|Fredrick Ramond Glassman, President of Fredrick Ramond Inc., died Feb. 3 of pneumonia at Dallas’ Parkland Hospital. He was 75 years old.
At an age when most people are content to leave behind the daily grind in favor of a leisurely retirement, Mr. Glassman continued to absorb himself in the art and business of lighting, despite health issues that threatened to hold him back.
“During our last conversation in our Dallas conference room, I told him for the umpteenth time that I felt he should not have come [to the January Market],” recalled Marty Glantz, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Fredrick Ramond, during his eulogy at Mr. Glassman’s funeral. “He looked in my eyes, held up his fists and said ‘Marty, I want to fight the good fight with you one more time. I want to see one more market where our introductions turn into orders.’”
With the death of Mr. Glassman, the lighting industry has lost one of its charter members. Mr. Glassman began building a gift company, Fredrick Ramond Enterprises, in the mid-1950s. He designed his first line of lighting fixtures, which he called Lighting in Wood, in 1960 and took off across California in search of orders. Business rolled in, and by 1965 Fredrick Ramond Lighting Inc. was born.
In 1967, Mr. Glassman gave then 10-year-old Dallas Market Center a much-needed boost when he invited more than 200 buyers from across the continent to visit his showroom there, convincing them to commit to purchasing product prior to seeing the line.
“There’s no doubt he was a tough businessman,” says Gabe Romero, Mr. Glassman’s stepson and Director of Advertising and Marketing for the company. “He pulled no punches, [similar to] a lot of the lighting industry pioneers. He made a lot of friends and some enemies along the way.”
Those who knew him well attest that he held his employees to the highest of standards, and he expected as much from himself, as well. “He held to the old school of honor and ethics, when a man’s word was sealed with a handshake,” Glantz says.
Jim Fleming, Vice President of Sales at Kalco Lighting and former Fredrick Ramond sales representative, echoed that observation in a recent letter to friends. “[He] was a true entrepreneur, maverick, industry leader and design innovator in every sense of these words and, as such, was often misunderstood by those who did not know him personally or closely. Fred Glassman loved and inspired those he worked with.”