KEY LARGO, FLA. — Charles E. Entenmann, grandson of the founder of Entenmann’s, Inc., died Feb. 24. He was 92 years old.
Born in 1929, Mr. Entenmann was the middle of three brothers (Robert and William). He worked at the company in engineering and technical roles before becoming president and chief operating officer.
When his father, William Entenmann Jr., died of a heart attack in 1951, his widow, Martha, and William, Charles and Robert made changes that helped set in motion rapid growth over the next three decades.
Seeking to tap into growth in baked foods sales at supermarkets and facing a shift away from retail bakeries, the family phased out its bread business and delivery routes. Instead, the company focused on the baking and wholesale distribution of pastries and cakes to the growing number of supermarket chains serving New York City and its suburbs.
Having incorporated in 1958, the company was headed by Robert, Charles and William, as chairman of the board and chief executive officer, president and COO and executive vice president, respectively. Martha was a vice president of the company.
Rather than expanding as an independent company, the family sold the business in 1978 to Warner-Lambert Co., one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical and consumer products companies, in a transaction valued at $230 million. The company subsequently changed hands several times over the years and currently is owned by Bimbo Bakeries USA.
Mr. Entenmann moved to Florida in the 1980s and founded Biolife, LLC, a company that produces various healthcare products to stop bleeding.
Mr. Entenmann’s love for the humanities and Long Island led him to support and advocate for the Great South Bay YMCA in Bay Shore. He funded research to improve water quality and habitats in the Great South Bay. With his brothers, he endowed Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with a gift to establish the Entenmann Family Cardiac Center.
He was predeceased by his wife, Nancy Lee (Drake) Entenmann and daughter, Barbara Thompson, as well as his brothers, William and Robert. Survivors include a daughter, Susan Nalewajk (Robert); a son, Charles W. Entenmann (Wendy); seven grandchildren and a plethora of great-grandchildren.In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be mailed to Infinite Energy Magazine, New Energy Foundation, PO Box 2816, Concord, NH 03302-2816 or made online atwww.infinite-energy.com.