NEW YORK — Alvin Gutman, former president of Pressman-Gutman Co. Inc., a major textile converter here, died Friday at the age of 93.
Steve Schindler, chief operating officer of Lucerne Textiles Inc., which acquired Pressman-Gutman in 2009, said Gutman had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, but he was unsure if that was the cause of death. Now a unit of Lucerne, PG Textiles remains a textile converter.
Gutman, a well-known executive active in industry issues and causes, led Pressman-Gutman from 1945 until 1995. Schindler, who previously worked for Gutman, noted that he was an innovator, leading the company into synthetic fabrics for men’s wear in the Forties, into women’s wear in the mid-Fifties, double knits in the mid-Sixties and imports in the late Seventies. Joined by sons Paul in 1971 and James in 1981, Gutman led PG through a period of tremendous growth in the Seventies and Eighties. In an article in WWD in 1994, the company said its volume was about $180 million.
Gutman was president of the industry trade group the Textile Distributors Association for several terms and was honored as Man of the Year by the Textile Division of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and the Boy Scouts of America.
After Paul died in 1991, Gutman led the creation and building of the Paul J. Gutman Library at Philadelphia College of Textiles, now Philadelphia University.
In addition to his son James, Gutman is survived by his wife, Mary Bert Gutman; a daughter, Jane, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., at Rodeph Shalom Congregation, 615 North Broad Street in Philadelphia. The family requests contributions in Gutman’s memory be made to Congregation Rodeph Shalom, The Gutman Diabetes Institute at Albert Einstein Medical Center or to the Paul J. Gutman Library of Philadelphia University.
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