Richard Fleming
1924 - 2015
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Richard Fleming passed away on December 24th at his country home, "Windfields," where he lived for almost 40 years. He was 91 years old. Born June 15, 1924 and raised in the Bronx in New York City, Dick met his bride-to-be, Peggy, when he was just 15 years old. He began four years of service in the US Navy in 1942, serving as the Electronics Officer in a Motor Torpedo Boat (PT) squadron. He earned his chemical engineering degrees through study at Princeton, Columbia, MIT, NYU, and Pratt Institute. He and Peggy married in April 1945 and, after the war, Dick progressed through a series of increasingly responsible positions with several different companies. He joined Sun Oil Co. in 1959 and was elected President and CEO of Avisun Corporation in 1962. He was recruited by Leonard Pool and joined Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. in 1969, working initially as Group Vice President and Board member and later as Executive Vice President, until 1980. During his tenure with Air Products, Dick was a co-founder of the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology, an international leader in research on the toxicity of industrial chemicals. After serving as President and COO of GAF Corporation in NYC, Dick started Richard Fleming Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm serving a variety of domestic and foreign companies. Dick had a humble Depression-era upbringing but credited his mother with teaching him to always share whatever he could with others, a lesson which became a hallmark of his life. Influenced by Leonard Pool, his mentor at Air Products, Dick joined the Board of Allentown Hospital in 1975, and was an influential member throughout the years of its evolution to Lehigh Valley Health Network. He served as Chairman of the Board from 1977 to 1981 and was instrumental in establishing the LVHN-MedEvac, the region's first critical care helicopter transport service, an initiative which was highly controversial at the time but has been an overwhelming success. He remained active on the Board as an Emeritus member until his passing, a remarkable record of almost 40 years of service. Dick supported many different initiatives but was never content to provide just financial support. He shared his time, leadership skills and management expertise. He established numerous endowments at LVHN supporting Friends of Nursing, Hospice, Pain Management, Trauma, educational lecture series in Infectious Disease/Infection Control and Internal Medicine, and funded the Peggy Fleming Endowed Chair of Nursing in honor of his beloved wife. Over the years, Dick generously supported numerous other area organizations, including The Salvation Army, DeSales University, Valley Youth House, and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital. He served on the Board of Valley Youth House and was Chair of the Capital Campaign and Long Range Planning Committee. He was an Advisory Board member for The Salvation Army and made the lead gift to fund the Rich Fleming Family Hope Center of The Salvation Army in Allentown, in memory of his son, Rich. In 2002, Peggy exhibited signs of dementia and was ultimately diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Dick was Peggy's primary caregiver throughout her illness until she passed away in 2008 after 63 years of marriage. Through that difficult, painful experience, he discovered that the care system for people with dementia and related disorders was fragmented and underfunded. This ultimately led to the vision of his final major project, the Fleming Memory Center at LVHN, designed to provide much needed comprehensive support for dementia patients and their caregivers throughout the overwhelming dementia journey. The dedication ceremony for the Center took place on October 1, 2015, culminating several years of intense effort. Survivors: Dick is survived by his son, Bob, of Boyertown, his daughter and son-in-law, Trinka and Jack Arnold, of Zionsville, his daughter-in-law, Linda Fleming, of West Chester, nieces and nephews, and his dear friend and companion, Eva Huston. In addition to Peggy, he was pre-deceased by his eldest son, Richard, in 1999. Services: A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Allentown at Tilghman and Cedar Crest on Saturday, January 9th at 11:00 AM. A reception will follow at the Richard Fleming Educational Conference Center in the Kasych Pavilion at LVHN-Cedar Crest. Arrangements by STEPHENS FUNERAL HOME, INC. ( Contributions: In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to The Fleming Memory Center. Please send checks payable to LVHN-Fleming Memory Center, c/o LVHN Development Department, PO Box 1883, Allentown, PA 18103.

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Published in Morning Call on Dec. 29, 2015.
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7 entries
January 23, 2019
Dick Fleming was and is the most gracious of souls; generous with his time, his intelligence and his warm and encouraging personality.

His causes are remarkable in that they bear his image and his own suffering, from which they were derived.

Dick was the stuff of love, pure and simple. Thank you Dick
Bob Levine
January 4, 2016
A man of honor and integrity, Dick was my mentor and friend. He leaves a wonderful legacy and is a role model for caring, and action,
Barb Salvadore
December 30, 2015
So sorry to hear about your dad. He was a wonderful man. I took care of your mom for awhile with Family Caregivers.
Barb Anrico
December 30, 2015
My deepest condolences to the Fleming family. Mr. Fleming's philanthropy has made, and will continue to make, important quality of life changes in the Lehigh Valley.
Jennifer Fisher
December 29, 2015
So sorry for your loss, I surely can relate to what you and your family are dealing with. God speed and know that your intentions are good!
December 29, 2015
So sorry for your loss.
Ellen Parmley
December 29, 2015
A remarkable man - Dick will be deeply missed. A man of character in the classic sense. The message for our society from Dick's life: Never let yourself become a victim - when something in your life isn't right, put your efforts into fixing it for yourself and others. Don't waste your time complaining - fix it. That's how he lived - an inspiration to all.
Charlie Versaggi
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