Richard C. North, retired longtime faculty member and dean, a professor in Pratt Institute’s School of Engineering and School of Architecture, passed away on April 23, 2024. He was 91.

North, who had earned his Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at Pratt in 1958, joined the Institute faculty in 1969, and went on to teach at Pratt for three decades, in the Mechanical Engineering Department and the Undergraduate Architecture Department, before his retirement in 1999. He also served as dean of engineering from 1992 to 1993, and he was honored with the Distinguished Teacher Award 1991–1992.

Below is an excerpt of an obituary shared with Pratt by Richard North’s daughter-in-law Sonya Kolowrat. 

Dr. Richard “Dick” Charles North, a lifelong resident of Long Island, was born in Hicksville to Mabel and Charles North in 1932, graduating from Hicksville High School in 1950 before joining the naval reserve. He served in Adak, Alaska, until 1952, graduating from the Navy’s Electronics Technician school, later returning to the navy on staff as an engineer in 1961. He graduated from Pratt Institute in 1958, then attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken to obtain his master’s degree. He received a Ford Foundation Fellowship, allowing him to earn his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Maryland. 

He had several employers, sometimes working multiple jobs at once, including Syska Hennessy, Republic Aviation, and Public Service Electric and Gas Company. His engineering prowess was of great pride to him, having contributed to countless projects, leading a storied career in mechanical engineering. 

He was successful as a teacher in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Pratt Institute for multiple decades, serving as dean of engineering and winning the distinguished teacher award in 1991, and he was overjoyed when his son John followed in his footsteps by attending Pratt. He retired in 1999.

In retirement he struggled with inactivity, a new concept to a man of constant employment. He enjoyed doing projects around his Amityville home, in which he resided for 55 years. He enchanted his family with epic stories of his years in engineering and the navy, and enthusiastically shared his extensive knowledge of engineering and local history. 

He left a lasting impact on all of those he met, and will be fondly remembered for years to come by his family and friends on Long Island and abroad.

Read the full obituary in the Amityville Record.