Obituary: Mel Tishler, 93

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Mel Tishler
Mel Tishler

Mel Tishler, a flooring retailer and sales rep, passed away on August 13, 2022, in Indianapolis. He was 93.

Tishler’s work ethic was forged as a child of the Great Depression in Bridgeport, Conn. He was pre-law at the University of Louisville when he began working for his father-in-law, Herman Kort, at Kort’s Furniture in 1949. Distributors Irving Kahn & Sons and then Renard’s soon recruited Tishler. He thrived as an outside sales rep calling on retailers.

Tishler’s young family was expanding and he opened a flooring store of his own. He grew the company to four stores in Central Indiana in the ’60s. Tishler later led sales and marketing for companies such as Prizant’s in Pittsburgh, Pa., and Carpet Factory Outlets in Windsor, Conn. His weekly sales meetings were highly anticipated events; humor, accolades and reprimands were doled out equally and without bias. Marv Berlin hired Tishler to run the commercial division of New York Carpet World in Southfield, Mich., in 1978 and this is where his sons Fred, Bruce and Harry eventually followed and began their careers in retail flooring.

Tishler “un-retired” in 2000 to work with Fred who had started Realty Carpet (eventually Tish Flooring) in Indianapolis, Ind. He played a vital role in the growth of the company. Those calling in to get their properties measured for flooring—realtors, property managers, and homeowners alike—were directed to Tishler. After being on the receiving end of one or two of his trademark quips they became instant fans and, most often, friends for good. 

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