Former textile sales executive Mason W. Hallett died June 2 in Naperville, Illinois. He was 97.
Hallett retired in 1989 after more than 40 years with the former Blumenthal Print Works, an upholstery and ticking supplier based in New Orleans. He covered a Midwest territory for the company, which in its heyday was a major supplier to the U.S. bedding industry.
According to Hallett’s son Mason C. Hallett, his father was kind, generous and humble, and counted many customers as personal friends. He enjoyed the freedom of the road, traveling his sales territory from Monday through Thursday each week. Hallett especially looked forward to ISPA EXPO as it provided the chance to see customers and the rare opportunity to socialize with industry colleagues.
Hallett’s favorite sales advice was, “Get out and go — you’ll never sell anyone you do not call on.”
His father had another maxim, the son said, “Always make that last call of the day — you may not want to, but it could be the best call you make all week.”
Hallett’s work also brought him personal joy in that in 1959 he met his wife Irene Berry on a blind date set up by some customers, the Veitzers of Omaha Bedding Co.
The son, who followed his father into ticking sales with Blumenthal and now is with Tricots Liesse, said his father’s life was an inspiration: “He always was content and happy with his career and life choices and lived life without regrets. (He was happy at Blumenthal) — a family-held business where employees were treated with respect and as if they were part of the family.”
Hallett was born in St. Louis and was a heroic member of the Greatest Generation. At the onset of World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps (precursor to the U.S. Air Force) after high school graduation. Sent to the South Pacific, he began training as a radio man, but gave up on mastering Morse Code and was moved to the perilous nose-gunner position in a bomber. He survived the war and was discharged in 1946.
In addition to his son, Hallett is survived by daughter Elizabeth Kilroy, three grandchildren, daughter-in-law Sarah Hallett and son-in-law Tom Kilroy. He is predeceased by his wife and his brother.