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In Memoriam

Rick Case, a special man who knew how to give back

A man of firsts in the automotive and motorcycle industries and a renown philanthropist with his wife Rita, Rick Case will leave an indelible imprint on South Florida. A successful for-sale sign on his parents’ car in his native Akron, Ohio, led to The Rick Case Automotive Group. The company is celebrating its 59th year in business with more than 1,300 associates. The firm has 16 dealerships in Florida, Georgia and Ohio.

“Even a tragic accident did not slow down Rick’s ambition to succeed at his goals,” a family biography said. Case turned his hospital room into an office, recuperating from a 1970 explosion. “If you want to succeed, you will overcome anything,” he was quoted as saying.

Case expanded his expertise into a marketing acumen. He introduced new brands to the U.S. market including Toyota, FIAT, Honda, Lancia, Isuzu, Acura, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Kia and Smart Car. He holds the volume record for Acura, Fiat and Honda Motorcycles. He operated 14 dealerships that led to “Rick Case Bikes for Kids/” program, restoring bicycles for at-risk children for the holidays. This is the 39th year for this program that has given out more than 100,000 bikes.

The Cases married in 1980 and became a team, with Rick as CEO and Rita as COO for 40 years.

In 2020 Rita and Rick were honored as Business Leaders of the Year by FAU College of Business, among a host of awards over the years.

The couple founded “some of the most successful, elite, and unique annual philanthropic events, most celebrating over 30 years,” the bio says. They were instrumental in their support of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. Case was on their corporate board since 1986. The Cases also supported Habitat for Humanity; Nova Southeastern University; American Heart Association; American Cancer Association; Cleveland Clinic and Jack & Jill’s Children’s Center.

“Every once in a while, God blesses us with special people that walk the planet. It is my belief that Mr. Case is one of these people. He was my friend and mentor. He will be missed by his family and friends and all of the charities that he helped leaving a great void. The best gift we can give to his legacy is to help his family continue where he left off,” said Pinnacle Advertising founder and CEO Peter Gary.

Case is survived by his wife, Rita; son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Christine Case; son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Francesca Case; daughter and son-in-law, Raquel and Greg Travaline and five grandchildren.

A private ceremony will be held for immediate family with a “celebration of life” in the future. Memorial donations may be made in his honor supporting the Rick Case Educational Scholarship Fund benefiting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Broward County. BGCBC headquarters is located at 877 N.W. 61st St. #100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309, or email for gift instructions to Attn: Kerry Becker / kbecker@bgcbc.org.

 

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