Rick Volz, the colorful and beloved founder of Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand, died Monday, Feb. 1, at Kettering Medical Center.
Volz had operated the Moraine carryout restaurant for more than 30 years. It has been located at 4668 Springboro Pike for the last 10 years.
“I am so sorry to tell everyone, but Rick Voltzy just passed away peacefully holding my hand,” Samantha “Sammy” Bowman, manager of Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand, wrote on the Voltzy’s Rootbeer Stand Facebook page Monday afternoon, following a series of posts alerting friends and customers that the restaurant owner’s health was deteriorating.
Voltzy’s was known for its burgers and sandwiches — some named after politicians and celebrities — as well as its house-made soups, slaw dogs, coneys and root beer floats. But it was perhaps best-known for the super-sized, high-wattage personality of its owner, who greeted customers by name and delivered good-natured, occasionally R-rated taunts and one-liners in rapid-fired banter with his regular customers, and occasionally even with “newbies” whom Volz thinks can take the ribbing.
The announcement of his passing prompted an outpouring of tributes.
“Beneath the schtick, when the grill’s turned off, and spotlight was dim — Rick is a good friend, a man’s man and one funny son of a gun,” Steve Milano, who has written about local dining as The Big Ragu for the Dayton Most Metro web site. “Thank you for all that you did for me and the happiness you brought this world through laughs and love.”
Another commenter wrote, “He was larger than life always, and he will be greatly missed.”
Volz had faced a series of health setbacks in recent years that accelerated in recent months. Less than two months ago, in December 2020, Bowman wrote that Volz had undergone a below-the-knee amputation of his right leg. Volz had been open about his previous surgeries in which he had toes and part of his foot amputated.
Voltzy’s was forced to shut down for an extended time earlier in 2020 when Volz had surgery in April. The restaurant reopened in September. An earlier foot surgery in 2016 forced Voltzy’s Root Beer Stand to shut down for nearly five months, and another surgery in 2017 closed the restaurant for about three weeks.
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