Lewis Golub, chairman of the Golub Corporation’s board of directors, died Sunday afternoon from ALS. He was 78.
Golub was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a year ago.
Golub served as chief executive officer of the Golub Corporation, the company that owns and manages the Price Chopper supermarket chain, from 1982 to 2000, when he retired and handed the company over to his cousin, Neil Golub. Neil Golub was the company’s chief operating officer at the time.
Jerel Golub, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Golub Corporation, worked under his father for many years, but Golub said he has been influenced by his father his entire life.
“He was an incredible businessman, but an even more incredible human being. He had the highest level of integrity and a genuine caring for people,” Jerel Golub said.
Lewis and Neil Golub took over the Golub Corporation from their two fathers, Ben and Bill Golub, who founded the company in 1932. Since the mid-1970s, the pair doubled the size of the company, taking it from 50 stores to 119 stores throughout the Northeast.
Neil Golub said his cousin had a good financial mind and developed the “architecture that became the company’s financial stability.
“He was very articulate and skilled in doing that,” Golub said. “He had a very keen mind. He was very thoughtful and penetrating about a whole variety of subjects. He grew up in merchandising, but his real strength was in financial planning.”
Lewis Golub served as chairman of the company’s board until his death Sunday. Lewis and Neil Golub were the only two family members on the 10-member board.
Born Aug. 25, 1931, Lewis Golub attended Michigan State University and graduated from Siena College with a bachelor’s degree in food distribution. He also received an honorary doctorate in public service from Russell Sage College.
Besides work, Neil Golub said Lewis Golub loved to play bridge and took every opportunity to “find himself a bridge tournament.” He also attempted to play golf in his later years. However, Neil, a skilled golfer, said Lewis and his golf swing were on “two different planets.”
But Neil Golub said his cousin was a great storyteller who always kept people laughing.
“Every once in a while we’d have to kick him when he got a little risque,” Golub said. “He always had new stories and very funny stories.”
David Golub, Lewis’ second son, and vice president of operations for the Golub Corporation, said his father was involved with many philanthropic organizations that supported the arts and education. He was one of the founding members of the Saratoga Automobile Museum and owned a few antique cars. Lewis Golub also served on the JP Morgan Chase regional board of directors and was active with the United Way, which named him CEO of the year in 2001. He was a member of Proctors Theater
David Golub said his father was also passionate about his eight grandchildren.
Shari Golub, Lewis’ third child, said her father was always asking people what they were thinking. She said it showed he cared about what made people tick.
“It made him an effective father, but an even more effective businessman, because he really care about what people were thinking,” Shari Golub said.
Golub is survived by his first wife Sondra Cadman. Golub married his second wife, Colleen Lyons, in June 1992. He has two children by that marriage, Christopher Golub and Jennifer Berman.
The funeral service will be at the Temple Gates of Heaven in Schenectady, but details have not been finalized.
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