Richard A. “Rich” Lillquist

Richard A. “Rich” Lillquist

IRVINGTON—Richard Allen “Rich” Lillquist passed away on Monday, November 7, 2022, from complications of Parkinson’s Disease at the age of 91 in Irvington.

Rich was born at home in West Haven, Connecticut, on August 2, 1931, to Priscilla and Art Lillquist. After a successful run at Union School in West Haven, Rich spent a year at Fairfield Prep before attending and graduating from Notre Dame High School where he was a member of the basketball and baseball teams.

Rich attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. At Wesleyan, he was a member of the basketball team and Alpha Chi Rho, and he started a successful laundry business for his fellow undergraduates. Rich received a degree in history in 1954 and joined the Federal Reserve as a bank examiner right after college. He then worked for Leahy and Company as a consultant and attended Columbia Business School before starting his career in trade associations with the Kraft Paper Association. While there, he met Pamela Kingan—the only woman he ever met who he thought was as interested in history as him—through friends and they were married in 1959. They had two children, Erik and Christine.

Rich served as executive secretary and treasurer at the Aluminum Association from 1966 to 1977, before moving with his family to Cleveland, where he was the president of the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA). He successfully moved FPA to Washington, D.C., in 1979 and oversaw a transformation of the organization into a successful lobby for the industry. He brought in many national figures as speakers, including Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and Henry Kissinger. 

In 1988, he returned to his entrepreneurial roots and founded 3CMA, the City-County Communications & Marketing Association. Over the next 30 years, Rich (along with Pam) grew 3CMA to an organization with over 900 members. Rich was a mentor to dozens of municipal officials across the country. After retiring from 3CMA, Rich and Pam moved to Rappahannock Westminster Canterbury.

Rich was a great lover of travel, food, wine and good company. He journeyed to every continent, other than Antarctica, which he thought was a little too cold and did not have any wines worth drinking. He rode a camel with Pam at the Pyramids, visited Machu Picchu, explored the many wineries of Australia, and took all of his grandchildren to Paris. But his favorite trips were the many he and Pam made to the Big Island of Hawaii, where he spent many holidays with family. Rich loved going to the beach, taking a trip on the Fairwinds and meeting other travelers and local residents.

Rich is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Pamela; his son, Erik and wife, Heather; and daughter, Christine and husband, Tadd; and grandchildren Birgitta, Jonas and Elsa; his step-granddaughter, Kerri; his cousin, Tom Brennan; and many nephews and nieces.

Rich was fiercely loyal to family and friends, and they will all miss knowing that they had a constant champion in their corner.

Currie Funeral Home LLC of Kilmarnock handled the arrangements