GREENWICH, Conn.–Raymond. W. Zrike, Sr., who spent 65 years in the tabletop and housewares industry, died Dec. 15. He was 90 years old.
According to the Zrike family, he died from complications related to pneumonia.
Zrike, a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Business School and a World War II veteran, joined the Royal Worcester Porcelain Co. in 1946 and was made president and CEO in 1962. In 1978 he was asked by Kosta Boda of Sweden to start a U.S. subsidiary, his family said, and he served as president of Kosta Boda USA until his retirement in 1983. That same year he founded The Zrike Company, Inc., producers and distributors of dinnerware and glassware, in Oakland, NJ.
During his career he was active in many industry organizations and served as president of the China, Glass and Giftware Board of Trade and as chairman of the Association of British Ceramic Importers.
In a 1994 interview with HFN on the occasion of his 50th anniversary in the tabletop industry, Zrike was asked to what he attributed his success. “I have strived to be very honest and above board in all my business dealings,” he said. “Integrity in business, like all parts of life, is very important. My goal has always been to approach everything I do with the greatest integrity. If I have achieved nothing in the past 50 years, I hope I have achieved that.”
Zrike’s wife of 64 years, Jean, died in 2011. He is survived by four children, Stephen, Raymond Jr., Joanne Huntley and David; a brother; 12 grandchildren and one great grandchild.