With the passing of Frederick (Rick) Neumeister, the Cape Fear region lost a good friend, an officer and a gentleman. Rick and his bride, Nita Neumeister, literally dropped anchor from their two-masted schooner "Love Affair" behind Wrightsville Beach in the early seventies. During the subsequent years, he became the patron of area boaters, a good friend to neighbors, the constant companion and mainstay for his wife and a source of good counsel for people needing help with ailing boats, personal dilemmas or organizational challenges. Those who knew him well called him "good people."

Rick's adult life was shaped by his service in the US Army Air Corps (USAAC) and later, the US Air Force. During World War II he trained and worked in bomb disposal. With the war's end he became a logistician and moved to the newly formed US Air Force. There he enjoyed a rich array of assignments ranging from duty in the Aleutian Islands to military duty with the US embassy in Tokyo, a university teaching assignment in West Virginia, squadron commander in Texas and, toward the end of his career, deputy wing commander at a Strategic Air Command base.

During his years in the Wilmington community Rick earned several nicknames. "Skipper" was one, reflecting his seniority in the boating community and his authoritative knowledge of a boat's foibles and ailments. Rick also had, to the bemusement of his juniors and his wife, an uncanny and undiminished knack for attracting the prettiest women in any setting. Thus, his alternate nickname was "chick magnet."

But until the end, Rick was an inspiration and role model to those who were enriched by his warm, understated commentaries on the dilemmas of life. He was impossible to match as a loving husband to Nita. He cared deeply about the people and the leadership of the Cape Fear Sail and Power Squadron. He served in "the Squadron" for over 20 years in a variety of leadership positions and its members saw in him a soul mate of those who love being on the water.

He is survived by his loving wife of 55+ years, his son Jon of San Antonio, TX, and several nieces and nephews. There will be no formal service or visitation at this time. The family requests that any desire to honor his memory be expressed by a donation to The Cape Fear Sail & Power Squadron for educational purposes.

Please share memories and condolences with the family at www.wilmingtoncares.com

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

Online condolences at StarNewsOnline.com

Funeral Home

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service
1535 S. 41st Street  Wilmington, NC 28403

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from May 12 to May 13, 2013