The Badgers will play Tuesday's Rose Bowl without their No. 1 fan in the stands.

Richard "Dick" Story, co-owner of the Crystal Corner Bar, died Saturday at his Monona home. He was 66.

Heather Mees called her father's death unexpected and sudden. The family is not sure about the cause, and Mees said they don't intend to have an autopsy done to find out.

Story and his wife, Bonnie, were scheduled to get on a plane Monday to go to the Rose Bowl. Story only missed one football game in more than 40 years, Mees said.

He was on his way to the game with some friends in the 1970s, she said. The engine died on the plane he was piloting and they crashed.

"He had to watch it from the hospital on TV," Mees said. "It took a plane crash to keep him from going to the game."

Story even went to the 1993 game in Tokyo when the Badgers clinched a Rose Bowl berth for the first time in 31 years.

His game day tradition included having specialty robes made that he wore to the games. Some had big Buckys on the back, others had big Rose Bowl emblems, Mees said.

Story would buy a Badgers pin at the home games and the opposing team's pin at the away games, and pin the ticket stub to his robe and save all of them.

A friend who is at the Rose Bowl is going to pick up the game pin, so Story's family can pin his Rose Bowl ticket to his robe when they bury him on Friday, his daughter said.

Story also owned the tavern Burke Station in the town of Burke just northeast of the Madison city limits. It was destroyed by a fire in April 2009. Mees, 32, and her husband, Chris, ran it from 2003 until 2008 so her parents could travel.

In 2004, when Story retired from his job as superintendent of construction for the state of Wisconsin, they traveled the world, visiting every continent but Africa and Antarctica, Mees said.

Story wasn't always on the best of terms with David Day, his partner in the Crystal for 38 years.

"We had our ups and downs," Day said. "But overall we trusted each other and did what was best for the bar. It cost us a friendship, but that's the way business goes."

Tad Oakes, who has worked at the Crystal for 16 years, called Story a true "Wisconsin guy," owning a tavern, going to Badgers games, working for the state.

"He was an original, I'll tell you that much," Oakes said. "I don't think there's going to be another of him coming down the pipeline."

Story is also survived by a son, Joshua Torre, and Mees' four children.

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(6) comments


I'm proud to say that Dick was my friend for 30 years. He was a fine man and a good friend. He will be sorely missed.


Thanks for all the good memories, Dick
We had a Ball


Just like Marsh Shapiro, probably died a happy man with virtually no regrets. Lived his life to the fullest, the way HE wanted to. Something we could all aspire to.


Our thoughts go out to you!!! On Wisconsin!!

Wally Kalbacken
Wally Kalbacken

He had the bling. FDS!


RIP Richard, On Wisconsin.

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