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Industry veteran Pankow passes away at 88


PARK RIDGE, Ill. Peter Pankow, a long-time industry veteran and co-founder of Pankow Associates, passed away Aug. 5. He was 88 years old.

Those who knew Pankow describe him as a “teddy bear,” a loveable person who was known for his honesty and upstanding character— traits that did not go unnoticed within the industry.

“His style was, I think, the fact that everybody could have faith in what he said. He tried to make it a profitable transaction for the customer and the manufacturer,” said Allen Hirschfield, president of Pankow Associates, who co-founded the company with Pankow more than 50 years ago. “We are brokers or sales agents and he was able to put the two together so it was a win-win situation for both when he was doing selling.”

Pankow, who began his career in the drug industry in 1949, had experience in every capacity from sales associate to sales manager before joining Hirschfield in 1957 to form Pankow Associates.

His knowledge of the territory and its customers over the years helped build companies in a start-up mode, who had little more than an idea or concept, as well as industry giants like P&G and Colgate. Pankow retired 1985.

“Peter was just a wonderful partner. He was a nice man and his personality was such that we just split up the geography and we each went in different directions and were able to work together for almost 30 years,” said Hirschfield.

Pankow not only had a passion for the industry but also golf. As a “Chick Evans Golf Caddy Scholar” with a major in sales administration, Pankow graduated Northwestern University in 1947 after serving as a Navy pilot in World War II.

Following his retirement, Pankow helped lecture some of the new students going through the scholarship program.

The Chick Evans Caddie Scholarship program was established by and named for Charles “Chick” Evans, Jr., who won 54 tournaments over a career that spanned four decades. He used his golf earnings to establish the Charles Evans Jr. Trust in 1928 to assist golf caddies. The Western Golf Association became the program’s sponsor in 1930. A subsequent trust agreement stipulated that net income and principal shall be used to provide scholarships and other educational opportunities for caddies at institutions designated by the Scholarship Committee of the Western Golf Association.

“He was the type of individual that people liked,” said Hirschfield. “... He was an American success story.”

For those wish to send a note or condolences to his family, the address is Mrs. Lee Pankow, 44 Park Lane #530, Park Ridge, Ill., 60068.

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