Benjamin Media Inc. (BMI) is saddened to announce the passing of our former associate publisher, Richard “Dick” Krzys, 75, on Feb. 19 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Dick — brother to BMI founder Bernie Krzys and uncle to BMI president Robert Krzys — was an integral member of the BMI family and respected member of the close-knit trenchless technology community for many years.
Dick was a graduate of General Motors Institute (now Kettering University) with an electrical engineering degree. He went on to get a master’s degree in quantitative analysis from Case Western Reserve University. Dick joined BMI in 1995, when it was called Trenchless Technology Inc., after many years working in engineering and plant management in manufacturing and as an independent consultant. His primary duties included overseeing the then-fledgling company’s production, circulation and conferences departments — no small task.
“In the early years, my focus was on the sales and editorial side of the company,” says Bernie, who founded Trenchless Technology magazine in 1992. “Dick took on the difficult job of putting our circulation together and growing it, as well as making sure the magazine was printed. Later on, as we expanded into trenchless educational field seminars, Dick was the point person in getting those off the ground and being successful. I’ll never forget that first year we held our HDD Rodeos. Dick, along with Rob and I, were in the field in the mud and rain measuring crew bore holes. We were in Grapevine, Texas, it was December, and it was dark as it was taking so long to find the bores in all the mud.”
Bernie shares that Dick’s background and personality were a perfect and necessary fit in the areas he was charged with overseeing. Their offices were located side by side in the old Peninsula, Ohio, location and Bernie often turned to his younger brother for his opinion and take on business matters.
“The biggest thing in the early days for me was being able to tap into Dick’s advice and counsel,” Bernie says. “His personality, attitude and analytical approach to projects and problems were perfect for us as we started to grow Trenchless Technology and BMI into the multi-faceted organization it is today.”
Rob Krzys says it was a pleasure and honor to work alongside his uncle for so many years. “I missed working with Dick when he retired,” Rob says. “He was always quick with a joke and brightened your day.”
Dick loved to watch all sports and was an avid history buff, as BMI employees who traveled with him to our Rehab Road Shows can attest. “Traveling to the show site was never a straight shot with Dick at the wheel,” Rob says. “We always had to stop and see an historical site along the way.”
Due to Parkinson’s, Dick stepped down from BMI in 2012; however, in retirement he stayed in touch with the trenchless industry by taking on the role of executive director of the Ohio HDD Association (now called the Great Lakes Trenchless Association). Dick forged so many friendships during his trenchless career, as well as their respect.
“I will forever remember him. He was a friend and the guy that made the Trenchless Road Shows a big success. A real big part of our history,” remembers LMK Technologies president Larry Kiest.
“He was instrumental in building the TRS Roadshow. I always loved to work with him and considered him a great friend,” says CATT executive director Dr. Mark Knight.
“Dick was a great guy. He was loved by all who knew him,” says AP/M Permaform president Bill Shook.
“Dick has always had a special place in my heart. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you and for him. I’m sure he’s making heaven even better,” says vice president of HammerHead Trenchless Joanne Carroll.
Dick is survived by his wife Mary, whom he married on July 11, 1964; two sons, two daughters, as well as his brothers Bernie and Mike and seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Donations are asked to be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 or online at michaeljfox.org.