by Karen Alberg Grossman
Britt Fulmer

MR is deeply saddened to report the passing on Monday of Britt Fulmer, the former owner of Gentry Ltd in Wichita, Kansas. He died at the age of 66 surrounded by his adoring family after a year-long battle with colon cancer.

But it was not just family who treasured this well-respected merchant, widely described as genuine, caring, classy, the epitome of a Kansas gentleman, and perhaps the kindest person in the menswear industry. He was one of those rare individuals who when he asked ‘how are you?’ actually wanted to know.

Notes retailer pal Steve Scott, “Britt was a special friend. One of the things I most looked forward to at market time was the bond that Britt, Ted Silver, George Bass, and I had. We would get a large suite at the Salisbury Hotel and have jam sessions on what we’d seen in the different showrooms and at shows. We also had many conversations about life and Britt always shared his strong faith and his love for his family. Going to market will never be the same again.”

Says Michael Holdstein from Peerless Clothing, “I’ve known Britt for 35+ years going back to when he’d come to market with Danny Goldschmidt, the previous owner of Gentry Ltd, in the ‘80s. Kind, funny, dignified, and a great storyteller, Britt was respected by virtually everyone in our industry for his taste level, merchandising skills, and his ‘side gig’ as an amazing bass player with a passion for Paul McCartney and The Beatles. Britt was a great husband to Brenda and an amazing father to Lauren and Morgan, but what I’ll remember most is his absolute devotion to his religious beliefs. He faced his fate with grace, calm, and acceptance and for that, we can all take solace.”

From Fred Derring at DLS, “Everyone agrees that Britt was the nicest guy in our industry but do they also know how much fun he was? Partying with Britt and Brenda at Pitti Uomo events where we could relax and get to know each other was always wonderful.”

And from Parker Mitchell, who worked at Gentry while in college and, with his brother Grant, bought the store from Britt three years ago, “Britt was the most kind-hearted, honest, genuine, fun and upbeat person imaginable; he could truly relate to everyone! If he knew you well enough, he’d probably call you by a nickname he made up! He enjoyed and cared so much about his customers that they inevitably became his friends. I was lucky to be not only his friend, but also his mentee. Britt taught me that yes, we’re in the business of selling clothes but what it’s really about is building relationships and providing extraordinary service. Britt left an indelible mark on Wichita’s fashion and business community and, although I can’t fill his shoes, I hope to carry on his legacy to my absolute best ability! RIP Britt; you will be deeply missed but Heaven just got that much better with you in it, my friend!”

From retail colleague Craig DeLongy, “Britt was deeply loved and admired by many. If you watch his video interview with his pastor, it’s hard not to feel Britt’s strength and his intense love for God and Jesus. I was very sad to learn the end was near until I realized how much Britt embraced his next journey. I know he’s now with our Lord and enjoying life at the next level.”

The aforementioned video interview (see above) was one Britt did with Pastor Bob at Central Community Church this Father’s Day. In it, he talks passionately about his beloved family (wife Brenda, daughters Lauren and Morgan, three beautiful grandchildren), his music (he was an amazing bass guitar player who did frequent Beatles covers and was once thought to be Paul McCartney on a radio broadcast), his intense faith, what he learned from his dad (let your children know how much you love them, especially when disciplining them), and his good fortune to have made a 44-year career (and thousands of friends) from his lifelong passion for clothing. He shared that he did not sell his business because he was sick; his diagnosis came later but he believed the lord was lightening his workload so he could deal with his illness when it arrived.

For above all else, Britt Fulmer was a man of profound faith, a faith that allowed him to confront his illness with courage and calm. “From the moment my doctor laid out a treatment plan, I was unafraid, knowing that whether I lived or died would be according to God’s plan and that either way, I’d be ready for the next phase. Even after two surgeries when the cancer returned, and even after neither the Mayo Clinic nor MD Anderson could offer any trials or treatment for me, I was at peace. For I realize I’ve lived a charmed life: loving parents, marriage to the girl of my dreams, two beautiful daughters, a son-in-law I consider a son, and three amazing grandchildren, a career I love…. If God thought there was more for me to learn by going deeper into my faith, then that’s what I’d do. I’m so grateful to have been given this pervasive peace of mind and the ability to appreciate every day.”

A funeral service is planned for Wednesday, July 7th at 1:00 pm at New Spring Church in Wichita, Kansas. Thank you, Britt, for showing us how to live with faith, love, and joy.


