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Industry leader Gary Bennicoff dies at 72

Industry leader Gary Walter Bennicoff passed away on December 31, 2015. He started as a forklift technician and worked his way up to the executive level and recently celebrated his fiftieth anniversary in the material handling industry. Gary received numerous awards over these fifty years including the first Material Handling Wholesaler award in 1998 of “Aftermarket Professional of the Year”. For his many years of service with Nissan Forklifts he captured “Nissan’s Lifetime Achievement Service Excellence Pinnacle Award”. Gary’s passion and life centered on the aftermarket and Gary was the “best there was” whenever it concerned the aftermarket.

"Gary had a way with people in life and within the industry, as can be attested by the hundreds of emails from his friends" said Wholesaler Aftermarket columnist John Walker. "Gary knew the aftermarket and his dealer friends all recognized that if Gary said he would do something, you could bank on it immediately. He will be remembered for his no nonsense demeanor and direct approach to life. Gary always lived life on his own terms, and for this he will be fondly remembered. Gary was indeed a great friend of mine, and I thank him for all the assistance he has given me during my career." Walker added.

Gary served his country proudly in the United States Navy and is a veteran who served with distinction.

Gary was an investor in Service First Material Handling in Houston and he passed on the last day of the year, at his desk, serving his customers. "I feel that Gary’s life can be summed up in his companies Mission Statement: Service First Material Handling recognizes and satisfies the needs of our customers and establishes a tradition of integrity, compassion, service, and friendship. Our employees are dedicated to maintain those standards and we are proud to share in the success of our customers we call friends" Walker added.

He is survived by his wife Marion Bennicoff, his sons Jeffrey Heins and wife Suzy of Allentown PA., James Heins and wife Janet of Medway MA., Gary William Bennicoff and wife Connie of Cypress, Texas , Christopher G. Bennicoff of Manvel, Texas, sisters, Ann Bennicoff Breiner of Allentown PA. and Sue Bennicoff Pedro of Atwater, California. He had three grandchildren, Jacob Heins, Jenna Heins and Lindsey Bennicoff. He had numerous nieces and a nephews, stepdaughter, Marilyn Goatley, and her daughter Mackenzie Umphry from Angleton, Texas. His passions included, auto mechanics, Nascar races, horses, dogs, boating and golf.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that that donations be made to the Houston SPCA in memory of Gary Walter Bennicoff, c/o Memorials, 900 Portway Dr., Houston, Texas 77024.