Joe Tortorice Jr.
BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) — The businessman who founded the national restaurant chain Jason’s Deli more than 40 years ago in Texas has died.
A Jason’s Deli statement says Joe Tortorice Jr., founder and chairman of the board, died Saturday at age 70. A company spokeswoman says Tortorice had battled cancer.
The Beaumont-based company says Tortorice was the grandson of Italian immigrants and it was his father’s investment in a little sandwich shop that inspired him to open his own restaurant. From a single location that opened in Beaumont in 1976, Jason’s Deli now has almost 300 locations across the U.S.
Tratorice’s oldest son, Jay Tortorice, who inspired the company’s name, said in the statement he’ll remember his father for being “a dedicated family man, business mentor and inspiration to all who knew him.”
(AP) — Sherman Poppen, the snowboard inventor who laid the groundwork for a multibillion-dollar industry, has died. He was 89.
Poppen died July 31 at his home in Griffin, Georgia.
In 1965, while living in Michigan, Poppen was looking for a way to entertain his daughters on a snowy Christmas Day. So he strapped two skis together and held them in place with wooden crossbars. His wife dubbed it a “Snurfer.” A year later, he got a patent on the contraption.
Jake Burton Carpenter improved on the design and helped bring the snowboard to the masses. But Carpenter never took credit for the invention that eventually found its way to the Olympics.
Carpenter told Snowboarder Magazine that Poppen not only was “the guy that started snowboarding,” but he “never gave up on it.”