Necki Springer, a resident of the Verde Valley for over 30 years, died in Cottonwood on December 9, 2011 at the age of 92. Necki was born in Trieste, Italy on August 17, 1919.
His formative years were spent as the youngest son of a prominent Trieste family, whose lineage spawned Lutheran pastors at each generation dating back to Martin Luther’s reformation. His father was a respected doctor of dentistry and entomologist who was active in political circles, and his mother, a Trieste socialite. His much older brother, Hanz, disappeared during WWII during the clash of many rival political groups in border region of northeastern Italy. He additionally had two older sisters, Renate and Magda, a regional artist, now both deceased.
Necki attended medical school after the war, at the urging of his father, but failed to complete his final year. His true passions were in the more solitary pursuits of botany and archeology, which led him as a young man to discover and catalog many remnants of pre-historic human activity in the Alps.
In 1954, Necki married Liana Grimalda in Trieste. Together they immigrated to the United States, settling in the Los Angeles area, where Necki worked for many years as a fine carpet specialist at The Broadway in Pasadena. During their free time, Necki and Liana relished exploring the vast outdoor spaces of the American west. They became experts in the area’s plants and were particularly renowned for their skills in hunting edible mushrooms in the Arizona forests after summer monsoons.
He and Liana relocated to the Verde Valley in 1978, following retirement, drawn by the area’s beauty and nearby extended family. Prior to Liana’s death in 2002, both were actively involved in initiating the revival of the Latin version of the Roman Catholic Mass within the Verde Valley.
Necki leaves a sister-in-law, Rina Mongini, two brothers-in-law, Piero and Mark Grimalda, four nephews and six nieces, a number of good friends, including Rick and Jeana Cranmer, and his friend and caregiver, Alma Starr. A funeral mass will be held in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Church in Cottonwood on Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm.
An online guestbook is available at www.westcottfuneralhome.com.
Information provided by survivors.