|Birth: ||May 8, 1924|
|Death: ||Sep. 25, 2010|
Richard N. Salamie, 86, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family on September 25, 2010, after a long illness. Richard "Dick" Salamie was a lifelong resident of South Charleston. He was born May 8, 1924, and was the oldest son of the late George and Sadie Salamie of South Charleston.
He was known for his generosity and philanthropy throughout the Kanawha County area. He was an avid Marshall University football fan and loved thoroughbred horse racing. He was a clubhouse regular at the spring and fall meets at Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky.
Dick Salamie was a 1942 graduate of South Charleston High School and was a standout football player for the Black Eagles. He later attended WVU until he was drafted in World War II. After boot camp at Camp LeJeune, he was stationed in the South Pacific with the Marine Corps. He spent most of that time on the naval base built in the Ulithi Atoll, a group of islands in the Western Carolines. He returned to West Virginia after World War II and finished his business degree at Marshall University. Later, he served on Marshall's alumni board.
He was first employed in San Francisco, California, working as a sales representative in the garment district. Later, he became a sales representative for Catalina Sportswear of New York. While in New York, Dick began to focus on the family business, Salamie Department Store. As the business grew, he built a larger store featuring fine men's and women's apparel under the name Salamies'. His store rivaled that of any clothier in the state. After 58 years in operation, Salamies' clothing store was closed in 1976, so that the family could pursue other opportunities.
Dick Salamie was a well-respected businessman in both South Charleston and Charleston. After closing the family store, he turned his attention to commercial real estate and established Salamies' Property Partnership and East End Plaza, Inc. He was responsible for extensive urban renewal in the South Charleston area. He demolished over 50 blighted properties in the South Charleston area over a period of 20 years. These renovations made way for many of the past and present day businesses that comprise the city. These businesses included office space for Union Carbide and FMC, GC Murphy's, Prudential Life Insurance, State Farm Life Insurance, Western Electric, Guardian Glass, CVS Pharmacy, S & H Green Stamps, Lab Corporation, Plaza IV building, banks, physician offices, travel agencies, and the old South Charleston post office. He received a commemorative plaque from the power company crediting him for constructing the first all electric building in the state of West Virginia. Ever the chocoholic, he introduced the first Baskin-Robbins franchise to the state. His favorite flavor was chocolate mousse royal.
In Charleston, Dick and his business partners developed Plaza East shopping center in the early 1970s and eventually became the sole owner until it was sold in 2006. It was anchored by Heck's and at that time was the largest inner city shopping center in Charleston. He went on to own shopping centers in Grafton, WV, Wilmington, NC, and Georgetown, SC. He was also an owner-operator of a coal mine for many years in the Oak Hill/Beckley area. He recruited many fast food restaurants to the area locations from St. Albans to Charleston. He also located fast food franchises in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Dick Salamie was also known for his expertise in large-scale business liquidations. Locally, he liquidated The Diamond department store and Woodrums, both in downtown Charleston. He later filled that retail space with Burlington Coat Factory.
Dick Salamie was very civic minded and donated many hours of time, energy and money to the Charleston and South Charleston communities. He quietly donated to many charities across West Virginia.
In Charleston, he served as president of East End Plaza, Inc., Junior Achievement Board of Directors, Smith Street Association Executive Committee Board of Directors, various St. George Orthodox Church committees and the Charleston Renaissance Corporation.
In South Charleston, he served as president of Salamies', president of Salamies' Property Partnership, Municipal Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce president twice, Port Authority Board, Area Development Cooperation, Board of Directors of Chemical Bank, trustee of Herbert Thomas Memorial Hospital during its first expansion, and junior high PTA president.
He was preceded in death by his parents as well as his brothers, Dale and Don Salamie. Dick is survived by his wife of 52 years, Diana Rashid Salamie; and four children, Lisa Smith and husband Jamie of Knoxville, TN, Dan Salamie and wife Sharon of Hurricane, Richard "Ryad" Salamie of South Charleston and Gabriel Salamie, MD, and his wife Denise of Zionsville, IN. He has three grandchildren, Eli, Hannah and Haley, all of Zionsville, IN. He is also survived by his sister, Juanita Salamie of Charleston; nine nieces and nephews; and many great-nieces and nephews.
Funeral service was held on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, St. George Orthodox Church in Charleston. Directly after the service, interment followed at Sunset Memorial Park in South Charleston.
A special thanks to all of Dick's caregivers, Tony Petry, Dan Healey, Lorenda Rodgers, Robin Turner and Hospice Care of Charleston.
(As listed by Snodgrass Funeral Home)
George Salamie (1892 - 1948)
Sadie Skaff Salamie (1901 - 1991)
Richard Nassar Salamie (1924 - 2010)
Dale Gabriel Salamie (1925 - 1966)**
Donald L Salamie (1925 - 2008)*
Sunset Memorial Park
West Virginia, USA
Created by: Kenny Davis
Record added: Sep 27, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 117699317