    1. Sad day for the lucky ones that have met Britt. There are no words to describe such a kind men. May he Rest In Peace.

  1. My heart is heavy with the news of losing a wonderful man. Our industry was blessed and better for the quality of Britt Fulmer being a part of it.
    I was equally lucky to have known him for decades. No one was more sincere, and honest…. how I loved to see his eyes light up when he fell in love with a product, or shared a great retail story together.
    How wonderful it was to see him move the store forward with Parker and his family….
    It simply isn’t fair… hard to understand and accept.
    We should all take a minute to remember our friend, Britt Fulmer, thank you for your friendship.
    Gary Wasserman

  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of Britt. We’ve never met, but I will always remember him. His spoken prayer he voiced in this video showed me there truly are Super Heroes, and he is a great one.

    1. So sad to hear of Britt’s passing.
      Always a kind gentleman who conducted himself with class.
      Our hearts and prayers go out to Brenda .

  3. I can only repeat and concur with everything that was said in this beautiful tribute to my good friend, Britt Fulmer (who was also my customer for 30 years). He was a true gentleman, a passionate businessman, a great bass player/singer, and was just one of our industry’s “nice guys”. Georgia and I send our sincerest condolences to Brenda, Morgan, and Lauren, and everyone in the Gentry “family”.
    Rest in peace my friend!

  4. This is very sad news indeed. Britt is one of my favorite people in the industry. He and I always had our fun moment at the shows where we would re-inact the SNL ‘Fresh-a-Peppa’ skit (google it). After more than 10 years of doing it every time we saw each other, it never got old for us. He was a kind man, and a genuinely good person. The way he shook your hand and looked you in the eyes you knew he cared to know how you were, as the article above mentioned. You will be dearly missed good friend. Say hi to my dad in your new resting place. I’m sure he’ll love spending time with you there.

  5. Every time I saw Britt it was a total pleasure. One of those special souls that you come across all too infrequently.
    Wherever he goes will be blessed with this man.

    1. Everyone that met Britt was blessed in someway!
      Thank you for publishing such a beautiful memorial to Britt.
      Thank you so much for honoring his faith in Our Lord.
      We know that Britt is present with the Lord!

  6. This is really sad, sad news. Britt was a kind, gentle man who possessed great business sense, had an impeccable taste level, and always kind words. Deepest condolences to family and friends. Rest In Peace my friend.

  7. Truer words were never written. Britt was always a joy to be with. May his memory be a blessing.

  8. The great specialty store….with its brilliant merchant who passionately lives and breathes it every day,.. as Britt Fulmer did…is the very heart and soul of the menswear industry.

    Britt Fulmer was the epitome of style and grace with an exceptional taste level that he exemplified each and every time he visited my showrooms over the years…and I remember him fondly as if it were yesterday.

    But most importantly, I so enjoyed working with him on my collections because he was the ultimate gentleman…a well-dressed, class act who loved talking fashion and wanted to look behind the label to see the very essence of my brand. For Britt, it just wasn’t buying clothes…it was buying a dream.

    Although I haven’t seen Britt in many years, I’ll miss his charm, his compassion , his wit and his extraordinary talent …

    We lost a great merchant , a great family man and an exceptional human being today …they just don’t make them like Britt Fulmer anymore….

    My deepest condolences to his family and friends…and to all those who had the honor and privilege to work with this talented and charming human being in this menswear industry that we love so much.

    Joseph Abboud

  9. I never met anyone who didn’t think the world of Britt. We’ll all miss him.

  10. Absolutely loved Britt – smart, clever, talented, endearing. We are all better people to have known you… and we will all miss you.

  11. Dear Brenda, Lauren and Morgan,
    I am so deeply sorry for your immense loss. Lauren was always one of my “girls”. My prayers go out for all of you.
    Debbie (Smith) Davis

  12. We lost a great man. His spirit and soul will live on forever. Sincere condolences to Brenda and family.

  13. Britt was one of the nicest persons I ever met in our industry of for that matter, anywhere. I had the good fortune to be part of a Retail Community with Britt. I met him in 2002 in Greenville, South Carolina at the initial meeting of our group hosted by Rush Wilson. I also had the opportunity to visit his store when he hosted our group in 2005. I never heard him speak ill of anyone. He was always positive; a true gentleman. My heart goes out to Brenda and his family during this difficult time. May they find comfort in their faith.

  14. Such a great guy, and he’ll surely be missed. Always tough to hear of the passing of one of our collective men’s retail family, but to know that his legacy lives on is inspiring to say the least. Sincere sympathies to the family. -JL

  15. I met Britt years ago… the 70’s…..before he bought his store. Certainly a fine merchant ….such a gentleman….and with great vision in our industry. We have lost a good one in Britt. My prayers to his family and close friends. RIP Britt. You were a fighter with that cancer ! Heaven will be much better dressed with you there !

    Dennis Dann
    Dann Clothing, Indianapolis

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