Longtime Industry Icon Passes Away

Edward Fennell Jr., former well-known vice president at Bartelstone Glass and a member of the Glass Hall of Fame™, died on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Boynton Beach, Fla., at the age of 86. Robert Kent, CEO of Bartelstone Glass Distributors, Fennell’s employer for 27 years, says the influential “legend” passed peacefully with family, including his wife Ann, by his side.

Fennell was born on Nov. 28, 1936, in Syracuse, N.Y. He began his career in the auto glass industry with Thruway Glass in Syracuse before furthering his career in Long Island. Bartelstone Glass then employed him for 27 years, a run that saw him influence not only the company but the industry as a whole. Fennell was inducted into the Glass Hall of Fame™ in 1996.

“While at Bartelstone for 27 years, he got us into the computer age in the late 1980s. He spoke at many auto glass conferences and was also influential in the initial development of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) New York State Glass Association,” says Kent. “If they needed a speech locally or nationally, Ed would be there to give it.”

While at national auto glass conferences, Kent says Fennell could always be found talking about the industry even after the day’s festivities concluded.

“He also had a passion for model trains and fishponds, which he loved talking about,” says Kent. “He was, for sure, a legend.”

“If it involved auto glass, it involved Ed,” said Deb Levy, publisher of AGRR magazine. “He was the auto glass industry’s proverbial teddy bear. He looked intimidating, but he had a very tender heart.”

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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5 Responses to Longtime Industry Icon Passes Away

  1. Bruce Prescher says:

    An absolute legend in this business !
    A great fun guy !

  2. Steve Adelson says:

    Ed was a vibrant pillar of the auto glass community and a very fine gentleman. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

    Steve Adelson
    retired former Director of Aftermarket Sales & Distribution for Guardian Industries Corp.

  3. David Leach says:

    Ed was a great ambassador for our industry. In the early part of my career, his name was on virtually everything going on in the ARG business.

  4. TIM TAYLOR says:

    Ed was my mentor and good friend. He hired me in 1970 at Thru-way Autoglass in Syracuse NY and gave me my start at 18 years old. 53 years later I’m still at it. Ed was a huge influence on me (and the entire auto glass industry). When he left Thru-way in 1977 (?) I was devastated. But because of his mentoring and support, I stayed at Thru-way and bought it with 2 partners in 1981. I’m STILL here now, will miss Ed sorely. God Speed Mr. Fennell.
    My (and everyone at Thru-way’s) thoughts are with you Ann.

  5. Bob Jungbluth, Retired President, Curvlite says:

    The title of legend is very appropriate for Ed and his career. He was innovative in so many ways and a wealth of knowledge for the rookies and the seasoned of the industry.
    He was a good friend and partner in our business.
    His legacy and memory will live on.

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