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In Memoriam: Robert J. Gans

(April 2006) posted on Mon Apr 17, 2006


The printing industry is saddened by the loss of Robert J. Gans, founder of Gans Ink and Supply Co. He passed away February 17, 2006 at the age of 88.

Gans was born in Chicago and originally worked for the Sleight Hellmuth Ink Co. before serving in the Army during WWII. He was stationed in Europe and was ultimately presented two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, and Silver Star Medals, the latter for leading a platoon of men and liberating a German-occupied town in France. After the war, Gans moved to Los Angeles and in 1950 founded Gans Ink and Supply Co., specializing in letterpress inks.

The company has since grown to include 12 locations throughout the US with specialty divisions manufacturing commercial sheet-fed, UV-curable, security, and sublimation inks. The company also converts lithographic blankets and sells pressroom supplies.

Gans was an active member in the National Association of Printing Ink Manufacturers (NAPIM), Printing Industries of America (PIA), and The International Association of Printing House Craftsman (IAPHC). During his career, he delivered hundreds of speeches to various chapters of those organizations and was awarded the PIASC’s Man of the Year award in 1963 and the Executive of the Year Award in 2000. He was also honored with the IAPHC’s Man of the Year Award in 2003. However, his most cherished award came from the NAPIM in 1978 when he was presented with the Ault Award, the ink industry’s highest honor.

In 1978, Gans also founded the Aliso Business Community, Inc. a non-profit organization devoted to the support of at-risk youth in the neighborhood around his Los Angeles factory. Gans nurtured this organization from its inception, with the assistance of Joyce Nishimuro, director of the Aliso Pico Recreation Center, and he cherished the fact that it now supports more than 700 children.

Gans is survived by his three daughters, seven grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren. Contributions in his honor can be made to Aliso Business Community, Attn: Joyce Nishimuro, PO Box 33806, Los Angeles, CA 90033.


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