top of page

Frank Tyska


Frank Tyska provides us with this update:


I started work as a part-time clerk in Jewel Food Stores in 1951 while in high-school. Graduated from Michigan State University June 1957 and worked full time in the stores until May 1958 at which time I was transferred to the Store Development Group in Melrose Park, Illinois until 1961 which was the year Jewel and Osco merged.



My boss, Don Perkins, suggested that I should learn this new Osco business and he and Paul Stratton placed me in the Fargo, North Dakota store. That's where I met my wife, Mary. Ernie Sawyer was the store manager and Ken Reardon was the district manager. In early 1962 the Berlin wall ‘crisis’ resulted in my being recalled into active duty and I ended up teaching school in a facility outside of Boston. Jewel, at that same time was negotiating the acquisition of the Turn*Style Family Centers in New England. Don Perkins suggested that I should spend some of my free time learning that business. I was released from duty in October of 1962, and married Mary that next month. The Racine, Wisconsin Turn*Style was already opened and I was asked to help open the remaining four stores that were on the drawing board. When the five stores were opened, I was fortunate to be named the General Manager of the 2 stores in the Quad City (Iowa & Illinois). We had a great team of people and the most notable accomplishment was that the Moline, Illinois Turn*Style store was the first Jewel facility to surpass $1.000.000 in earnings.


Subsequently we became the Sales Manager for Ladies Apparel Category....an interesting anecdote...in Osco we very seldom used the term "I". We understood that we were the product and the result of the people with whom we worked. We were transferred to New England to head up that Division of Turn*Style in March of 1966, and subsequently led the team that opened the first group of licensed drug stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. We still have many fond memories and friends from those great years. We returned to the Chicago area in Jan. of 1970 as VP of Operations and later as Group VP. Named President in 1974, replacing Bill Lewis, and one helluva guy...I told him that when I grow up, I wanted to be just like him! Turn*Style was ultimately sold to May Department Stores (Venture). We returned to Jewel in a number of assignments, Dist. Mgr., VP Operations, VP Service until our retirement in June of 1996. Mary and I now live in South Fort Myers, Florida for about seven months out of the year and in Michigan, on a lake outside of a small town called Paw Paw for the balance of the year. Our five children have blessed us with 13 grandchildren and much of our time is spent entertaining the clan when they visit us and when we visit them in Denver, Houston, Madison, Grand Rapids and Bristol, Rhode Island.


For the last six years, I have been actively involved in helping a small family company in Chicago grow outside the Chicagoland area and it's been a great experience. We took this little business from a small food company in Chicago that produces a line of ethnic food to a network of forty states. The only caveat is that we will do this until it stops being FUN!

15 views0 comments
bottom of page