John Richard Albers
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Albers, John Richard President/CEO of Fairfield Enterprises Inc., of Dallas, TX and former chairman/CEO of Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Companies, Inc., passed peacefully Thursday, Oct. 9 at St. Paul University Hospital following a lengthy illness. He was 77. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Oaklawn at Gilbert in Dallas, Rev. Philip Postel S.J. presiding. The interment will be at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery, at 1:00 p.m. Visitation and Prayer service will be held Tuesday, Oct. 14 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. The family is planning a memorial service at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, MN at a later date. A native of Minneapolis, MN, John was born Oct. 5, 1931, and had been a Dallas resident since 1964, when he came to Texas as a Grant Advertising Co. account executive assigned to Dr Pepper Co. and Burrus Mills. He was a graduate of Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, MN, where he later made significant contributions to its continuing success. John served as a 1st Lt. in the U. S. Army from 1954-56, and returned to his native state to pursue undergraduate studies in economics at the University of Minnesota. He earned his B.A. in economics in 1957, and joined 3M Corp. as a sales rep, thus beginning a half-century long career in sales, advertising and marketing. In 1959, he joined Campbell-Mithun Agency in Minneapolis as manager of the Pillsbury account, beginning a 12-year run of advertising campaign management successes on major national food and cosmetic accounts, including General Mills and Alberto-Culver. In 1969, John founded Zapata International, a Mexican food franchise and restaurant chain, where he served as chairman and secretary treasurer until May 1971, when he returned to Dallas to reunite with Dr Pepper at the behest of the soft drink firm's legendary President and later Chairman, W. W. "Foots" Clements. John assumed management of the company's in-house, co-op ad group and newly-signed ad national agency, Young & Rubicam of New York; it was the beginning of a 30-plus year relationship that created Dr Pepper's most historically significant advertising campaigns, including the renowned, long-running "Be a Pepper" TV/radio offering that debuted in 1977. In 1974, John was made VP-marketing. The Dr Pepper/Y&R partnership continued to quickly broaden awareness for the non-cola beverage, and became instrumental in catapulting the regional soft drink to become the nation's fourth best selling, and number one non-cola soda pop. By 1981, Dr Pepper Co. purchased the soft drink division of Welch's Food Co., and was listed 598th in Fortune magazine's list of the top 1,000 U.S. corporations. The company bought the worldwide Canada Dry business in 1982, the year John left to manage a venture capital firm. He returned in May 1983 as president of Dr Pepper USA, responsible for providing sales and marketing support for some 450 licensed bottlers. John was made corporate executive VP, and in less than two years, Forbes later reported, "he had cut overhead in half and put the $13 million annual savings into marketing Dr Pepper." In the interim, the company had undergone a highly-publicized and successful leveraged buyout (1984) by Forstmann Little & Co., one of the earliest, most successful LBOs of the decade. Later that year, John was named president of Dr Pepper Company. The company flourished, and by 1986 had attracted the attention of investment firms, including one Dallas-based company owned by Thomas O. Hicks and Robert Haas. They, along with several banks, and corporate management, bought Dr Pepper Company. Within a year, Albers and Hicks & Haas, orchestrated the purchase of The Seven-Up Company of St. Louis; it was a scheme, presented by John and CFO Ira Rosenstein to Hicks & Haas, literally outlined on a cocktail napkin, long before such scenes became popular in movies and Wall Street lore. In 1987, John was honored by Beverage Industry magazine as its "Man of the Year". Superior advertising and market share growth continued to mark Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Companies, Inc. for the next five years enabling the firm to pay down its $1.1 billion debt and effect a successful IPO in January 1993. Cadbury Schweppes plc tendered an offer to buy the company in January 1995 for $1.7 billion, a deal approved a month later by the U. S. Federal Trade Commission. John left the company shortly after, ending a period of growth that from 1984 to 1995, that saw shareholder value increase by almost $2.7 billion. Always the venturesome entrepreneur and fierce proponent of American free enterprise, he formed Fairfield Enterprises, Inc., a diversified investment firm, serving as president/CEO until his passing. John was definitely an employees'/ bottlers' CEO. He loved the bottlers and had a common touch with a touch of class and dash like few in the soft drink industry; it was an unpretentious and cheerful style that wore well with everyone he ever encountered. John had great energy and an ever-positive attitude, walking the halls, knowing his employees and managers, and never missing a chance to learn about their jobs and families. He couldn't wait to get to work early and inspired great confidence among his peers and bottler partners. John significantly improved employee compensation and benefits programs, including issuing awards of company stock to more than 60 per cent of the employees. He felt that rewards were earned through hard work and team efforts to complete the mission of being the best. He often said, with a twinkle in his eye, "I can't believe that making and selling carbonated water and flavor can be so much fun." John and Janet Albers spent many delightful hours at the couple's Lone Oak Ranch in Blue Ridge, TX, where John enjoyed the rigors and rewards of ranch life, raising pure-bred cattle. The couple traveled extensively, almost always in the company of close, long-time bottler friends. John was instrumental in the creation of the Dr Pepper Museum and Free Enterprise Institute in Waco, TX, where he served for many years as a distinguished director. The museum's original collection was obtained through John and Janet's generosity. After John retired from Dr Pepper/Seven-Up, he passionately pursued his entrepreneurial spirit in the development of numerous start-up companies through Fairfield Enterprises, Inc. He was active as a former director of Amerus Group, AMAL Corp., Dallas Academy, Cretin-Derham Hall High School and trustee of St. Thomas University, St. Paul, MN and UT Southwestern Medical Foundation. He had previously served on the Dallas Citizens Council, Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Crime Commission and Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas. Surviving John are wife, Janet, son, Scott Albers, Dallas, daughter Wendy Albers McDowell and husband John and grandchildren Micah and Matthew, Fairvew, TX; stepdaughter, Jennifer Harmening and husband Tom and step-grandchildren, Benjamin and Savanna, Burnsville, MN; stepson Jim Hearon, Winona, MN, sister-in-law Arlene Albers and family, Minneapolis, and many loving cousins and an aunt. John was preceded in death by parents Ray and Lillian Albers and brother Thomas Albers, Minneapolis. Throughout his life, John gave generous support to numerous schools and foundations. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to Cretin-Derham Hall High School, St. Paul, MN, Dallas Academy and/or UT Southwestern Medical Foundation, Dallas.

