Bernhard S. Blumenthal, Executive

Posted: February 24, 1998

Bernhard ``Bud'' S. Blumenthal, 86, who ran a family-owned chocolate company for more than 30 years, died Sunday at his home in Philadelphia.

Mr. Blumenthal became president of Blumenthal Brothers Chocolate Co. in Bridesburg when he was 26, overseeing the firm until it was sold to Ward Foods in 1969. He then served as president of Ward Chocolate Co., a subsidiary of Ward Foods, until 1981.

Blumenthal Brothers was best known as the makers of Goobers and Raisinets.

Mr. Blumenthal carried forth a family tradition of promising relatives that if any of them ever needed a job, his company would make a position available, according to his wife of 24 years, Ellin Karlin Blumenthal.

``We have three reasons for existence,'' said Mr. Blumenthal in an interview published in 1950. ``First, to support our family; second, to supply the public with as good a product as we can, and still make a normal profit; and third, to provide a living for our workers and their families. Since ours is a family company, we like to hire families to work for us.''

Mr. Blumenthal served from 1941 to 1981 as a member of the New York Cocoa Exchange, which is now called the New York Coffee, Cocoa and Sugar Exchange. He was president of the exchange from 1972 to 1974.

Mr. Blumenthal also was a founding member of the American Cocoa Research Institute and a member of the board of the Candy Industry Association.

Mrs. Blumenthal said her husband traveled the world, looking for the best cocoa beans for his chocolate.

Mr. Blumenthal also actively volunteered. From 1946 to 1952, he was on the board of the Jewish Hospital, now part of Albert Einstein Medical Center. He also served as chairman of the Jewish Hospital Committee for the Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites.

He was a longtime volunteer tour guide and interpreter for Independence National Historical Park and a volunteer guide at Elfreth's Alley.

In a 1991 interview with the Philadelphia Daily News, Mr. Blumenthal explained why he spent three days a week at Independence Park: ``I love it here. I enjoy meeting the people, the visitors. It's a challenge. I love challenges. Always did.''

Mr. Blumenthal was a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Additional survivors include two children, Lee Blumenthal and Anne Proffit; four stepchildren, Eric, Gary, Mark and Larry Michelson; a brother, Joseph Blumenthal; a sister, Dolly Perls; and six grandchildren.

Services are private.

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