After Stephen Hartley “Red” Nippert, 66, died on Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Newport, RI, his many friends mourned his passing. He was a father, a lifelong fisherman, an avid reader, and was incredibly kind to anyone in need. He helped many people, yet always made it sound like they were doing him a favor! His joyful sense of humor was warm-hearted, he laughed at his own misadventures and reveled in pranks. He had few equals at telling a great story.
Stephen was the son of Naval Commander Glenn E. Nippert and Mary Jane Bohl, a reporter and newswoman. He was born June 15, 1950 in Bethesda, MD, and traveled widely until his family settled in Newport in 1960. He was known by various nicknames: Nip, Red (due to his hair) or Red Man.
He was a free spirit and was adamantly opposed to the Vietnam War. He bravely faced the draft board not knowing if he’d be released or jailed; fortunately he was exempted. After adventurously hitchhiking across the US, including Woodstock, he took a job on a fishing boat, and found his life’s work.
He loved the sea and was at home on the sea. In his extraordinarily long career, he fished on seven boats, catching fish, lobsters, sea urchins, and made the Guinness Book of World Records for catching the most slime eels! Red also bought his own boat, the Kristen and Michael, and served as an advisor to a NOAA commission to reduce the number of sea mammals inadvertently caught by commercial fishermen. He was a rigorously careful and extremely shrewd fisherman, and was tough and hard working.
He faced his recent cancer diagnosis with typical kindness and strength, reassuring loved ones that he’d had a happy, fulfilled life.
He is survived by his son Jeremiah “Jay” Q. Nippert, his daughter-in-law Regina LaChance, his sisters Connie Walsh of FL, Chris O’Connell of RI, and Catherine Morrison of NJ, brothers-in- law Steve Walsh and John Morrison, many nieces and nephews, four great-nieces, ex-wives Linda DeLisle and Lisa Kenyon, and countless friends who will miss him greatly.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.