Daniel Trop
Daniel Trop
  • January 6, 1917 - January 4, 2018
  • Alta Loma, California

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A ten year old boy peddled milk of New York before school and earned 10 cents a day plus a quart of milk a week in 1917. He grew up, worked tireless for years and became the first Millionaire of Granville, New York. That millionaire passed away peacefully this past week surrounded by loving family members. He has left a legacy behind him, not many people can surpass.

Dan Trop, was currently a resident of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He was born on January 6th 1917 and passed away two days short of his 101 birthday, on January 4th, 2018. He was the fifth born of seven children to his parents, Hyman Trop and Rose Wapner Trop. His parents and all their children preceded Dan in death.

Dan was an active member of team sports during, his High School days, taking his place on both the football squad as well as the Tennis Courts. In his Junior year he believed he was destined to go to college, but he was also aware the only way to get there for him was by a scholarship. He raised his grade point to the highest of athletes and to everyone's surprise, he received the football scholarship to Green Mountain College where he received his degree in Accounting. He also financed his extra activities while in college by playing the Saxophone at various dance clubs with bands throughout the area. His love of playing the sax never faltered.

When Dan graduated from College war had already declared. He readily joined the United States Navy and soon found himself on the way to Okinawa. When he returned home he married his first wife, Toby. They welcomed their only child, a son Mark, in 1946.

A short time passed when Dan decided to move his family to San Bernardino, California. Uncertain of what his future employment would be, he and a brother-in-law decided to form a partnership, and open a business together. They were aware of the "Good Humor Man" who had owned a local facility which was forced to close due to the war. So with a third partner, and $800 from each of the three men, San Bernardino Frozen Products was born. That initially enabled the three partners to peddle their two products, through the streets of San Bernardino on five push carts and Four three wheeled scooters.

Originally unknown to the IceCream business, they were not able to purchase ice cream or other necessities on credit for at least a year. They only had two products to begin with, "fudge sickles and ice waters" which later became known as Popsicles. Although in the beginning Dan went into business blind, he became known as a brilliant man with a keen sense for business and sense for seeking opportunities. He also had an endless ambition to never stop trying. "There were no obstacles only challenges."

By 1947 through 1948 competition had grown strong. Dan Trop had a dream of owning 10 trucks to put on the street, however his strongest competition had opened with a fleet of fifty scooters. Another competitor had surfaced and were operating 400 trucks throughout the state. The onset of competition had begun to show in sales. He needed o stay up with the competition. To add to his challenge his brother-in-law and third partner didn't want to struggle or fight for survival either. Even though they now had expanded to eight products, now their credit was established and still the partners wanted out. Dan and the two partners met and agreed upon a buy out amount and the partnership was over, almost as fast as it started. Dan had become the sole owner and alone pushed the cart through the streets, became the mechanic for the equipment and was also the janitor, salesman, stock clerk, and accountant. He once went to the bank to request a loan. The president of the bank said "Mr. Trop this bank loans money based on character and I believe you are the Biggest character I have ever met."

1949 "Swell Time" ""was his competitor and Dan learned they had filed a bankruptcy. Dan found out what bank was left holding the note on the vehicles and went to them with an offer to buy the trucks which were in terrible shape. He had already hire a mechanic to fix the trucks. The mechanic fixed the trucks and Dan put them out on the street with a new name;"Tropical Ice Cream" had just been born. By 1965 Dan Trop was owner of all the, now closed, Good Humor companies in the State of California and was elected to the presidency of the "California Ice Cream Makers Association."

By 1966 Tropical Ice Cream had become the largest Independant Ice cream Dealership in the United States. The San Bernardino Sun Telegram honored him in a feature article which included McDonald's
Hamburgers, President of Xerox and the Culligan Man. The Title was "Millionairs who made it in San Bernardino County."

The Tropical empire had grown by 1978, from the original five push carts and four three wheelers and a dream of one man to someday would own ten trucks, to 12 plants, 600 vans and truck operation that reached over $17 million dollars that year in sales. In his quest for success Dan Trop hired people from virtually every walk of life. They new from the onset, Dan Trop would never tolerate drinking or drugs. Mr. Trop learned valuable principals and developed successful practices, which, as advisor to numerous business, he willingly passes along today.

Around the same time Dan also heard of a refugee family from Vietnam who needed a friend because the family was being broken apart. Dan proudly became that friend, assisting them and safely uprooting them from their roots, along with the wife and two children, and helped them reunite and settle in California again.

Dan and his four brothers joined together once again! Eventually the four retired and all four retired as millionaires. His son Mark preceded him in death three years ago from