The College -- and World -- Loses A Legend:
Dr. John (Tom) Mentzer
Learning to Celebrate Life
In his last weeks of life, Tom Mentzer wrote an inspiring ‘book’ of his life, his ordeal fighting cancer, and his beliefs. The work entitled “Learning to Celebrate Life” is about keeping your glass half-full (celebrating life) versus half-empty (enduring life). Mentzer asked that this be shared with as many people as possible. We are glad to fulfill his wish (click here).
KNOXVILLE, TN — Dr. John (Tom) Mentzer, Chancellor’s Professor and Harry J. and Vivienne R. Bruce Chair of Excellence in Business in the Department of Marketing and Logistics at the University of Tennessee passed away in his Knoxville home on Friday morning, February 26.
Dr. Mentzer was a preeminent scholar. Each day he exemplified the best of the business academic discipline, consistently contributing through teaching, application, and discovery. His presence was in great demand by a broad range of audiences, ranging from undergraduate students to CEOs of multinational corporations. He approached the business world as a laboratory, enabling him to integrate theoretical insights with cutting-edge practices. The knowledge he generated helped facilitate his impressive teaching and research record. He unselfishly extended those benefits to include his colleagues, here at the University of Tennessee and elsewhere in business and academe.
In addition to his commitment to scholarship, Dr. Mentzer passionately served his institution and his discipline. Over the years he held key leadership roles including the president of the Academy of Marketing Science, president of the Council of Logistics Management, and executive director for the University of Tennessee Demand and Supply Integration Forums. While serving in high-level positions, he continued to chair a variety of university committees, author impactful books and articles, and serve on many editorial review and advisory boards. He received numerous awards in the fields of marketing and supply chain management, including the Berkman Distinguished Service Award for lifetime service to the Academy of Marketing Science in 2008, the Armitage Medal of the International Society of Logistics Engineers in 2007, and the Council of Logistics Management’s Distinguished Service Award in 2004. To garner such recognition in one discipline is a great accomplishment; to be so highly recognized in two competitive disciplines is extraordinary. He leaves a lasting legacy as mentor to dozens of former doctoral students now serving as faculty at institutions around the world.
In addition to Dr. Mentzer’s numerous awards and achievements, he will be most remembered for positively touching the lives and careers of those around him. Countless people benefited from the kindness of Tom Mentzer. This perhaps stands as his greatest attribute, appropriately reflecting his mission to live an impactful life. He was a loving husband, father, son, and friend, and he will be deeply missed by family, students, and colleagues. He is survived by his wife Brenda and daughters Ashley and Erin of Knoxville, and his mother Minnie and sister Susan of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.
Services will be held at the Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Knoxville (9919 Kingston Pike) at 11am, Saturday, March 6. Contributions in Tom Mentzer’s memory may be made to either the Tom & Brenda Mentzer Endowment in Marketing and Logistics, University of Tennessee College of Business Administration, 466 Haslam Business Building, Knoxville, Tennessee, 37996; or the Melanoma Research Foundation, 170 Township Line Rd., Building B, Hillsborough, NJ, 08844.