March 2, 1940 ~ October 31, 2020

Born in: Amsterdam, New York
Resided in: Hamden, Connecticut

Richard T. “Dick” Pilchen was a man who made the most of life, often quoting this line from his beloved Auntie Mame: “Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!” On the morning of October 31, 2020, Dick departed from the banquet table peacefully, his faithful dogs Nala & Rutheford by his side. Dick was born on March 2, 1940 in Amsterdam, NY, a son of the late Frank & Charlotte (Kruszewski) Pilchen. He is survived by his cousin Mary Jane Skarzynski, of Hilton, NY. Dick displayed artistic ability and a love of theater and music early in life. These talents led him to a career in radio as a disc jockey and later into advertising. In 1965 when Subway co-founders Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck decided they needed a logo and sign for their new sandwich business they looked to Dick Pilchen, who was working with Fred’s dad Sal DeLuca at that time for Singer Sewing Machine Company. Dick was the first employee hired for the fledgling Subway brand and went on to a career with the company that lasted more than 50 years! He wore many hats, including graphics, signage, franchise sales, PR, advertising and marketing; and he actually designed the original Subway logo with the iconic arrows. Dick helped the Subway brand grow to over 40,000 locations globally and loved to travel the world to help Franchise Owners with local store marketing and talk to everyone he would meet about Subway. During his storied career Dick took great pleasure in promoting local bands, orchestrating product placement in major movies such as Happy Gilmore, Lethal Weapon, and Terminator 2, and coming up with early radio jingles like “when you’re hungry, make tracks for Subway.” He even had his own billboard in Times Square! Dick truly lived the life that Mame promoted, with people describing him as eccentric, original, larger than life and sometimes controversial. He loved hosting parties large and small, attending movie and Broadway premieres, and was always ready for a new adventure with his many friends, but his one true love was always the Subway brand.
Friends may attend a Celebration of His Life on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. at BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave., Hamden. Mask, Social Distancing and Attendance Limitations will be respected. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, Dick requested contributions be made to the Actor’s fund at www.actorsfund.org, or to the Animal Shelter Gift Fund, c/o Hamden Police Dept., 2900 Dixwell Ave., Hamden, CT 06518.

 

Services

Visitation: November 7, 2020 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518

203-288-0800
www.beecherandbennett.com

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  1. There are no words that can fully capture the spirit and heart of Dick Pilchen. A life lived to the fullest, sharing his love for living with everyone he met. His kindness and generosity have touched hundreds around the world and the memories he created will surely live on. May his life and memory inspire us all to Live Live Live and Give Give Give!

  2. A kind and generous man who will be remembered fondly. I enjoyed witnessing his many incarnations at Subway’s corporate office, the times we traveled, our common love of food and his later support for the first-ever Hamden Animal Shelter. “May the four winds blow you safely home.”

  3. Dick was probably the most interesting person I have ever met. We were neighbors in Hamden for almost 14 years. His love of life was “unbelievable” (a favorite word of his). Dick will be truly missed but fondly remembered.

  4. I can’t imagine a world without Dick Pilchen. He lived every second of his life exactly the way he wanted to, he made a million friends, and he made zero compromises and zero excuses. We had so many good times, adventures, and laughs that I will remember forever. What a legend. What a gem!

  5. I first meat Richard in formation in January 2013

    Richard : I really like your shirt

    I was kind of alone with future new franchisee

    He invited me to a speciality that he cook , I don’t remember perfectly the name , it was something dixkianna , but I was too shy to invite other people , he was really insisting me to invite other people , I was sooo shy and I didn’t

    But it was a really really good thing , we went to restaurant together

    I’m not sure which one was the 1 one

    We went to a restaurant where a chef cook in front of you , wow what a show

    And we went to a steak house , super good steak house

    I was also super lucky , I was allowed to visit his basement , what an amazing place , it should become a museum

    Sooooo many memories there

    I hope I have 1 picture , just one on his amazing life

    He was driving a beautiful Lexus

    I was lucky enough to go to New York with my personal guide and driver instead of taking the train alone

    Omg New York , we went into the Empire State Building , I remember him asking to A stranger in the elevator , do you know subway ? In my head I was like , almost everyone knows subway , like for sure she will say yes
    If she was saying yes , he was giving a 5$ gift card to the person
    He build marketing and customer to the American and now worldwide brand

    What a nice view on top of the building with Richard

    He was asking me what show I want to see on broadway , I don’t know I said , and I finally choosed the lion king , my first broadway show ! It was amazing , Richard was taking a poster for his collection after each show that he was seeing

    He saw a lot , because his Friend room is full of it
    He was telling me that he had a lot of energy when I was with him and I had a lot too

    He made me visit his town by car

    I was in need of his stories , I wish I could have get more of it , I was always ready to listen

    And the last dîner at the last day of the formation , the greeting was amazing

    He was a really generous man with me
    I wish I could have been more generous with him , now it’s my last chance , those last words to him

    I was lucky enough that he visited me in Montreal , I made his visit the city , it’s not the best city to visit , but I did my best to show him a nice view , a traditional restaurant (poutine ) And a breakfast restaurant in downtown

    Time is precious and it should not be wasted like me

    Your young thinking is something that I am attract to it

    The world would be a better place if there were more people like you

    Eat fresh !

