Village is resident's lifelong investment

Holiday shopper and Hinsdale native Eck wanted the town to be home for his family, too

Richard Eck recalled his teenage stint in the movie business, in a manner of speaking.

He worked the concessions counter at his hometown Hinsdale Theater during his youth in the 1970s. It was a relatively low-stress job, Eck said, until the theater scored a first-run screening of a John Belushi comedy the summer of 1978.

"They didn't have too many first runs. The one they did have was 'Animal House,' and the theater was an animal house," related Eck, who was suddenly thrust into crowd control duty. "I was in charge of security as a 16-year-old. I wasn't going to control the massive amount of college kids that had come to see the movie."

After graduating from the University of Iowa and embarking on a banking career, Eck returned to Hinsdale to raise his own family with wife Karen. The father of Everett, Vivian, Emerson and Violet now has a short commute to the office as CEO and president of Hinsdale Back & Trust. He also sits on the Hinsdale Economic Development Commission, helping maintain and strengthen the vitality and charm of the village's business community. Two of his brothers also live in town.

Eck graciously agreed to be the final guest shopper in our four-part gift guide series that helps gives the village's local merchants a starring role this holiday shopping season. He was accompanied on his gift-identifying excursion by his daughter Vivian, a senior business student at Indiana University and proprietor of her own online fashion boutique.

"That's why I have to bring her along when I go shopping," Eck quipped.

Asked if his home is sufficiently decorated for the holidays, his less-is-more philosophy came to the fore.

"We probably have too much," he said.

• "When I went to Homecoming freshman year, this is where I got the corsage," Eck said as he steps into Hinsdale Flower Shop. To present as a hostess gift at an upcoming holiday party, Rick chose a White Spruce hand care caddy from Michel Design Works by Stonewall Kitchen that includes one foaming shea butter hand soap and a hand and body lotion with shea butter. $39.95, Hinsdale Flower Shop

• Son Emerson, a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, will be on time for class in a timeless way wearing a 1960 Chronoswiss 18-karat yellow gold chronograph watch with a crocodile band. $2,900, Hinsdale Watch Shop

• An FPM Milano aluminum, four-wheel Bank Spinner carry-on suitcase in moonlight silver is a practical and stylish travel accessory for Eck's business, and personal, trips. "My luggage is dated, wouldn't you say?" he asked Vivian. "It definitely is." she replied. $1.900, Burdi

• A Loch Seaforth glass vase, featuring a watery, swirling design in a translucent blue and white finish a gently curing rim, will give daughter Violet's room a coastal vibe. $129, Trumeau

• The holidays will sparkle for wife Karen when she slips on an 18-karat gold white gold tennis bracelet by Memoire with a little more than 2 1/2 carats of natural diamonds. $7,700, Razny

• For son Everett, who's following in his father's professional footsteps in the world of finance, Eck selected Holebrook's classic blue T-Neck sweater designed with an elastic windproof lining. "It's classic yet updated," Eck said. $270, Stockholm Objects

• Nothing like a new outfit to make the season bright. Eck - upon consulting with Vivian - knew Karen would like a navy Veronica Beard velvet blazer and trousers set. $698 jacket/$478 trousers, Sweet William

• A gift basket containing a 200-gram package of unsweetened matcha powder, lemon bars, a 10-pack of Realsy peanut butter dates and a coffee mug is a great choice for daughter and shopping accomplice Vivian. $50, Café La Fortuna

• The Tiny Terri Table Lamp by Thomas O'Brien will give Emerson the illumination he needs to pour over his college textbooks. $319, Visual Comfort

• The Steinway Spirio R high resolution player grand piano that's also able to do recording, editing and playback - with iPad Pro included - would look fantastic in Eck's mom's living room. $182,900, Steinway & Sons

• Six Delmonico steaks will ensure all the Ecks make it home for a special family holiday meal. $29.98 per pound, Prime'N' Tender Meats

• Anai Singer's "Her Little Bear" black mixed media 3D art piece will make a cute addition to the decor of Vivian's college digs. $700, Virgil Catherine Gallery

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean