Who was Charles Entenmann? Korean war veteran who franchised namesake family bakery dies at 92

Entenmann, who helped propel his family’s namesake bakery in Bay Shore into a national brand loved across the US, died of heart complications


                            Who was Charles Entenmann? Korean war veteran who franchised namesake family bakery dies at 92
A Korean War veteran, Entenmann was a supporter and advocate for the Great South Bay YMCA (Bay Shore High School Alumni Assosciation)
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Charles Entenmann, a Korean War veteran who helped franchise his family’s New York bakery into the national brand, Entenmann's Bakery, died at the age of 92 in Florida last month. After his father William Entenmann died in 1951, Entenmann, his brothers and mother expanded the Bay Shore business across the region. It eventually spread across the entire country. Entenmann's father was a German immigrant who opened the bakery in Brooklyn in 1898.

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Entenmann, who helped propel his family’s namesake bakery in Bay Shore into a national brand loved across the United States, reportedly died of heart complications on February 24 in Hialeah, Florida. Last week, family and friends gathered to bury Entenmann in Oakwood Cemetery in East Quogue. "He was an extremely generous man," his son, Charles Wiliam Entenmann, 65, reportedly said. "He was just a really intelligent guy… He had a fantastic sense of humor and was always playing jokes on people and having fun. He did it right."

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Entenmann is survived by his daughter, Susan Nalewajk (Robert); son, Charles W. Entenmann (Wendy); seven grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. His wife, Nancy Lee (Drake) Entenmann and daughter, Barbara Thompson, died before him. 

Who was Charles Entenmann?

Charles E Entenmann was born in 1929 and grew up with his two brothers, working in the family bakery. A Korean War veteran, he was a supporter and advocate for the Great South Bay YMCA. He is also known for having funded research to improve water quality and habitats in the bay.

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"After serving in the Army, Charlie, along with brothers Robert and William and mother Martha, took the family business, Entenmann's Bakery, from Main Street, Bay Shore, NY, to grocers across America," his obituary says. "In his retirement, his passion for advancing a limitless energy source led to the development of a self-sustaining power cell at his Biosearch, LLC, research lab. In addition, Charlie started Biolife, LLC, a company that produces various healthcare products to stop bleeding. His generosity, intellect and wit will forever be remembered."

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'RIP to an American TITAN'

Social media mourned Enternmann's death, with tributes and condolences pouring in on Twitter. "RIP Charles Entenmann. Yes, THAT Entenmann. Having a Proustian moment about the peelable, almost elastic top of this yellow cake, an entire one of which I would happily eat right now if it were in front of me," one user wrote. "My phone blew up with the news of the passing of Charles Entenmann. Everyone texted me like he was in my family. And you know what? He basically was. RIP to an American TITAN. From a little bakery in Bay Shore into everyone’s kitchens, and hearts," another said.

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"THIS is the box you honor Charles Entenmann with. His genius. A donut that, when it is dunked in milk, holds its hard chocolate shell while the inside cake gets soaked," one user wrote, while another said, "Charles Entenmann passed away today at 92. His delicious creations graced Shabbos kiddushes across the world." "For Charles Entenmann's obit, I asked his son about his favorite baked goods. "I'm going to tell you something that's been pretty much a secret, most of my life," son says. "He just wasn't a desert guy"," one user commented.

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