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Auggie Herzog, Recognized for a Lifetime of Being a Character by His Pallet Friends, Passes Away
Auggie Herzog, a longtime friend in the pallet industry, passed away on Friday, November 30 at the age of 82.

By Ed Brindley
Date Posted: 1/1/2013

                Our staff was saddened when we heard that Auggie Herzog, a longtime friend in the pallet industry, passed away on Friday, November 30 at the age of 82. Auggie ran Champion Wood Products, a Chicago area pallet wholesale company. His son Jeff will continue running the company that has been a part of the Chicago pallet landscape for years.

                Sandy Campbell wrote Jeff, “It has been a long time since we have seen each other and you may not remember me, but I remember you and your sister. I first met your mom Joyce and dad at the Hollywood Beach Hotel Meeting of the NWPMA (now the NWPCA) in January 1957.”

                Sandy’s memory of Auggie was typical of those shared by a number of his friends. He wrote, “I just opened the latest Pallet Profile and saw that an old friend Auggie Herzog passed away. Some years ago, Auggie, Charlie Larson, and I were sitting at the bar of the hotel in La Jola, Calif. Talking about forming an “Old Duffers” Group to get more senior industry folks to come to the meetings. Today I am sorry that never happened. Between Auggie and Cleo Hagenson, they were the best in Chicago.”

                “I just learned of your dad’s passing and it has really struck me deeply. He was a fine fellow to those he met and the industry as a whole.”

                As a publisher in the pallet industry since 1977, I cannot recall anybody who is remembered more fondly as being a “character” than is Auggie. This one word description seems to roll off the tongue of many who knew him.

                Auggie was active in the NWPCA, serving on committees and working with others to build a stronger industry. His picture in this tall cowboy hat serves well to capture his reputation. It was taken at a NWPCA annual meeting when he served as chairman of the membership committee. He was the energy behind the drive to expand active association involvement.

                Besides countless nieces, nephews, two brothers and a sister, Auggie was survived by his wife Joyce, his son Jeff, and two grandsons Steve and Tim.

                But Auggie was willing to take a stand when he felt strongly about an issue even when it went somewhat against the grain. He was influential behind a small movement to stop renaming the NWPCA when plastic pallets were becoming more prominent. He felt very strongly about keeping the word “wood” both in the name and in the association’s true thrust even though some in leadership positions felt a name such as “The Pallet Association” might be more appropriate for the future.

                One of Auggie’s passions was animals. He was a huge proponent of responsible pet ownership and people adopting from shelters rather than buying them from a pet store or puppy mill. He gave freely to ASPCA and Paws of Chicago, (Paws Chicago, 1997 N. Clybourn Ave., Chicago, IL 60614), which is the largest no-kill facility in the state. Joyce donated all the funds she received to Paws and believes Auggie would have preferred that donations go to this organization.

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