Norbert Olberz, who founded La Cañada-based (NQ:SPCHA) in 1959, has died of natural causes at the age of 86, the company has announced.
Olberz served as Sport Chalet's Chief Executive Officer until 1999 and as Chairman of the Board until 2001, according to Sport Chalet.
A tribute to Olberz on Facebook reads "Over the course of five decades he not only built a successful, publicly traded sporting goods business but was widely recognized in the industry for his innovative thinking, his commitment to his employees and community and his relentless belief in the power of recreation to lift an individual's spirit.''
Trained as a pastry chef, Olberz immigrated from his native Germany to Canada prior to settling in the U.S., where he and his wife opened their first niche winter sports gear store, the company's tribute reads. Eventually, Sport Chalet grew to include other specialty wares for scuba, mountain climbing and other sports. The company went public in 1992.
Olberz is survived by his wife, Irene; sister, Elizabeth Lepper; son, Eric; and his grandchildren, Karl and Markus.
Olberz' memorial service is slated for noon on Friday in the , 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada.
The family has requested donations be made, in lieu of gifts or flowers, in Norbert Olberz's memory to the La Cañada Flintridge Educational Foundation, 4490 Cornishon Avenue, La Cañada Flintridge, 91011 or the Sierra Club Foundation, 85 Second Street, Ste. 750, San Francisco, CA, 94105, or
For more information, please contact Mele Mortenson, Sport Chalet Executive Assistant, at (818) 949-5333 (firstname.lastname@example.org).