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The Legacy of a Shoe Dog

Categories: Community Stories, News/Blog

Bruce Fendell, leading industry executive, passed away on December 5th after a courageous battle with lung cancer.

At heart, Bruce was a “shoe dog”, devoting 30 years to the footwear industry, sharing his extraordinary talents with WSS, Fila, Adidas, and many other firms. Most recently Bruce worked as SVP Strategic Planning at WSS, formerly Warehouse Shoe Sale/Eurostar. “I am a better person today for all that Bruce has taught me,” said David Baxter, CEO at Lids. Bruce’s passion for footwear was taught by his late father, Yale Fendell, who founded the Libonati Company in the 1950’s.

A devoted family man, Bruce is noted as being a “world class friend” to everyone he met. His daughter, Rachel Fendell Satinsky notes, “My dad was always proud of our family’s connection with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation. His father, Yale, has a scholarship in his name and my dad looked forward to receiving letters from the scholarship’s recipients. His commitment and mentorship to others, his pride for the industry, and his love for giving back were unparalleled.”

Bruce was the kind of person who thought more about your happiness than his own,” said Bob Chillemi, Senior Director of Department Stores at Adidas. “With this scholarship program, his legacy will continue to flourish for many years to come.”

Joseph Farivar, CEO of Bordan Shoe Co. notes “Bruce Fendell treated everyone with kindness and respect and expected that others act in the same fashion. He was truly a role model to many.”

His family has created a higher-education endowed scholarship in Bruce’s memory and, as Rachel notes, “This scholarship allows us to continue his legacy and honor his memory.” The Bruce Fendell Scholarship will be awarded in July to a scholar pursuing higher education who has demonstrated a commitment to his or her community.

David Baxter notes “He was a selfless friend who went out of his way to help people around him.  We all have a lot to learn from how Bruce lived his life.  He cared about his family, friends and business associates in a way that was unforgettable to all that he touched; he was a mentor and friend to many. Let’s keep his memory legacy alive by paying it forward, as Bruce would have done!”

Donate to the Fendell Fund