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We remember Rick Little

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of DRMA Honorary Member and past Board Chairman, Rick Little, on May 31, 2022, at Hospice of Dayton following a year-long battle with cancer.

Rick spent his entire adult life in the Dayton manufacturing community, receiving his initial training as a member of the first graduating class of the Miami Valley CTC, where he was inducted into the MVCTC Hall of Fame. After graduation, he began his career working for various local machine shops, eventually joining Starwin Industries in May 1983, where he worked for 38 years, the last 15 as Starwin’s president. Under Rick’s leadership, Starwin Industries manufactured complex parts for the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries.

Rick was very active in DRMA, having served on the Government Relations Committee, as a member of the Board of Trustees, and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. After his 7 years on the Board, he continued to support the association by serving on the Governance Committee, ensuring the association was led by experienced leaders.

According to Rick, his most important contribution to the DRMA was “Being a mentor to young people pursuing a career in manufacturing and also advocating for the region and our industry.”

Upon hearing of his passing, there has been an outpour of tributes by DRMA members:

“Rick was always there to help, guide and advise along the way no matter what the challenge.” Al Choiniere, Superion

“Rick was that smart, gentle soul, that worked hard to move manufacturing, the DRMA, and Starwin Industries forward with the quiet strength that he possessed.” Jim Bowman, Noble Tool

“A staunch believer in the DRMA and what it stands for in manufacturing to Dayton.” Brian Ault, Bruns General Contracting

“Great guy and good businessman. The community lost a good man.” Harold Linville, IMDS (retired)

“He was a leader, and I loved talking with him. RIP my friend.” John Bertsch, Detailed Machining

“Rick was one of the biggest advocates for the DRMA and manufacturing as a whole. He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.” Jon Foley, Champion GSE

Rick is survived by his wife Brenda; son: Jeremy; daughters Jessica Connors and Jennifer; stepchildren Kier Smiley, Dieter Smiley, Katarina Smiley, and Alena Williams; grandchildren Katelyn, Brandon, and Autumn Connors and Scarlett Baker; siblings: Michael and Ian; along with numerous other family members and friends.

Funeral services were held last week. In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, Christian Life Center in Dayton, or to the American Cancer Society in his memory. Online condolences may be made at


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