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 Edward Gargiulo, 87, Remembered by His Peers

President of Rockland Mills Writes How Gargiulo Shaped His Career

January 24, 2020


 Edward Gargiulo, 87, Remembered by His Peers

NAPLES, Fla. --Edward Gargiulo, a well-known print-fabric converter in the New York area, and also a partner in Anju/ Woodridge, died after a brief illness on January 12.

He was 87.

Anju Woodridge was purchased by P/Kaufmann several years ago and Gargiulo retired in Westport, Connecticut. He later moved to Naples, Florida in 2002.

He will be remembered by many for his encouraging attitude and mentoring abilities.

“He was my mentor,” says Darren Fradin, president of Rockland Mills. One of Fradin’s first textile jobs was working at Anju Woodridge. “I learned more from him about business and life than anyone else. He shaped my entire career.”

Johnny Keeton, a well-known international-textiles sales agent remembers Gargiulo expanding exports in the early days.

 “Eddie was an industry icon,” Keeton says. “Eddie was one of the first to expand U.S. fabric exports in the 80s and 90s.”

Gargiulo was vice president of sales and a partner at Anju/Woodridge Inc., where he drove the company's expansion into Europe, Asia, and South America.

He served in the Army with the rank of first sergeant and was a veteran of the Korean War.

He had civic duties, such as the Chamber of Commerce of Mount Vernon, N.Y. Additionally, he was involved with the Westport, Connecticut Little League Baseball organization, serving multiple terms as league president and umpire in chief.

Most recently, he served on the board of directors for Cedar Hammock Golf & Country Club. An avid golfer, he carded multiple holes-in-one during his lifetime.

Laura Evans, Gargiulo’s daughter, writes: “Thank you for the friendship, love, laughter, support, and care you all gave to my dad. He cherished each of you and the individual ways you enriched his life.”

Gargiulo is survived by his wife of 64 years, Marilyn; his brother, Gerald; his sister, Victoria Fasano; sons, Edward, Stephen, and Michael; daughter, Evans; eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Kidney Foundation.

Memorial services will be held at New Hope Ministries in Naples, Fla. on February 17 at 10 a.m.

Rockland Mills President Darren Fradin wrote this letter about Gargiulo.

“Eddie Gargiulo and his partner, Irwin Ginsburg, created such an amazing culture at Anju/Woodridge that I genuinely felt privileged to work there. I literally couldn’t wait to get to work every day. I was a kid. He took a chance on me and I never forgot that.

“On my first day at Anju, Eddie brought me into his office and said: ‘Darren, I’ve got four kids, and they all have chores around the house. One I have to yell at. One I have to make laugh. One I have to bribe. And one I have to beg. At the end of the day, they all do their jobs – but it was up to me to figure out how to motivate them. That’s the secret to being a good sales manager -- welcome to the company.’

“I walked out of his office feeling like I had just received a gift. That was my first day of work. I have told that story a thousand times. Since then I’ve tried to model myself after him hoping to be a fraction as good, wise and as respected as he was. His legacy will live on forever.”


Peter Garber wrote this letter about Gargiulo.

"I was so saddened to hear of the passing of our dear Ed.  So many memories of the years in the textile industry, so many years at 295 5th Ave.  I cannot help but think of him with gratitude every time I travel to some part of the world that he exposed me through my travels for Anju Woodridge.

"People around the world and in the industry here in the states will always remember him for being the Pioneer in bringing American products to their countries at a time that "made in America" counted, and their economy was blossoming.

"We went through so many turbulent times as well.  I remember when Swavelle offered me a better paying job and, in the same building. I had a migraine for two days as I could not bring myself to tell him and Irving Ginsburg that I had accepted it. And Ed, being the man he was, was upset but invited me to his home that year for Easter dinner with the family.

"I also remember that he introduced me to Elio Fumagalli, his friend from Imatex in Italy, the other Pioneer, who then became my friend and who hired me years later when I became an independent agent.  I am grateful to Ed and you [Marilyn] for years of friendship that still continue for me around the world with clients and with Grazia Fumagalli and family who send their love to you.

"I am sorry I cannot be in Naples for his memorial as I am having eye surgery on the prior day.  However, I will see you at another time.  Know that you and Ed will be in my heart and prayers always.  Much love,  Maria and Peter Garber."

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