Ervin Wardlow

  • Born: September 22, 1921
  • Died: July 20, 2010
  • Location: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

A.J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Directors

2600 Crooks Road
Troy, MI 48084

Tel. (248) 362-2500

Tribute & Message From The Family

At age 17 Herb worked as a stock boy for Kresge in Kansas City. He worked his way up in the company to become President of Kmart Corporation and retired in 1980 as Vice Chairman. He was a veteran of the Army Air Force, serving as a B17 flight instructor during WWII. After retirement from Kmart he was a consultant for Dollar General, Woolihan Lumber and Discount Auto. He was very active with the KMart alumni group. He was very much a “people person” and was all about merchandising and connecting products to people. He married Jean Brandt in 1946, after meeting her at the Kresge store where they both worked. Family was most important to him, and he also loved to trap shoot and play golf. Loving husband of Jean for 64 years. Dear father of Dan (Joe Erwin), Mary Abraham, Tom (Nancy Bourget) and Jeff (Julie McDonald). Dear grandfather of Katie and Paul Abraham, Elizabeth, Jack, Chris, Sam, Joe and Sally Wardlow. Family will receive friends at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward Ave. (btw 13-14 Mile) Friday 2-8pm. Scripture service 7pm. Funeral Mass Saturday 12:30p.m. at St. Regis Church, 3695 Lincoln at Lahser, Bloomfield Hills. Visitation begins at church at 12:00noon.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I was a manager trainee and was assigned to the sales department at Kmart in the early 70's in Troy. He would always come down to the sales department and ask our opinion and tell us how he appreciated our contribution to the company. What a leader! What a manager! I was privilaged to know a great person.

Posted by John Eklund    August 17, 2010

Sorry to hear of your father's passing. Treasure his memories.

Posted by Denise LaPonsey-Daughetee - Akron, PA   August 05, 2010

Jean,Mary, Tom, Dan& Jeff, I will always have fond memories of Herb as Mary & I grew up in Birmingham. Great stories of Kresges & Kmart and always welcoming whenever anyone dropped by. A generous man,great Father & Grandfather ,he will be missed by all. My thoughts are with you.

Posted by Lou Wolf Vallance - MI   July 24, 2010

Sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Wardlow. I worked for him when he was in the Sales Dept. at Kresge's main office. He was always very kind and understanding. My thoughts and prayers our with you at this time. Diane Josey

Posted by Diane Josey - redford, MI   July 24, 2010

Mr. Wardlow was a great leader for Kresge / K mart. When I was assistant mgr of the month for the Central Region he sent me a hand written note congratulating me, which I still have today. I met him on several occasions - once while touring headquarters with my wife. He was a man we all looked up to. A merchant first foremost and always!

Posted by Rod Brumley - shelby twp, MI   July 24, 2010

Dear Tom & Nancy, Elizabeth, Jack, and Chris, Our love and prayers are with you as you remember and celebrate the life of your dad and Grandpa. God bless, Molly & Dan MacLean and family

Posted by Molly & Dan MacLean - Bloomfield Hills, MI   July 24, 2010

May God Bless Ervin 'Herb' Wardlow.

Posted by Joseph Palko - Knoxville, TN   July 24, 2010

Dear Jean and Family...We send our deepest sympathy. We have many fond memories of stories Herb shared with us about his youth, flying experiences during the War and at Kresge and KMart. We especially enjoyed his tales of opening new stores, the people he worked with and the memorable incidents he was part of.

Herb was the key to our living in Las Vegas. He arranged to have homes in Sun City, in early February 1998, shown to us. This resulted in our decision to purchase our current home.

Herb was a great man and a good and caring friend to us. Thanks Herb.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Herb and you.

Jerry and Peggy Widmer

Posted by Jerry and Peggy Widmer - Las Vegas, NV - Very good friends   July 23, 2010

There simply was no one better than Mr. Wardlow. I got to know him fairly well during my time in Vero Beach, FL. He was the ultimate Merchant and a great supporter of the Stores. I will miss him greatly..

Posted by Jerry Bird - Cleveland, TN   July 23, 2010

You are all in my thoughts and prayers during this time of loss. I will miss Herb, who acted as a friend and mentor when I was coming up through the ranks with K-mart back in the 70's. I was in the Eastern Region and always looked forward to his visits to my store. He was gracious, easy going and a true merchant. I always felt that I was a better manager and merchant after his visits. Then, we were reunited at the Kmart 'Alumni' luncheons at Hogans. Bob Muligan found out I was in the area and invited me to the lunch gatherings where I got to see and talk with Herb again. God Bless, Robbie

Posted by Robert E. Hayes, Jr. - Farmington Hills, MI   July 23, 2010

We have many good memories working with Herb at Kmart Headquarters. Our deepest sympathy to Jean and the family.

Posted by Carl & Linda Peterson - Rochester Hills, MI   July 23, 2010

Was sorry to hear of Herb's passing.Our sympathy to Jean and family.

Posted by clinton and carol white - peachtree city, GA   July 23, 2010

Michael and I are saddened to hear of Uncle Herb’s death. We wish there was something we could say or do to ease the pain. Our deepest sympathy to Aunt Jean, daughter Mary, sons Tom, Jeff and Dan and to their families. Our prayers and thoughts are with him Michael & Marina Mack

Posted by Michael, Marina Mack - WI   July 22, 2010

My heart is heavy this week with the loss of my dear Uncle Herb. Deepest symphathies to Aunt Jean, Dan, Mary, Tom, Jeff and their families at this sad time. May we all find comfort in memories of the past. Love, Betty (Budris) Rasbid

Posted by Betty Budris Rasbid - Gurnee, IL   July 22, 2010

Extending my deep sympathy for the loss of Uncle Herb. Thinking of Aunt Jean, Dan, Mary, Tom, Jeff and your families. You're in my thoughts and prayers. Remembering Uncle Herb with Love.

Posted by Floy Wardlow Allen - Saint Joseph, MO   July 22, 2010