Joshua Lapsker, founder of Grand Island, New York-based supplier Starline (PPAI 112719, S10) passed away on Feb. 24. He was 79.

Starline has been a family-owned and operated business for more than 50 years, and Lapsker’s grandson, Mason Lapsker, will carry on the family’s leadership role within the company as president.

A statement from the company on Lapsker’s passing says, “Joshua was known and admired for his powerful work ethic and passion for success. His family and co-workers remain dedicated to honoring his memory by carrying on his mission.”

Lapsker started his career in the promotional industry by designing and constructing machines used for pen decoration. Soon thereafter, he opened Starline Industries in Canada in 1969. He expanded the company to the United States (Starline USA) in 1992 in neighboring Buffalo, New York.

Originally born in Russia, Lapsker and his family immigrated to Israel when he was a young boy and then to Montreal, Quebec. No stranger to hard work, at 12-years-old, he would swim in the bay in Israel and collect timbers that fell off cargo boats to sell on.

Throughout his career, he designed and registered over 40 patents. Lapsker’s business background included a printing company rooted in the pharmaceutical industry and he was widely recognized for his role in the invention and application of advertising inside of medical prescription pads.

Lapsker leaves behind three children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

James Khattak is news editor at PPAI.