Raymond Frick, the founder of a chain of family-style chicken restaurants that got off the ground in Dayton, has died. He was 72.
Frick, whose Fricker’s chain grew to 24 locations across Ohio, Indiana and Michigan, died Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic, said Jim Manley, the company’s marketing director.
After a stint as a nightclub bouncer, he opened the first Fricker’s in 1985 in West Carrollton with a vision to make it a place for everyone: family-friendly, couple-friendly, single-friendly.
“For the first couple of years, it was tough, I sold everything I had to keep it going. People thought I was crazy,” he told his family. “I was trying to convince people to eat chicken wings for dinner.”
Frick grew up on the east side of Toledo, lived in Perrysburg, where he also had an early restaurant, spent nearly 30 years living in the Dayton area and later also had a home in Florida, according to Manley.
Frick is survived by his wife, Shannon R. Frick; his children, Andrew R. Frick, Amanda L. Frick and Christopher H. Frick; and his brother Robert J. Frick.
His daughter said he had a love affair with coffee, dark sunglasses, reading, and traveling, and had the ability to make everyone feel special.
“I had the privilege to see the amazing things he did for other people,” Amanda Frick said. “He was the best person I’ve ever known … and the thing he did the best was being a father.”
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Manley said Frick was a “genuinely giving, compassionate and wonderful friend,” but also was “tough as nails” and wouldn’t back down when he believed in something strongly.
Frick supported many institutions with scholarships and gifts, including Waite High School, from which he graduated in in 1964. While at Miami University, Frick played football and received his bachelor’s degree in education. He funded the Ron Frick Sports Medicine/Rehabilitation Center and created the Ron Frick Scholarship for Undergraduate Athletic Trainers, in honor of his brother, who also attended Miami University.
Friends and family will be received from noon to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Witzler-Shank Funeral Home, 222 East South Boundary Street, Perrysburg. The service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at the Maumee Theatre, 601 Conant Street, Maumee.
Friends and family will be received prior to the service, beginning at 10 a.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider The Waite Frick Family Scholarship Fund, 301 Morrison Drive, Toledo, Ohio 43605 Attn: cashier. Condolences may be made to the family online at www.witzlershank.com.