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In Memoriam Herb Lotman

In Memoriam Herb Lotman

Herb Lotman, legendary butcher and the founder of multi-billion dollar business Keystone Foods, has passed away at the age of 80 last Thursday.

A Philadelphia native, Herb Lotman began his career in the food industry with his family’s wholesale beef business.  In the late 1960’s, Lotman and his partners pioneered cryogenics for McDonald’s and developed a mass-production system for the manufacture of frozen hamburgers. By the late 60s the company was selling its new and innovative product to the Golden Arches.  Keystone Foods developed and provided the first total distribution concept in the McDonald’s system, enabling restaurant owners to save time and focus on customer service.  They were also instrumental in helping develop the Chicken McNugget in the 1980's.    

Lotman built the company over 40 years from scratch to one that was generating more than $5 billion in sales annually. Keystone opened operations in over 15 countries around the world and was rated 45 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies in 2010.

Six years ago, Lotman retired from Keystone Foods to spend his time working tirelessly for the causes he believed in most, including helping young entrepreneurs, and several charitable organizations such as the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, The Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, The International Board of the Ronald McDonald’s House Charities, and most recently with revival of the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.

He and his wife Karen established the Macula Vision Research Foundation, which is dedicated to finding a cure and restoring vision for people who are affected by retinal and macula diseases. The foundation has provided nearly $20 million to fund groundbreaking research projects conducted by the world’s top scientists with the promise of helping millions of people affected by visual impairment.

Although he often said, “I’m just a butcher,” it’s clear that Lotman was an inspiration to many generations. Countless people from all walks of life benefited from his business sense and steadfast generosity. He was extremely dedicated to his family and giving back to the community.

He is survived by his wife Karen, and children Shelly Fisher and Jeff Lotman and grandchildren Julia, Sam, Joseph Fisher, Anna Sophia, and Gianna Lotmann, and sister Marlene Weinberg.

Services will be held at Main Line Reform Temple on Monday, May 12 at 1 PM and the internment will strictly be for immediate family members only. The family will hold shiva at the late residence on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM and respect request that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Macula Vision Research Foundation, 100 Front St., Suite 300 W. Conshohocken, PA 19428.

DeliMarket TV would like to extend our deepest condolences to Herb’s family and friends.