Syd Bassow

September 26, 1938 - January  19, 2007

(Click here to view his Memorial Notice)

I met Syd Bassow in 1994 or 1995 when I started representing TradeNet in California. He and Mary lived in Santa Barbara and they invited me to have breakfast with them since they worked out of their house. Syd had an office in a bedroom and it was chock full of everything you would expect a sole proprietor working from home to have. Samples, catalogs, stuff, well, you understand how it was. It was warm and friendly, just like he and Mary. He tried to do business with any company that showed up at his place even if it was just one order.

Syd was a little bit more of everything and a little bit, well, no, a lot larger than life. He could be a curmudgeon at times but that was a trait I learned to love and still try to emulate. He could be exasperating at times but he was always a gentleman and a wonderful friend. I met his family as he did mine. He and Mary had my youngest daughter Jeannine over for bagels on several occasions when she was at UCSB getting a degree. He always asked about my kids and grandkids whenever we saw him although after the move to Chino, that became more infrequent. 

Syd would help anyone who asked and often those who didn't ask found him on their side. He was a man who loved deeply and well. His family and friends are the testimony to his character. He kept you on your toes and forced you to pay attention to your job. As far as I can tell, he was authentic and treated all of us the same, with the same respect and integrity. We will all miss him.

 God bless you Syd. Where ever you are, you're probably lining up a few quotes for something imprinted. Let us know how we can help. 


When we met at the PPAI Expo in the first week of January, Mary was keeping up a strong face although we all knew that time was of the essence. We didn't know we would only have Syd for two more weeks.

I asked him to pose for a few photos with Mary and with my daughter Rachael. These are the photos I have to share with you.

Link to the Comments Website: (Click Here)

Some tributes to Syd from industry people:


I knew Syd well. He will be much missed by those who called him friend. Syd was a man who was fiercely loyal to those who were his friends and supported them to the best of his ability, regardless of the circumstances. I know Iím not saying this well, but I just liked Syd and will miss the old curmudgeon.

Sadly, Ron Atlas


I remember him from shows.  Sorry for the loss.

Marvin Baida, MAS
CorpLogoWear, Florida

Condolences on your loss and gratitude for the gifts this friend gave you. 
Paul Kiewiet
PPAI Board Of Directors Member

Very sad indeed.  Although we never did any business together, he was always a gentleman with me.  Whenever I was at a West Coast show, he made it a point to chat.  I enjoyed his company.

Harvey Mackler, CAS


I think you said it very well, Ron...Syd was a wonderful, genuine person with a great life-view and will be much missed by his friends.

I know that he would greatly appreciate any efforts suppliers can offer to assist his wife Mary as she absorbs responsibility for continuing or dispatching their business concerns.

Mike Burns


Iím so sorry for your loss of your friend.  I didnít know Syd, but I have met people like him who have inspired those around them.  There is a quote that seems to describe it best:

ďA friend is someone who leaves you with all your freedom intact but who, by what he thinks of you, obliges you to be fully what you are.Ē J. L. Heureux

 Thank you for reminding us all of the importance of our best relationships.

With respect and aloha,



I'm grateful to have been able to call Syd my friend.  We had a special business connection and  I miss my buddy.

With warmest thoughts of Syd.

Alisa D'Alessandro, MAS
Earth Shaking Promotions


I've known Syd for many years. He was always friendly and interested in YOU.

He loved you coming to visit in Santa Barbara and made it a point to stop and say hi when you were working your show booth. He helped others in his market even though it may take some business. He was a kind, caring and loyal man. He will be missed.  

Curt Mantle


Syd's path and mine crossed at all the usual places - shows, table tops and the like.  I am not even sure how we first met, but I am know it was over 10 years ago.  We would ask each other how business was going and compare notes on what was happening.  His interest was genuine.  His advice helpful.  His smile spry.  When I heard he had passed, I tried to remember our last conversation.... I think it was at Expo last year.  Had it really been a year since I had seen him?  I guess so.  He spoke of considering retirement, but was still having fun so what was the point. 

A terrible thing that we make friends in this business but since we are all in our separate but similar universes we do not talk that often, but are living with the same challenges.  Syd was more of a coach than a
competitor..... and for that I will be forever grateful.

Hank Yuloff

I did not know the man!  But if he was a friend of ours I'm sure he was a mench!!!!

Last night after seeing his picture I had a dream that Syd and I were in grade school together and I turned to Syd and said "Can I borrow a dime? I need to call my friend." 

He turned to me and said, "Here's a dime, call all your friends!!!"

God Bless Him!!!!

Gene /Yorkie Specialties!!!