Richard A. Rist, 78

After a five-year battle with scleroderma, Richard A. Rist, 78, died peacefully on April 25 at his home in Wilton, Connecticut surrounded by his family. Mr. Rist was born January 8, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois to Harold and Ann Rist. He was raised in Des Moines, Iowa along with three siblings, brothers Tom and Patrick and sister Mary Colette. He graduated from Dowling High School in Des Moines in 1954 and served in the 502nd Airborne Infantry.

Following military service, Mr. Rist embarked on a sales and marketing career that eventually focused on military brokerage when he joined Eurpac in 1962. In 1970, he left Eurpac to join Dunham & Smith (D&S), quickly rising to regional manager in Germany soon followed by promotion to executive service in the company’s Greenwich, CT-based headquarters in 1972.

In 1980, Mr. Rist engineered an employee-leveraged buyout of D&S following the death of its chief executive Robert Brooks. Mr. Rist served as president and CEO of D&S for many years during which he also founded a highly successful subsidiary company, Mid-Valley Products, and acquired competitor Eagle Sales. Prior to his retirement, Mr. Rist oversaw the merging of D&S with Eurpac in 1996. This merger not only brought him home but also created what is probably the largest sales organization in the commissary business, a successful culmination to a career that spanned more than 50 years in the military resale system.

Mr. Rist was an extremely avid golfer and his frequent travels allowed him to enjoy famous courses all over the world. He became a member of the Shorehaven Golf Club in East Norwalk, Connecticut in 1982 and remained a member for more than 30 years.

Mr. Rist is survived by his wife Barbara, his son Oliver, his daughter Juliane Riding, and his grandchildren Nina and Milo Riding. A memorial service will be held in early summer with details to follow. Because Mr. Rist was a long-time supporter of the USO, memorial contributions can be made to that organization in lieu of flowers.  To leave an online condolence for his family, please go to: