by Karen Alberg Grossman
Lori Below
Lori Below

Our industry has lost a great lady. Family, friends, and colleagues are incredibly saddened by the unexpected passing of Lori Below on July 22, 2016 at age 51.

Wife of Bruce Below, daughter of Ladd and Sharon Ziegler, sister of Curt, and mother of Madison, Caitlin and Tyler, Lori’s passion for life touched so many people in special ways.

Lori was born in Vancouver, Washington in 1965, and graduated from WSU in 1988. She then moved to Seattle where she met her soon-to-be husband Bruce. An exuberant person who loved the outdoors, water, mountains, gardening and long walks with Bruce and their dog Lola, Lori was a busy professional who always made time for family and friends.

Reached in Eugene, Oregon, William Adler, owner of Will Leather Goods where both Lori and Bruce worked for more than 25 years, shared his high regard for her. “Lori, along with her husband Bruce, were instrumental in the growth and success of our business, including Will Leather Goods and Spirit Leatherworks, where she was senior account executive for more than 12 years,” Adler says. “Under her direct charge were well known retailers including Nordstrom, REI, Amazon, Zappos, plus many others. Her enthusiasm to problem solve, infectious smile, customer care and ‘can do’ attitude were second to none. She will be terribly missed by all.”

Says Darla Johnson, planner for Nike Golf, “I’ve had the distinct privilege of working closely with Lori for the past seven years. Lori was not your usual sales person; she managed her business like no other-with true concern for her customers and an intensity unmatched in its drive and dedication. We spoke almost daily about our customers and our products, bouncing around ideas. If I had something that needed her attention, she was all over it and I always knew I could count on that. But it was more than business: we shared our personal ups and downs and Lori was an amazing friend. She was one of kind and will be greatly missed.”

And from Erin Moyer, wholesale business manager at Will Leather Goods: “Lori was an extremely dedicated and passionate person with a true love for the accessories industry. This passion built strong relationships and bonds with her buyers and unparalleled trust and respect. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting Lori appreciated her upbeat, positive attitude. She was such a joy, both professionally and personally. I valued her work ethic, respected her judgement, and will deeply miss her friendship.”

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held on July 30 at 3:00 pm at the Ziegler home. Instead of flowers, the family suggests donations to Hospice in Lori’s memory.