Veteran retail executive Martin Gershik and his wife, Marlene Gershik, died in a car accident in Richmond, Calif., on July 10. Martin Gershik was 72 and Marlene Gershik was 68.
Gershik began his career in 1965 as an executive trainee at Lord & Taylor in New York. He went on to hold corporate positions at Hudson’s, Gimbles, The Emporium, Broadway, Macy’s, Kinney Shoes and Sears.
Tom Timen, a footwear executive who worked closely with Gershik throughout his career, praised the retailer’s passion for the business. “He very much loved the industry in every aspect and at every price point,” Timen said.
Gershik was known to take young footwear employees under his wing, according to Timen. “If you ever talked to someone who worked with Marty, they loved him,” he said.
Footwear also was a shared passion between Gershik and his wife. Marlene Gershik ran the shoe store Spatz in California before becoming a registered nurse.
The Gershiks also made time for philanthropic endeavors, volunteering for the Two Ten Footwear Foundation and other organizations.
“My father believed in what he was doing and enjoyed it,” said son David Gershik.
In addition to David Gershik, the couple is survived by son Steven Gershik and four grandchildren.