyn, and with her three daughters, they moved to Mill Valley in 1956. Within three years, two more daughters were added to the family. An avid sailor, Dick competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics Games in London, England, in the small boat sailing division. He was an outstanding athlete who enjoyed tennis, snow skiing and horseshoes. His architectural career began at John Carl Warnecke & Associates in San Francisco, then to a partnership with Bushnell, Jessup, Murphy and Van De Weghe. He establish his own architectural firm in San Francisco and was joined by his daughter, Kimberly, in 1983. They moved their firm of Jessup Associates Architects Inc. to Mill Valley in 1987. He was a visionary in his design life with notable projects including: the Plaza in downtown Mill Valley, residential and commercial projects, and the Master Plan of the Orme School in Mayer, Arizona. He was also a very talented builder and woodworker. Together with Lyn, they remodeled their historic MV family home and developed their family compound in Mount Shasta CA. Dick was committed to civic leadership and community service. He was City Council member, Mayor of MV, Chairman of the MV Planning Commission, President of South Marin Sewerage Association, VP of Marin Theatre Company, and President of MV Rotary Club. He received many community service awards highlighted by the MV Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and Lifetime Service Award, the Millie Award, and Citizen of the Year of the MV Rotary Club. Dick will always be remembered for his witty sense of humor, sweet nature, humble character, sense of community and his love of being with family and friends. A memorial service celebrating Dick's life will be held on Friday August 10th (corrected date) at 11:00AM at the Outdoor Art Club at 1 East Blithedale Avenue in Mill Valley CA. Donations may be made to The Rotary Club of Mill Valley and the Marin Theater Company.
Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 2, 2012
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