Richard G. Nichols helped establish Inventure Place, headquarters of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in Akron in the early 1990s. He retired as its president and chief operating officer shortly after it opened in July 1995.
The former Goodyear engineer returned to Inventure Place in December 1996 to restore financial order to the troubled operation, when operating costs exceeded its projected income. He retired again in 1999, when he felt the books would be balanced by the end of that year.
Nichols, 80, died of complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig’s Disease, March 19.
The 1948 graduate received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the Cuyahoga Falls Schools Foundation.
Nichols, who graduated from the University of Akron in 1953 with a degree in mechanical engineering, also received an Outstanding Alumni Award from the university’s College of Engineering. Other honors include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the National Museum of Education and the Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian Award.
He worked for Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. before and after his two years of service as an engineering operations manager in the Air Force in the mid-1950s.
Nichols helped develop a patented process for film stretching and advanced through the Goodyear company until retiring in 1989 as part of the executive management team responsible for global plant engineering.
Survivors include his wife of 21 years, Jin Bun; his children, Renee Nichols Tucei, Denise Nichols Kurtz and Thomas A.; stepson, Ki Hwan Hwang; and 10 grandchildren. Dolores Evelyn De Paul Nichols, his wife of 34 years and mother of his children, is deceased.
Calling hours are 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at , 1930 Front St.
Mass of the Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 23, at St. Vincent Catholic Church, 164 W. Market St., Akron, OH 44305.
Donations may be made to the ALS Association, Northern Ohio Chapter, 2500 East 22nd St., Suite 102, Cleveland , OH 44115; or Heroes Harbor Hospice Unit 3B, VA Hospital, 10701 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106.