The co-founder and namesake of Dick's Drive-In died earlier this week. He was 92.

Share story

Pretty much everyone who grew up in or around Seattle has a youthful memory tied to Dick’s Drive-In.

As news spread Tuesday about the passing of co-founder and namesake Dick Spady, many Seattle Times readers shared their memories and tributes in the comments on his obituary.

Mr. Spady was remembered for much more than tasty burgers and fries. He was “a great guy, who proved that you can do well while doing good by your employees,” wrote commenter cadre. Commenter ryncef recalled a lecture he delivered to business students at the University of Washington:

“The real lesson he taught — not just (during) the lecture, but by everything he did was that self-interest should be broadly interpreted — and the problem w Wall Street (as a metaphor for wider thinking like that) is that mindset’s error in defining self-interest narrowly to mean near term cash-grabbing. Ultimately, successful businesses are successful by thinking and acting in a wise, long-term oriented manner. Yes, there are always constraints, but over time doing things like treating employees well is always an asset, not a liability or charity.”

Seattle Times higher education reporter Katherine Long bought her first house in Seattle from the Spadys:

Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporter, and her husband rented a house in Montlake from the Spadys when they moved to Seattle in 1988.  (Photo courtesy Katherine Long)
Katherine Long, Seattle Times higher education reporter, and her husband rented a house in Montlake from the Spadys when they moved to Seattle in 1988. (Photo courtesy Katherine Long)

“We were newcomers to Seattle in August 1988, and had only been in town for two days, when we rented a little brick house in Montlake from Dick and Ina Spady. We knew nothing of Dick’s Drive-In at the time, but we quickly realized we’d signed a lease with some remarkably generous landlords. They bought new appliances for the house and paid us back when we made all kinds of small improvements. After two years, they sold us the house for a very reasonable price; I’m sure they could have gotten more if they’d gone through a realtor. In short, they helped us find our footing in Seattle.”

A few other remembrances:

“My teenage son has only worked for Dick’s a short time but he saw Mr. Spady two or three times while on duty.  He was introduced to him only once, but Mr. Spady remembered his name when he saw him next.  It made a huge impression on him.  What a great guy and a great company.” –Boobaloo9701

“I remember Dick’s support in the 70’s and 80’s of those less fortunate. His support of individuals with developmental disabilities through his work with Northwest Center was especially memorable. I’ll never forget a planning retreat that he helped to facilitate with his usual flare, understanding, and desire to help. Thanks for all the good you did — you won’t be forgotten. My thoughts are with your family.” –HeartofDog

“My parents’ first date was at Dick’s on 45th in 1964, and I tell folks that I ate at Dick’s before I was born (via umbilical cord) and my first apartment with my wife was right across the street. Much appreciation for the community and employee support, and all the great eats! Thanks to Dick and the Spady family.” –user1093698

Read more and share your own memories and tributes here.