Industry Veteran Buck Lauer Dies at 67

Footwear veteran Charles “Buck” Lauer died on Feb. 7 after a battle with cancer. He was 67.

Lauer, who launched his career at U.S. Shoe Corp., spent time at Dexter and Wolverine World Wide Inc. He was president of the Nine West sales division until 2006, and, more recently, was a consultant there. 

According to his wife, Kathy Lauer, the executive most enjoyed working with newcomers to the industry. “He liked mentoring people coming up in the business,” she said.

Mark Neal, president of Wolverine’s lifestyle group, recalled being mentored by Lauer at the Rockford, Mich.-based company in the mid-1990s. “It was my first job in the industry,” he said. “Buck spent a lot of time teaching me the ropes.”

Designer Maggi Mercado also worked with Lauer in Wolverine’s Hush Puppies division. “I joined Buck’s team, where he was instrumental in updating the brand, contributing ideas to marketing campaigns and product development initiatives,” she said.

Lauer is survived by his wife, three children and six grandchildren.

A celebration of Lauer’s life is planned for Sunday, Feb. 19, at 2 p.m. at Vistoso Memorial Chapel in Oro Valley, Ariz. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.