Foodservice Equipment Reports

Two Great Ladies

As Jan notes in the news above, two great ladies from two very well-known dealer families passed away within the last month. Inez Ellingson, matriarch of the family that owns Bargreen Ellingson, died fittingly on Mother’s Day, May 11. Pearl Fishman, long an active partner in what is now TriMark/S.S. Kemp just passed as well. Great families almost always have strong women at their core. That is certainly true of the both the Ellingsons and the Fishmans.

I think I met Inez Ellingson once, though I’m not completely sure. I believe she and her husband Byron came to a FEDA meeting once when son Paul or son Rick was president. So I didn’t know her well. But I know Paul and Rick and their sons David, now president of the dealership that bears their name, and Eric, also active in the business, very, very well. They are all gracious and kind, loyal and incredibly smart, funny and giving. Reading their mother’s and grandmother’s obituary in the Tacoma News Tribune, I couldn’t help but think of them all. Acorns don’t fall far from the tree, as the saying goes.

Pearl Fishman was like having a wonderful Jewish aunt, a very fun thing for us Methodists. Jan and I and our Founding Editor Brian Ward really got to know Howard and Pearl Fishman when we interviewed them for Dealer of the Year in 1988. Pearl can only be described as a force of nature. Very active in the business in the early years, she was always involved in the business and in everyone’s family. Whenever she would see any of us, she would want to know how we, and later the kids, were doing; ask if we were happy and healthy and had enough to eat; wonder how the business was doing, and what books we were reading. We loved her dearly, as did many people in the industry. But not nearly as much as Howard, their sons Mark and Steve, and daughter, Cathy, loved her.

Until I read over her obituary in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, I’d forgotten she and Howard met at Ohio University, where our son Sam is headed in August for his first year of college. Maybe he’ll meet his Pearl there.

Our heartfelt sympathies and love go out to our friends in the Ellingson and Fishman families. Rest in Peace.


Robin Ashton



Related Articles

How to Run a Gold Medal-Worthy Kitchen

UNIT DESIGN: More Relish Please

Coronavirus Updates

Coronavirus Updates