Los Angeles, CA —Industry pioneer Ron Udell, founder of Softgel Technologies, Inc., where he spent 25 years, was remembered warmly after news of his passing spread. He was just two weeks shy of his 70th birthday.

“Ron was a good loyal friend,” said Heather Wainer,WholeFoodsMagazinepublisher. “Our business relationship started rocky when I was young and he made me cry. So many years later he continued to apologize for it. He always had interest in what was going on in my and my family‘s life and how he could help. I will miss him dearly.”

Ron Udell
Ron Udell

“I first met Ron over 30 years ago when he was one of the original marketers of CoQ10,” recalled Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council. “He was a pioneer in the modern dietary supplement industry, particularly the soft gelcap industry, who helped to introduce new ingredients, not only CoQ10 but also tomato-based lycopene.

“Ron supplied me with thousands of free gelcaps of these two ingredients – two of my favorites,” Blumenthal continued. “He was a strong supporter of the nonprofit educational work of the American Botanical Council, introducing me to new potential sponsor members of ABC, and we became not only professional colleagues but personal friends over the decades. During the past week since we learned of his passing, many people have written to me that they considered him a pioneer and, to some, a valued mentor.”

Udell's nephew Anthony recalled working in his uncle's lab starting in college. He stayed for 10 years.

"He was a pretty incredible guy," the younger Udell recalled. "He had a vision. He was very creative.

"I was with him through a lot," he added. "He influenced so many people. He would always get off the mat, not complain, and do what had to be done. Even if he burned some bridges or made some error, he'd come back. And he thrived. He was a survivor, a fighter. He never quit."

With granddaughter Ella

Ron Udell, who loved his family, cars and his MG, also loved his work. He had been with J+D Labs until its recent sale and took a new position less than two months ago as VP of new business development for Best Formulations.

Daughter Shana Sadowsky recalled her father was an avid collector and loved spending time with his family. “He was a people person. He was very good at what he did. He was an excellent salesperson.”

Udell, who passed away at home, leaves behind three daughters and a son. Services were held on June 24 in Los Angeles.

Please share your remembrances of Udell in the comments below.