Web support specialist and production assistant Rick Nadler remembered for compassion, integrity and talent

Rick Nadler had endless humor and positivity with those in his life, according to friend Christiann Pearson.

by Tess Bruett and Alisha Khalil | 11/6/23 5:10am

Source: Courtesy of PJ Cordts

“Integrity, mastery and compassion” are the three words that Bob Oxford would use to describe his friend and colleague Rick Nadler. 

Nadler passed away at age 71 on Oct. 18, 2023 after battling a rare form of cancer for over a year, according to a statement by senior vice president for communications Justin Anderson on the President’s Office “In Memoriam” page. Nadler is survived by his two sisters, Pamela Cordts and Susan Suessmann, according to Valley News. 

Nadler was a man of many talents, and his colleagues, family and friends remember him for his love of learning. Some of Nadler’s talents and hobbies included photography, playing the trumpet, cycling, sailing, music trivia, remote control planes and sailboats.

“Nothing was too difficult for Rick to master,” Cordts and Suessman wrote in an email to The Dartmouth. 

“If he found an interest in something, he became driven to learn as much as he could about it, and then go even beyond what he learned and apply more learning from his experiences and experimentations, which he loved to do,” they wrote. “We were very proud of our brother Rick and often looked in awe at his intelligence and where it was able to take him.”

Nadler began working with Dartmouth in 2011 on the Blitzmail system, transitioning after two years to the Office of Communications, according to the President’s Office. 

Office of Communications colleague Christiann Pearson remembers Nadler joking about never wanting to retire.

“He loved working here at Dartmouth,” Pearson said. “He loved his job. He really enjoyed the chance to connect with people, and in his role, he really did work with lots of people.”

Nadler’s job connected him to departments across the Dartmouth campus. According to the President’s Office, Nadler’s technical support work ranged from responding to help tickets to setting up email accounts to training web editors. 

In the 12 years that Nadler worked at Dartmouth, his colleagues admired his sense of humor.

“Each week, a person of the week on the team would get a stuffed moose for them to have on their desk for that week,” Oxford said. “Rick won the moose a number of times, and he had a great picture taken with him and the moose … [in] one, they both had sunglasses on and played the harmonica. That was really quite funny.” 

While he was going through treatment, Nadler remained steadfast in his desire to fight the cancer with all of his power, his sisters wrote.

“After his bone-marrow transplant, [Nadler] had to stay in the hospital more frequently and was determined to not let this get him down,” Oxford said. “His attitude was phenomenal … he would walk five miles a day in the hospital, up and down 10 flights of stairs to keep himself in shape. He knew that would help with his recovery.”

Fitness was very important to Nadler, according to the President’s Office. Nadler rode his bike around New Hampshire and Vermont often. During the winter months, he would continue to ride with an indoor trainer. 

In 2019, Nadler participated in the Prouty Century Ride, which he completed as part of a team of Information, Technology and Consulting employees, according to the President’s Office.

Nadler continted to inspire those around him. Nadler’s sisters remember him not only for his “humor and brilliance,” but also for his unwavering determination and positivity. 

“[Nadler] faced this battle with dignity and bravery,” Cordts and Suessmann wrote. “His mantra became: Can’t quit, never say woe, ever onward.”  

According to the President’s Office, the Dartmouth flag will be lowered to honor Nadler as a “quiet [hero], someone who went above and beyond to find ways to help colleagues across campus untangle those technical difficulties that can unexpectedly put a stop to work.”

Reflecting on Nadler’s legacy in the Dartmouth community and beyond, Pearson remembered his care for others.

“People like [Rick] are special,” Pearson said. “They just are. And when you find someone like that, it means a lot.”