Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Epilogue | Richard Allen "Dick" Minck

Arts and symphony benefactor Dick Minck dies at 84

ST. PETERSBURG — Aside from the top hat he sometimes wore, jeweled cuff links he had made and a Corum watch with a face to match his Excalibur automobile, Dick Minck set himself apart with a piece of formal wear none could imitate — hand-painted tuxedo shirts reminiscent of Salvador Dali.

That kind of panache made him hard to miss at galas for the arts.

But the area's museums and orchestras knew Mr. Minck provided a lot more than a reliable dose of pizazz. Together with his wife, the late Helen James Minck, he was a big reason those institutions have stayed afloat.

Mr. Minck was a 57-year-old bachelor in the mid 1980s when he married Helen, the widow of Raymond James Financial founder Robert James, who died in 1983. Theirs was a true partnership, friends and relatives say, especially in the Mincks' mutual commitment to the arts.

Mr. Minck died Dec. 12, nearly a year after the death of his wife. He was 84.

Despite his flash, Mr. Minck and his wife were quiet givers.

"Dick and Helen helped us acquire major works of art," said spokesman David Connelly of the Museum of Fine Arts. "They didn't require much recognition or solicitation. They kind of knew what they wanted to support and they did it."

The couple also contributed heavily to the Dali Museum and had endowed three chairs in the Florida Orchestra.

Richard Allen Minck grew up in Bluffton, Ohio. He lasted just three days in his first art class before his teacher made him stand in the cloakroom for refusing to copy the works she put before the class.

"I found it more interesting to elaborate," he told a hometown newspaper two years ago.

Later, an art professor at Ohio State University told him to discover what he wanted to make out of a hunk of clay and "just let it out."

After a sojourn to California, where he mingled with movie stars, Mr. Minck taught art at Ohio State and hosted an instructional television show for more than 20 years.

The marriage ushered in a new phase of life. "Dick became a close member of our family," said Tom James, the executive chairman of Raymond James Financial.

Mr. Minck enjoyed making jewelry for his wife and painting tuxedo shirts, which he gave away or sold for $300 and up. "I was very proud to be one of the people he painted those for," said longtime investor William Hough.

In later years, Mr. Minck learned how to blow glass.

His wife's death in December 2011 seemed to mark the beginning of a downturn in his own health, family members on both sides believe. Before that, he had been riding his bicycle 20 miles.

"The speed of his decline was surprising to everybody," said Tom James. "It caught us off guard."


Richard Allen 'Dick' Minck

Born: Sept. 14, 1928

Died: Dec. 12, 2012

Survivors: brother, Harry Minck Jr.; stepchildren Tom and Christopher James; stepdaughters Wendy James Seldon and Sulara; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Arts and symphony benefactor Dick Minck dies at 84 12/20/12 [Last modified: Thursday, December 20, 2012 8:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jones: Stop talking and start building a new Rays stadium

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was good to see Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred at Tropicana Field on Wednesday, talking Rays baseball and the hope for a new stadium somewhere in Tampa Bay.

    Commissioner Rob Manfred is popular with the media on a visit to Tropicana Field.
  2. Ousted to political Siberia by Corcoran, Kathleen Peters sets sights on Pinellas Commission

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The perks of power in Tallahassee are a coveted chairmanship, a Capitol office in a prime location and a prominent seat on the House floor. Now Rep. Kathleen Peters has lost all three, but here's the twist: Her trip to "Siberia" might actually help her reach the next step on the Tampa Bay political …

    Rep. Kathleen Peters, R-South Pasadena, has been relegated to the back row in the State House chamber, moved to a fouth floor office and stripped of her job as chairwoman of a House subcommittee after a series of disagreements with House Speaker Richard Corcoran. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. What do kids need to stay away from deadly auto theft epidemic?

    Public Safety

    ST. PETERSBURG — More than a dozen black teenagers told U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist on Wednesday that children need stronger mentors and youth programs to steer clear of the auto theft epidemic plaguing Pinellas County.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (center) listens as Shenyah Ruth (right), a junior at Northeast High School, talks during Wednesday's youth roundtable meeting with community leaders and kids. They met to discuss the ongoing car theft epidemic among Pinellas youth and how law enforcement, elected officials, and community organizations can work together to put an end to this dangerous trend. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]
  4. Manhattan Casino choice causes political headache for Kriseman


    ST. PETERSBURG — Days before the mayoral primary, Mayor Rick Kriseman's decision to let a Floribbean restaurant open in Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino has caused political angst within the voting bloc he can least afford to lose: the black community.

    Last week Mayor Rick Kriseman chose a Floribbean restaurant concept to fill Midtown's historic Manhattan Casino. But that decision, made days before next week's mayoral primary, has turned into a political headache for the mayor. Many residents want to see the building's next tenant better reflect its cultural significance in the black community. [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  5. Bucs talk social issues, protests at team meeting


    TAMPA — Each time Dirk Koetter walks through the door of his office at One Buc Place, he passes by the only jersey framed on his wall.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) wears custom cleats to represent Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE) as part of the NFL???‚??„?s "My Cause, My Cleats Campaign" before the start of a football game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif., on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016.