Richard D. Gaynor, a leading figure in the ready-mixed concrete industry died July 16 at the age of 83.
A native of Mobile, Ala., Gaynor received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and his master’s in engineering from the University of Maryland. He joined the joint Associations of National Ready Mixed Concrete and National Sand and Gravel (later the National Aggregates Association - NAA) in 1954. Gaynor managed the associations’ Joint Research Laboratory in College Park, Md., for many years.
He became NRMCA’s director of engineering in 1971, vice president of research and engineering in 1975, and executive vice president in 1984. Gaynor also served as the director of engineering for the National Industrial Sand Association (NISA) from 1979 to 1993. He provided technical support to the Truck Mixer Manufacturers Bureau (TMMB) and the Concrete Plant Manufacturers Bureau (CPMB). Gaynor retired from the Associations in 1996 after 42 years of service. He was an honorary member of the NRMCA Board of Directors.
“To say that Dick achieved legendary status within our industry would actually be an understatement,” said NRMCA President Robert Garbini. “His knowledge, dedication, contributions and kindness will be his legacy. I was honored to consider him a mentor, colleague and friend.”
Gaynor made many contributions to the ready-mixed concrete industry in the development of standards for cement; strength and durability testing; reuse of returned concrete and wash water; characteristics of aggregates; mixing in truck mixers and initiatives to improve the quality of ready mixed concrete. He served on the Building Code Committee (ACI 318), Specifications Committee (ACI 301) and was a primary driver in the improvement of ASTM C94, Specification for Ready Mixed Concrete. Through the NRMCA Technical Short Course, technical information letters, publications and many industry presentations, he was involved in the education of many industry leaders and technical personnel during his tenure with the associations.
He was a prominent member of many technical societies, a Fellow of the ASTM International and ACI, and participated on committees and expert panels of the Transportation Research Board, National Cooperative Highway Research Program, Strategic Highway Research Program, Aggregates Foundation (AFTRE), International Center for Aggregates Research, and the Civil Engineering Research Foundation. Gaynor was a registered professional engineer in the state of Maryland. He remained as a consulting or honorary member of many committees until his death.
Mr. Gaynor received numerous awards throughout his distinguished career in the concrete and aggregates industries. From ASTM he received the Sanford E. Thompson Award twice (1963 and 1982) for outstanding technical papers, the Award of Merit (1978), the Outstanding Leadership Award (Safety & Health Committee), Frank E. Richart Award, P.H. Bates Award (1993), Robert J. Painter award for outstanding Technical Contributions and was named an ASTM Honorary member of Committees C1 on Cement and C9 on Concrete and Aggregates. From ACI, Gaynor was also awarded the Arthur R. Anderson Award (1978) for advancement of knowledge of concrete as a construction material and the Henry L. Kennedy Award for outstanding technical contributions to the Institute.
He received the Visionary Leadership Award from RMC 2000. He received the Joseph E. Carpenter Award for Excellence in Maintenance from the NRMCA Operations and Equipment Maintenance (OEM) Committee in 1994. In 1997, NRMCA’s Research Engineering and Standards (RES) Committee established the Richard D. Gaynor Award to recognize individuals who, like himself, have made significant contributions to the ready mixed concrete industry in research, engineering and standards.
“Dick was one of those people who could get things done and who understood how things worked, whether it was mechanical, chemical or electrical,” said longtime industry colleague Richard Meininger, who worked alongside Gaynor at NRMCA and NAA.
In addition to his dedication as a concrete and aggregate researcher, he also was an accomplished statistician, mineralogist, and petrographer. He was an avid fisherman and spent many days fishing on the Chesapeake Bay with family and friends or at his family’s beach house on the gulf in Alabama. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marge (2010) and is survived by his children, Deborah L. Gaynor, Richard D. Gaynor, Jr., Patricia Gaynor and Leo Gaynor, and three grandchildren.
Donations can be made in memory of Richard D. Gaynor to the Alzheimer’s Association (www.alz.org), go to the link titled Research in Richard D. Gaynor’s name. Donations can also be made by phone at 1-800-272-3900 or by mail, Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.