WILKES-BARRE, PA (BRAIN)—Loren Sickler, a five-decade fixture in the Pennsylvania bicycle industry, passed away on Feb. 10.
He was 95.
Sickler’s brother, Leo, opened a bike shop called Sickler’s in 1933, and in 1947 Loren Sickler joined the business.
Leo retired in 1970 and Loren stayed at the helm of Sickler’s until 1997 when he was 84 years old, according to his grandson Tom Jones, who partnered with his grandfather in the family bike business until Loren’s retirement.
“Sickler’s typified the average bicycle business, in an average American city in the 50s, 60s and 70s,” Jones said. “Many bicycle executives and managers would pass through the doors of the Sickler brothers’ business during that time. From the non-English speaking Japanese Shimano employees to the top management of Schwinn, everyone seemed to know them and respect their opinions,” Jones said.
Even though Sickler and Jones sold the shop in 1997, the name lives on. Sickler’s has moved eight miles away to Exeter, Pennsylvania and is now owned by Susan and Mark Farrell and David Kaplan.
Prior to his career in the bicycle business, Sickler was the chief supervisor for wing assembly of the B-29 Superfortress during World War II, overseeing 1,400 employees.
For more details on Loren Sickler’s impact on the bicycle industry in Pennsylvania, read the April 1 issue of BRAIN.