Navy vet and longtime businessman who had ‘a great love of Hamilton’ dies at 87

Credit: Staff photo by Nick Daggy

Credit: Staff photo by Nick Daggy

A man who had “a great love of Hamilton,” and lived his life that way, has died.

Richard “Dick” Haid, who joined the Hamilton Rotary 50 years ago, died Feb. 9 at Berkeley Square in Hamilton. He was 87.

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Haid was a businessman and community servant.

John Haid, the oldest of his four children, said his father was “very proud” of his deep roots in Hamilton. He joined numerous civic groups and organizations because he wanted to see Hamilton prosper, his son said.

His father often told him that groups could accomplish their goals if those on the committees didn’t care who received the recognition. His father also taught his children the importance of showing compassion, helping others, displaying a positive attitude and getting the job done “with a big smile while you’re doing it,” his son remembered.

Haid graduated from Hamilton High School in 1949, Denison University in Granville in 1953, and the Indiana University School of Business in Bloomington in 1957, where he received his master’s degree.

From 1953-55, he served as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He served first aboard the destroyer escort U.S.S. Radford, which survived typhoons at sea and shelled targets in North Korea. After being stationed at Pearl Harbor and Okinawa, Japan, he was transferred to U.S. Naval Base San Diego, where he as a company commander trained 2,000 recruits at a time.

He joined his father in Hamilton in 1960 in what became the Parrish & Haid Insurance Agency, after having worked three years in Chicago for Marsh McLennan, at that time the nation’s largest insurance brokerage firm.

He was active in the Hamilton Jaycees — the Hamilton Junior Chamber of Commerce. He also served as the Hamilton Jaycees’ president.

He was selected in 1962 as the Outstanding Young Man of Hamilton, and in 1967 he was named the Outstanding Ohio Young Insurance Agent.

While Haid did not have an interest in running for political office, he was a skilled campaign organizer, his son said. He managed Tom Kindness’s successful campaigns for mayor of Hamilton and his first term in the U.S. Congress and Tom Rentschler’s two successful campaigns for election to the Ohio House of Representatives.

He also served two terms as a trustee of the Lane Public Libraries, including his presidency of the libraries’ board of trustees.

Haid is survived by Leslie, his wife of almost 59 years; his children John, Elizabeth (David Lautner), Thomas (Patricia), and Peter; his grandchildren Kevin Haid, Lily Lautner, and Spencer Haid; and his brother Alan Griffis Haid (Elaine).

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