Dick Spady, co-founder of Dick's Drive-In, dies at 92

SEATTLE (AP) — Dick Spady, the co-founder of Dick's Drive-In whose string of classic burger joints have become a ritual for many in the Seattle area, has died. He was 92.

His granddaughter and company spokeswoman, Jasmine Donovan, said Tuesday that Spady died of natural causes in Seattle on Sunday.

Spady and two partners opened the first of six restaurants in 1954 in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood. They had a simple business goal "to serve fresh, high quality food at low prices with instant service." They opened four more restaurants in Seattle, and Spady bought out his business partners in 1991. A sixth restaurant opened in Edmonds in 2011.

Born in Portland, Spady served in the Navy in World War II. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1950 and was a commissary officer during the Korean War.

He is survived by his wife, five children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.


“It’s been a good life. I’m very fortunate,” Spady told The Seattle Times on his 90th birthday back in October 2013.

Esquire Magazine even declared Dick's the "Most Life-Changing Burger Joint" in an online poll.

In 2012, a Seattle Mayoral Proclamation noted the company had the lowest turnover rate in the industry and had provided more than $1 million to local homeless charities, disaster relief around the world and other public engagement efforts.

The Spady family continues to own the company with Jim Spady as president.

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