Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Ron Harris, Obituary #2 and #3 in JS Has Major Error

Sorry that Ron is deceased. I doubt he will see this post and I doubt he wrote his own obit. While I regret making a correction to his obit but I feel whoever wrote his obit intended on obit #2 and #3 to slight myself and my former company. Which today is the leading Office Interior company in down state Illinois.

Ron came back from coaching in Europe in 1976 (Journal Star article) and I hired him as an office furniture outside salesman. I quickly promoted him to Sales Manager. Knowing the community, he did very well; records show he earned $93,000 one year, far more than I the owner of the company earned.

I proceeded in 1982 to buy Jacquins Office Equipment store and their sales manager, Tom Walsh, came to work for my company as General Sales Manager while Ron remained as Design Furniture Sales Manager.

Approximately March 1, 1983, or 7 years after i had hired Ron, I was received an original letter dated February 28, 1983, from one of my better customers, Pekin Insurance, that reads as follows: "We have chosen to leave Widmer, Inc. (one of several names I used over the years, the last name, Widmer Office Products/Interiors by Widmer; Widmer Interiors, the name still used by my buyer) to establish a new company called Design Furniture & Systems of Illinois. Our firm will be handling any fine lines of office furniture, etc.."

The letter was signed, Ron Harris, Furniture Consultant and Bob Rogers. Filing Systems Consultant.

It was then that I learned he had set up his own company while working for me, was taking 3 of my employees from the department he headed, my filing systems specialist and two of my major lines.

Two shorten the story, his company 'went out of businesss' a number of years later. My company quickly recovered under the guidance of Tom Walsh, who I later named President of my company and later became President of the company that bought me.

Sorry folks, but the first obit said he worked for Widmer, Inc. after leaving BB coaching. For 7 years  he honed his furniture selling skills while NOT owning his own company and  not on a basketball court in Europe. Obit #2 and #3 in the JS omitted this and used the wrong date by 7 years before he opened his own business that evidently didn't make it.

This blog would not have been necessary if the first obit had not been replaced by a lie.

What I have written here is a matter of record as I have always been thorough on details.I could write more on this story but have elected not to at this time of grieving.

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