    See you soon

    Julien

  6. Richard was open and kind full of joy and always Greeted you with a smile and genuine Joy. A good man who will be missed. Thank you Richard

  7. Dick was indeed larger than life and helped my career in music through his relentless promotion of our band, The Crayons. Following that chapter of my life, Dick gave me a career at Subway when he hired me as the Public Relations, Franchise Sales, Publications and Company Photographer guy in 1981! I owe my 39 successful years in the company to Dick and will always have a place in my heart for his impact on my life. Yes, there are many stories of adventure to share and I have no doubt that wherever Dick is now, he is busy raising eyebrows and telling tales of his amazing life here on earth. Rock on, Dick!

  8. Dick my good friend I’ll miss you dearly. Our twenty four years of friendship where one’s I’ll never forget. You wore many hats over your life time. From alter boy to disc jockey, business man, and chef. King of the best party’s, and world traveler. You lived your life doing what you wanted. Sharing with everyone you met your philosophy to love life and live it to the fullest. I’ll miss our afternoon luncheons our drives to your stores, and especially our birthday dinners. My dear friend you’ll be deeply missed but will always be in our hearts.

  9. I first met Dick in 1987 when I joined Subway HQ. He had such a gregarious zest for life. My only way to truly describe Dick is to say he was a child in a mans body. He always looked at things through rose colored glasses. There was nothing he wouldn’t try. He had such a passion for life and never wanted to miss an experience. He was a man with an enormous heart and very giving. He loved Subway and never missed an opportunity to tell everyone and anyone about being the first employee. He not only headed the Marketing Dept. he lived it every moment, whether in the office or on the streets handing out $5 gift cards to mere strangers so that they would go to Subway. He dedicated his life to Subway even after he retired, he would still take every chance to promote the Subway brand.

    We shared some wonderful times at your picnics, Dickiehanna, going out to dinner at Ola for your birthday dinners, my surprise 50th party where you even brought your brother Don.

    I will cherish our friendship and never forget you. Your stage awaits you in the biggest theater you will ever find in heaven, rest peacefully my friend!
    Love you

  10. What can I say? You were one of a kind.
    I was able to do so many wonderful things because of you that I might otherwise not have had an opportunity to do. Traveling, dining seeing broadway shows to name just a few.
    I always made sure to thank you.
    Thank you Pilch. Thank you for everything.
    Until we meet again. Thank you.

  11. Always a kind word and a great story. It was great to have met him I may years ago and learn from a true master in advertising and marketing. Dick was always happy to help with our stores and with owners, traveling a couple times to New Orelans to spread the word and guide us. He will be truly missed by his entire Subway family. RIP my friend…

  12. Thank you for your creativity, vision, and commitment to the brand we built and love.
    The special space we reserved on our wall for your Christmas card will now forever be empty. Rest in Paradise, Dick Pilchen!

    Lisa Oak and Tony Anastasio

  13. Richard, you lived such an incredible life and you’ve taught me how to live life to its fullest and not care what anyone thinks. You were such a kind and caring man and I will always treasure our trips around the country, our weekly dinners and the many trips to Broadway. I’ll miss your calls to come over immediately to fix your printer and your phone or you questioning Victor about the Mormons. Thank you for always being such a great friend. You’ll be missed dearly ❤️ rest easy my friend

  14. I met Dick so many years ago at the beginning of The Geoffrey Crayon Gentlemen – he was a force who brought excitement and fun to life. We shared a love for travel, food, music, movies, theater and conversation…(now I’ll talk you listen). We shared many hot dogs & lemonades and so proud you came to enjoy milk too. Dick you were a great friend…may peace be with you.

  15. It was nice to have met Richard. He was very nice and was generous to a lot of people. I wish you could of gone to Florida as planned but then you got sick R I P

  16. Dick is model for all of us, he truly made the world a better place. I will always cherish our friendship and remember Dick fondly, (as anyone would!).
    Dick and I shared that special Pisces bond. Dick certainly gave all who knew him plenty to reminisce, great memories.
    Armenians always say when someone passes:
    “Asdvadz Hokin Lousavore”, which means: May God Enlighten his Soul

    Աստուած Հոգին Լուսաւորէ, Տիք

  17. The word “unique” is horribly misused because, in a world with 7.3 billion people, almost no one is one-of-a-kind. Dick is the rare exception. Irrepressible, indelible, sometimes maddening, the quirky guy who lived his personal and business lives on his own terms without compromise or apologies. If you were fortunate, he welcomed you into his galaxy, met dozens of his interesting friends, and partied in a dozen places with the Ultimate Sugar Daddy… Memories should keep Dick alive in our heads and hearts until we all pass to another astral plane – where Dick will again be in full charge.

  18. Dick Pilchin lived life to the fullest, and what an amazing life it was! He did things his way, and if there ever was a person that left this planet with no regrets, it was him. He was a great friend and a remarkable person who will be missed!

  19. My name is Louis, I’m from France.
    Last year, I was travelling in the USA, on a journey without money to understand deeply the sense of value. I wanted to pass in Yale and I had the great pleasure to meet Dick this day. He welcomes me in his house, offer me a bed for 3 days, bring me to the restaurant, present me to his friends. We never meet each other before and he’s been so generous and incredibly open heart. I’m deeply grateful for this time shared with him. He showed me a beautiful sense of value.
    I hope to share your path in another life !
    Rest in Peace
    Louis

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