Local Legend – Gone West

Thanks to John Horan for passing this along – a story written by a son about his Mom, a local aviation legend.

To All Friends and Family:

It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that our original Flight School Boss and Airport Aficionado has flown to smoother air. Naomi Nierenberg passed away comfortably May 31st after a yearlong battle with cancer.  Although many of you knew her well, here is some additional information on who she was and what she did for the Princeton Airport and our aviator community.

Naomi was born in New Brunswick and grew up on a farm in Piscataway. She married Richard, better known as Dick, in 1956. She was Rutgers Graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. When she graduated she was pregnant with her older son Jon. Two years later, son number two, Ken, was born.

Her husband, Dick, had a love of aviation and while working at the family furniture store, he had an opportunity to operate Kupper Airport, (now Central Jersey). Later, in 1967, one day Dick came home and announced “Naomi, we are now in the aviation business!”

Naomi ran the books for the companies for several years while her kids were young. Then in the 1970s she moved up to be the CEO, CFO, and the BOSS of the Raritan Valley Flying School.

Also during he 1970s, the three Nierenbergs, Dick, Naomi and Ken – who was just a punk kid at the time – had an opportunity to purchase the Princeton Airport. That meant that Naomi would be operating two locations, but she was up for the challenge. The flying school, as you know it today, has been operating since 1975 and has taught thousands of pilots, many who have become professional pilots.

Naomi Nierenberg was a great mother and grandmother, a fantastic wife, a Board of Education member, a founding member of the League of Women Voters, and so much more.

Naomi Nierenberg was:

1: A curious student, always wanting to learn and explore

2. A wonderful daughter

3. A hard working person

4. A talented and skillful artist with ceramics

5. A great wife

6. An awesome mother and grandmother (even if we HAD to finish our vegetables)

7. A very generous person

8. A savvy business woman

9. A caring and empathetic person

10. She loved to travel and try new experiences.

11. She was very supportive in many aspects.


Naomi had a positive influence on everyone she met. She inspired people of all ages and walks of life. She made things happen and will be dearly missed.

Keep on flying Mom!

~ Ken Nierenberg

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