Charles E. Larrick in his office furniture warehouse with Uniques Unlimited in Kettering in 2014. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Charles Larrick, well-known businessman, dies at age 89

Charles Larrick, the longtime business owner and well-known pitchman for Uniques Unlimited and Larrick’s Warehouse, died Oct. 31.

Larrick was 89.

Larrick was well-known for doing TV commercials by stepping into the second drawer of a filing cabinet and bragging about the quality of his product.

When locally-owned office supply stores began to close with the advent of big box stores like Office Depot and Staples, Larrick’s companies survived.

Charles Larrick in his furniture warehouse demonstrates the strength of a file cabinet by standing in the drawer with his 190 lb. frame. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

He said his success was due to hard work — working seven days a week beyond age 80 — but mostly his ability to adapt.

”It’s not the smart that succeed, it’s not the strongest that succeed, it’s the people that adapt. Plus we’re just better,” Larrick told the Dayton Daily News in 2014.

Larrick bought used office furniture from closed Dayton businesses and damaged boxes of desks from big box stores by the truckload.

People in the Dayton area knew him for his radio ads, usually with promises of huge sales. Larrick wrote most of the scripts for his own radio ads.

Larrick graduated from Bellbrook High School in 1949 and was married to his wife, Dorothy, for more than 60 years.

Before becoming a business owner, Larrick worked at General Motors for 17 years as an electrician and two years as an engineer. He started a business in the basement of his father’s home at age 27, in partnership with his father, Estel Larrick, who passed away in 1966.

After his father’s death, he bought a 2,800-square-feet building on Mackoil Avenue that eventually became the site of Larrick’s Warehouse. He first sold tube testers for TV’s, then Panasonic car radios, becoming the number one seller of car radios in the world. Because of his success, Larrick said Panasonic sent him to Japan to teach the Japanese about how Americans think.

Larrick was preceded in death by his parents; son, Charles W. “Chuck” Larrick; and daughter, Vicki Larrick. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy; daughter and son-in-law, Patty and Les Lomax; grandsons, Matt Larrick and Nick (Devin) Lomax; great granddaughters, Lola, Alayna, Layla and Lilly Lomax; sister, Barbara Davis and a host of relatives and friends.

Visitation is today from 2 to 4 p.m. at Tobias Funeral Home, 5471 Far Hills Ave. Funeral services will follow immediately beginning at 4 p.m.

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