NIEDRINGHAUS--Lee. I., III March 17, 1942-October 7, 2012. Lee Niedringhaus died in St. Louis on October 7 of colon cancer. A memorial service was held October 16 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. The son of Lee and Jane (Switzler) Niedringhaus, he was great-grandson of William Niedringhaus, who with his brother Frederick produced Granite Enamelware at the St. Louis Stamping Co. in St. Louis and Granite City, IL. Niedringaus was also descended from William F. Switzler, a prominent 19th century Missouri journalist. He attended Hotchkiss, St. Louis Country Day, and graduated from University of Virginia in 1965. His spent many summers on Nantucket. After serving the Army in Korea, Lee began his successful international banking career, spanning 35 years. He opened financial markets in Southeast Asia, and lived in Singapore, London, and New York. A last job took him to Jakarta, working with the World Bank to advise the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency. Lee developed a great affinity for the Indonesian people and culture. He returned to St. Louis five years ago, and recently joined the Art Board, Mercantile Library and Lambert Airport Transportation Board. (Yet, he considered himself an Upper West Side New Yorker, relishing visits to the Metropolitan Museum, Museum of Natural History, St. John the Divine, and NY Botanical Garden.) Over the past fifteen years, Niedringhaus became fascinated with his Missouri heritage. He visited the Johnson family home at Holly Springs, MI, and compiled a history of his family's National Enameling and Stamping Company (NESCO) and historic N Bar N Ranch, a huge cattle operation. His article "The N Bar N Ranch: A Legend of the Open-Range Cattle Industry 1885-1899," in Montana: The Magazine of Western History (2010), won the SPUR Award of the Western Writers of America. He collected and donated original NESCO granite enamelware to rural museums. Dr. Ann Woodhouse, Missouri History Museum Library, said "Many libraries and museums have benefited from his generous sharing of his time research, and collections." He was Keynote Speaker at the National Graniteware Society Convention in Terre Haute, Indiana, last July. Lee explored the world enthusiastically. A gentleman, he will be remembered for all he loved: his library, the West, architecture, music, botanical gardens, Southeast Asia, zoos, tennis, and paintings of Charles Russell. Friends recall with pleasure his jazz piano playing. Niedringhaus leaves his sister, Carolyn Weld, of Nantucket, many cousins, and friends who will miss his curious mind, adventuresome spirit, and personal warmth.
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Published in The New York Times on Nov. 4, 2012