Full Name: Rita Meyninger
Date of Death: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Dr. Rita Meyninger of Cliffside Park, NJ born in Newark, NJ September 2, 1925 to John and Charlotte Feller, passed away on October 19, 2019 at the age of 94. She died peacefully in her own home, as she wanted. Rita was a pioneer in the field of Civil Engineering, and a role model for women throughout her life. Dr. Meyninger became a pilot and enjoyed flying during her younger years. Enrolling in Newark College of Engineering, now NJIT, she was the only woman in a class of all men. A mother of two young children, Rita was confronted with gender discrimination from fellow students and professors. She broke all molds, and after graduating NJIT in 1958 with her two young children at her side, she went to work designing and building the New Jersey Turnpike as part of the Army Corps of Engineers. Dr. Meyninger moved abroad in her late 20’s and lived in Spain and Venezuela for a number of years. Upon returning to NJ she settled in Waldwick, NJ. Wanting to design and build her own “dream home”, she wrote the specifications and drew up the plans for her new home in Ramsey, NJ. The construction took over four years, due in part to her painstaking attention to detail. With her two children off to college, Dr. Meyninger went back to school, earning her Masters in Civil Engineering from New York University and a Doctorate of Engineering from Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, now New York University School of Engineering in 1992. Dr. Meyninger held many important positions including Village Engineer in Ridgewood NJ, Senior Vice President of Foster Wheeler, as well as Vice President and General Manager of Hydroscience, a division of Dow Chemical. In 1979 she was appointed by President Carter as the first Director of FEMA’s Region II office overseeing the emergency health declaration at Love Canal. Appointed again by President Clinton, she headed up FEMA’s New York Office. She was a member of Tau Beta Pi, The American Society of Civil Engineers and served on a number of professional and scientific advisory boards, and was admired and respected for her intellectual acumen, tenacity and perseverance throughout her life, She is survived by her devoted son Michael Laurence Lubetkin. She is predeceased by her loving daughter Susan Jan Lubetkin. The funeral services will be held this Friday, October 25th, at the graveside at Cedar Park Cemetery on 735 Forest Avenue in Paramus, NJ at 12:00 noon. Donations in her honor can be made to The Lubetkin Athletic Scholarship Fund at New Jersey Institute of Technology.