Paterson sports legend Dick Nochimson had stories to tell like those about his friendship with schoolmate Larry Doby.
Mr. Nochimson, a basketball standout at East Sside High School and team captain his senior year, played hoops and football with Doby. Mr. Nochimson traveled to Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1998 to see the American League's first African-American player inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Then there were the Jack Dempsey stories. Mr. Nochimson served under the heavyweight champ in a physical education instruction program at the Coast Guard station in Brooklyn.
"What I got a kick out of was, everybody in the world knew this man," Mr. Nochimson told the Palm Beach Post in 2004.
Stanley "Dick" Nochimson, who died Monday at 91, played basketball at Temple University and with the Coast Guard, and professionally in the 1940s and 1950s with the Washington Brewers and Paterson Crescents of the American Basketball League. One teammate was future actor ("The Rifleman") Chuck Connors, whom Mr. Nochimson remembered as "a brilliant guy."
"When we rode to Washington on a train, he used to walk up and down the aisle reciting Shakespeare, et cetera, et cetera," he said.
Mr. Nochimson purchased a half-ownership share of the Crescents. For his contributions to |Silk City, he received a Spirit of Paterson Award in 2003.
The longtime Clifton resident entered the appliance sales business with a Temple and Coast Guard teammate.
"He wasn't making a lot of money in the sports world," said Mr. Nochimson's daughter, Linda Hillringhouse. "So when the business opportunity came along, he grabbed it."
After the partner died, Mr. Nochimson became sole owner of Dorn Appliance in Fairview.
Dick Nochimson and his wife, Shirley, retired to Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. The old basketball star got in some golf and joined the condominium choir.
"Dad's mother was a jazz singer, and he inherited her gift," Hillringhouse said.
Mr. Nochimson visited nursing homes and sang the standards of the big band era.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years; his daughter, of Englewood, and a grandson. A son, Louis, died in 2005.
Services are today thurs at Star of David Cemetery of the Palm Beaches, West Palm Beach.
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Published in The Record on Feb. 2, 2012