Richard "Dick" C. Northrup, 80

Richard "Dick" C. Northrup, 80, passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, in East Lansing. Dick was born on Dec. 23, 1936, in Chicago, Ill., to Richard and Alison (Griffiths) Northrup.
He grew up in Allegan and later Grand Ledge, surrounded by a large and loving extended family. He spent many summers at the Griffiths' family cottage on Lake Michigan where his grandmother secretly taught him to drive at the age of 12.
Dick attended Grand Ledge High School and Michigan State University and worked in several businesses before finding his true calling: connecting people and professions by managing trade associations. He most recently led the Michigan chapter of the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors' National Association (SMACNA).
His natural ability to see a solution to any problem, made him very effective at working with trade associations of all kinds, from florists to funeral directors to the sheet metal and HVAC industry. This same attribute would also make Dick a great and trusted friend and confidant to many people over his lifetime.
Dick married the love of his life, Mary Jane Swanson, in 1959, and their honeymoon at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island inspired them to return many times over the years. Generations of Northrups will remember trips to Mackinac Island during the 57 years of Richard and Mary Jane's marriage. Dick and Mary Jane also traveled extensively and often attained coveted preferred frequent flier status.
Outside of his work, Dick's larger than life personality led him to become involved in many organizations. He was active in the Capitol Club, the Michigan Admirals Club, and served on the East Lansing Housing Commission, the Board of Okemos Community Church, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, as well as the Sparrow Cancer Advisory Board.
Dick was also a tenacious fundraiser, and his efforts included the MSU Cowles House, the Mildred Erickson Fellowship, and most recently the MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel New Organ Fund. Dick was a fixture of MSU athletics as a fan and season ticket holder for multiple sports. His social calendar never lacked for opportunities to gather with friends at local restaurants, including Dollar Burger Night at Culvers, Friday breakfast at The FlapJack Shack with the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out), Panera's, and the University Club.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Barbara Hazel; and his uncle William "Bill" Northrup.
He will be lovingly remembered and missed by his wife Mary Jane; his children, Richard "Rick" (Dawn) Northrup III and Karen (Mark) Kissinger; his grandsons, Colin Douglas Northrup, Graham Richard Northrup, John "Jack" Richard Kissinger, and Peter David Kissinger; his brothers, Bruce (Jan) Northrup and Gary Northup; his sisters-in-law, Marta (Jack) Giesecke and Kathy (Jeff) Jackson; and many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be, March 18, at 3 p.m. at Okemos Community Church, 4734 Okemos Rd., Okemos. Guests are invited to stay after the service for a reception at the church. The family will receive friends on Friday, March 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 8 p.m. at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, East Chapel, 1730 E. Grand River Ave., East Lansing, and also from 2 to 3 p.m. prior to the funeral service on March 18. Private interment will follow.
For those desiring, memorial contributions may be made to The MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel New Organ Fund, University Advancement, 535 Chestnut Road, Room 300, East Lansing MI 48824 (make a gift online at  or make checks payable to "The MSU Alumni Memorial Chapel New Organ Fund AE060781", or The Mildred E. Swanson Foundation, care of Dorothy Korbel, U.S. Trust, 225 West Wacker Drive, Suite 2140, Chicago, IL 60606 (make checks payable to "The Mildred E. Swanson Foundation," supporting medical research and college scholarships.
Online condolences may be expressed at



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