Otis Spunkmeyer founder dies

by Matt Hamer
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Ken Rawlings, Otis SPunkmeyer
Otis Spunkmeyer founder Kenneth Blair Rawlings passed away on May 29 at the age of 84.
 

CARMEL, CALIF. — Otis Spunkmeyer founder Kenneth B. Rawlings passed away on May 29 at the age of 84.

The son of William and Lois Rawlings, Kenneth grew up in Piedmont, Calif. He attended College of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., for a short time before joining the Coast Guard. He then returned to school and graduated with a business administration degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mr. Rawlings founded Otis Spunkmeyer’s Olde Tyme Cookies in 1979. By 1983, 20 other stores had opened up in California. Throughout the 1980s, Mr. Rawlings helped the company transition from retail to wholesale, and by the end of the decade more than 40,000 restaurants, delis, hospitals and military bases in the United States and abroad were serving his cookies. In 2006, Otis Spunkmeyer was acquired by Aryzta, Zurich, Switzerland.

In addition to business, Mr. Rawlings was dedicated to philanthropic efforts. He started a fundraising program for schools, sports teams and other organizations to sell Otis Spunkmeyer cookie dough. The cookie dough still holds the top position for food service and fundraiser sales the in the United States.

Mr. Rawlings is survived by four daughters: Kimberly Rawlings of Mill Valley, Calif.; Kacy (Larry) Deatherage of La Jolla, Calif.; Lindsey (Evan) Baker of Dallas; and Logan (Arthur) Duffort of Shropshire County, England; five grandchildren: Cecelia, Binks, Blair, Edith and Bruno; and many nieces and nephews.
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