Foodservice Equipment Reports

In Memoriam: Dick Campion

Russell Richmond “Dick” Campion, who served as president of three major E&S manufacturers and served as NAFEM president and on the association’s board of directors, died July 8 in Palm City, Fla. He was 84.

The Milwaukee native began his 40-year career in the foodservice industry in 1953 when he joined hometown-based Boelter Cos. Ten years later, he moved to Bastian Blessing, a dealer fabricator providing kitchen and service lines for cafeteria operators across the U.S. After a two-year assignment in New York, Campion moved to Bastian’s Chicago headquarters, where he served in various sales management positions. A chance meeting in 1967 with Fred Turner, then a young executive at McDonald’s, led to the development of a complete turnkey restaurant-equipment package.

Campion spent 30 years with Bastian Blessing; while serving as its president, he travelled extensively and opened markets in North America, Europe and Asia. In 1984, Campion took the reins at Stainless Inc. in Deerfield Beach, Fla., to help a friend who needed senior leadership to run his company. As Stainless president, he worked closely with Burger King and other chains; two years later, he joined Franke Foodservice, a Philadelphia manufacturer with a Swiss parent company that was seeing a boom in sales but needed experience at the top. As Franke’s president, Campion brought in a brain trust from Bastian Blessing and reorganized the company to focus its efforts on McDonald’s.

He installed the same “customer first” philosophy at Franke Foodservice Europe, and Franke went on to become a global influence with manufacturing operations in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Campion retired in 1992. His son, Tom, is the current CEO of Franke Foodservice Systems.

In 1993, Campion and his wife, Peggy, came out of retirement and launched European Kitchen Sink Outlet in Stuart, Fla., aimed at the residential market. He sold the business in 2002 to his son, Jon, who now operates European Kitchen and Bath with his wife, Delores, and sister, Jill.

Preceded in death by his wife of nearly 64 years, Campion is survived by his three children, six grandchildren and a sister.

A memorial service will be held at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 623 SE Ocean Blvd., Stuart, Fla., on Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations are encouraged to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.