In Memoriam: Sam Isaacson

Sam Isaacson, founder of Lawrence, Massachusetts-based supplier Gemline (PPAI 113948, S11), passed away on January 27 after a brief illness. He was 89.

Always an entrepreneur, Isaacson founded Gem Giftwares in 1957 after leaving his family’s business.  Beginning as a distributor, he sold promotional items to school photographers until the mid‐1960s, when he started selling gas station premiums.

He was one of the early industry pioneers, traveling to Asia to source products, starting with Korea and Taiwan. In 1973, as a result of the oil shock, he pivoted the company again, supplying travel bags to distributors who were selling to travel agencies. This laid the groundwork for Gemline, which his son, Jonathan Isaacson, has owned and successfully run since 1994.

While Isaacson was proud of his business, he was even prouder of his family, of five children, 20 grandchildren and six great‐grandchildren. He was committed to his community and his heritage, and was deeply involved in his synagogue. He loved being with people, whether at home, work or in the community. Funeral services and Shiva will be private.

filed under February 2021 | Gemline
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Comments (1)
Margot Morris Dawkins
February 4, 2021
What a sad day to learn this - Sam was passionate about his business, but more importantly, passionate about his family and friends. Our relations with Gemline go back to the 1970's, and we were proud to be associated with such a fine group of people. We were all blessed by such pioneers in this industry as Sam Isaacson - he will be missed.
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