Larry Tilleskjor, a 37-year veteran of apparel retailing and a top merchant at Maurices, died Jan. 16 at his home in Duluth, Minn., of cancer, according to a company spokeswoman. He was 58.

Tilleskjor was considered a mentor to many aspiring buyers and merchants at Maurices, a 550-unit Duluth chain that was purchased by Dress Barn Inc. two years ago. The company said he had a strong record of results that spanned decades.

"All of us have a dream of having someone that we love working for, who we can learn from, who we respect and who respects us back. Larry was all of that. He has been a wonderful example to me, and for that I am forever grateful," said Mary Kaye Caskey, a buyer for the Studio Y private label collection at Maurices.

Tilleskjor's last title at Maurices was divisional merchandise manager of ready-to-wear for women's outerwear, special occasion dresses, handbags, shoes, accessories, jewelry, watches, lingerie, swimwear, dresses, dressy sportswear, loungewear and Studio Y. Previously, he was a divisional merchandise manager and buyer covering a range of women's and men's categories. Last year, he received the chain's Annual Vision Award Winner for Leader of the Year.

Prior to Maurices, Tilleskjor was a buyer and merchandise manager for four years at J.C. Penney.

He is survived by his wife, Marj; daughters Stephanie Laliberte, Richelle Fraser and Jaclyn Steep; a brother, Steven; his parents, Gerald and Mildred, and six grandchildren. A memorial service was held Saturday.

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