Richard O. Kearns

March 3, 1926July 10, 2018

Richard “Dick” Kearns, 92, passed on into the loving arms of our Lord on July 10, 2018 in Pompano Beach, Florida. Dick was born on March 3rd, 1926 in Dayton, Ohio to Anna and Oliver Kearns and had one sibling, his late brother Robert. Dick grew up in Dayton, graduated from Oakwood High School and enrolled in the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point during World War II. After basic training, he was deployed to the Pacific Theater for his “year at sea”. After the war, Dick graduated from the USMMA and served as a Merchant Marine officer for a year. He then returned to Dayton, graduated from Miami University, and in 1948, married the love of his life, Virginia “Ginnie” Ann Kearns, whom he had known since early childhood. Their son Tom was born a little over 3 years later and daughter Nancy 3 years after that.

Dick was the consummate entrepreneur and attributed his success to his Kings Point education. He spent over 20 years in the restaurant business starting with a partnership with his father in Dayton. He built and owned numerous restaurant ventures in Ohio including coffee shops, industrial catering, and a chain of cafeterias and luxury restaurants, one of which seated 1300 people. Dick and his family moved to Fort Lauderdale in 1962 where he developed a large chain of fast-food restaurants called “The Red Barn” and later, a chain of steak houses. Dick then went into real estate in Florida building low rises, high rises, rentals, industrial parks, and finally, mobile home communities in central and south Florida.

Throughout his life, Dick also followed his second love – that of boating. He spent his free time with his family on boats cruising on the Great Lakes, the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and Maine. His last entrepreneurial venture followed this theme backing a friend building and importing large yachts from Taiwan.

Dick was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia, and is survived by his two children, Thomas (wife Joanna) and Nancy (husband Michael); four grandchildren, Susan, Lauren, Brian and Meredith; and two great grandchildren, Carter and Maxwell.

Dick is remembered for his generous spirit and desire to help others help themselves, particularly through education. In his honor, please consider giving to Dick’s favorite charities, the Community Foundation of Broward and the First Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale. The online memorial is available at


  • Thomas Michael Kearns, Son
  • Nancy Albury, Daughter

Richard O. Kearns

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