John H. Mize Jr., 84, former Blish-Mize Co. president and CEO, passed away on Oct. 22 after a short illness.
Originally from Atchison, Kansas, Mize graduated from Atchison High School, attended the University of Kansas and later graduated from St. Benedict’s College and served as a medic in The United States Air Force Reserves. In 1962, his return to Atchison saw him helm the Blish-Mize Company as the fourth-generation leader and, most recently, as chairman of the board. As president and CEO of Blish-Mize, he helped keep the small-town industry alive through the business’s success. He worked there for over 50 years.
He was also a member of the board of directors of UMB Financial Corporation (UMBF), a publicly held banking and financial services company. He served on the boards of PRO Hardware, Bostwick-Braun Co., Sentry Hardware and Distribution America. He was also president of the National Wholesale Hardware Association and a long-standing past member of the Hardware Group Association.
He had long been a champion of Atchison and the state of Kansas and was honored as the sixth inductee into the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce’s hall of fame. He was a trustee and foundation member of the Atchison Family YMCA. He served as co-trustee for the Courtney S. Charitable Turner Trust. He was a board member of The Lockwood Company of Atchison, Mount St. Scholastica High School Academy, the Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas State Chamber of Commerce, and was an advisory member of the United States Chamber of Commerce.
Mize leaves behind his wife of 56 years, Cheryl Larkin Mize; a son, Jonathan Mize (Shannon); a daughter, Blish Mize Connor (Michael); five grandchildren, Lauren Davis (Kyle), Nathan Mize (Madison), Truman, Snowden, Patrick Connor; a sister, Courtney Laurie, and numerous nieces and nephews.