Amusement And Vending Pioneer Richard Francis 'Dick' Hawkins Dies At 75

Posted On: 1/30/2017

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TAGS: Dick Hawkins obituary, coin-op, vending operator, Richard Francis Hawkins, D&R Inc., D&R Star, Minnesota Operators of Music and Amusements, Amusement and Music Operators Association, jukebox, pinball machine, vending machine

Dick Hawkins, D&R Star, vending operator ROCHESTER, MN -- Coin-op and vending pioneer Richard Francis "Dick" Hawkins died on Jan. 28 at the Waters on Mayowood retirement community here. He was 75.

Hawkins was born in Rochester, MN, on June 27, 1941, and was the first son of James and Mildred (Sykes) Hawkins. He graduated from Rochester High School in 1959. In 1963, Hawkins established D&R Inc., aka D&R Star, an amusement and vending machine operation based in his home town. Today, D&R's amusement business, which includes Rochester's Family Fun Center store, is run by Hawkins' son, Michael.

A strong believer in small business advocacy and community involvement, Hawkins dedicated much of his professional and personal time to many trade associations and civic organizations. On his home turf, he was president of the Minnesota Operators of Music and Amusements. Nationally, he served terms as president for the Amusement and Music Operators Association and the Better Vendors Association, and was a founder and board member of both the Valley National 8-Ball League Association and the National Dart Association.

The pioneering operator belonged to the Masonic Lodge, Osman Temple and the Shriners, and was captain of the Rochester Shrine Cycle Patrol. He served on the board of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and was an enthusiastic supporter of the Gamehaven Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He loved to hunt big game around the world with his family and friends. On Feb. 13, 2011, he married Margaret Rose "Margie" Gherasim in Hawaii.

He is survived by his wife; sons Scott and Michael (Sarah), daughter Renee (Jerry) Babcock and stepson Paul (Kim) Shanks; nine grandchildren, who are Andrew, Sheridan, Mitchell, Michaela, Annissa, James, Adam, Abigail and Jack; and great-grandchildren Anthony, Sydney, Ella and Charlotte. He was preceded in death by son James Richard Hawkins.

Services: Visitations will be held on Thursday, Feb. 2, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, Feb. 3, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Home in Rochester. Following Friday's visitation hour, a funeral service will begin at 10 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dick Hawkins' memory can be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, the Boy Scouts of America and the Alzheimer's Association.