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Published in Pioneer Press on Oct. 14, 2008.
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55 entries
June 30, 2010
Remembering John

John and I met in the early 1950’s at the University of Minnesota - the beginning of an association not destined to enhance either of our GPA’s. At the expense of academic endeavor we dedicated considerable time to the University golf course and to researching various establishments of conviviality in the general vicinity of the campus.

In the winter our diversion was skiing, and I used to pick up John on Saturday mornings at his parent’s house. His mother would always greet me like a long lost son and tell me about all the modes of misbehavior John was up to. She was a most warm and loving person - and seriously articulate. I think he got his personality from her.

While still at the University we began a tradition of spending our spring breaks skiing in the Rockies, alternating between Aspen and Sun Valley. After a couple of years in the service in the mid-fifties we got back together and resumed the annual trek to the mountains, but over the Christmas holidays. We were OK skiiers but knew we had a lot of room for improvement, so at Sun Valley one day hired a ski instructor for the day. She was called Putzi and she had been an Olympic skiier from Austria. She was a great athlete, inexhaustible, and pretty patient with us but we had our hands full. Skiing with her boosted our confidence and all day we were up and down slopes we probably had no business on. But we survived and it was certainly the best day of skiing ever. At the end of the day we were done in and could barely make the rounds of the night spots.

While we did actually ski every day, perhaps our true calling was apres-ski. With John’s outgoing personality we always managed to meet new people and get a little party going. In Aspen the main hangout was the Red Onion. One year during the Kennedy presidency the clan was in Aspen for the holiday and one evening moved in on the Red Onion. Teddy got up on the stage, took over as MC and soon was leading the whole crowd in Christmas songs. It was great Christmas spirit.

After a ski accident in1964 I was in a hospital in San Francisco and got a card from the gang in Minneapolis. The envelope was addressed to: John FARTLEY c/o Presbyterian Medical Center. I can still visualize irreverent John chuckling while he was writing it. Speaking of reverent, even through some youthful mad times John always kept his Catholic faith. I never heard him use foul language.

We didn’t get to see each other so often after the 60’s but in the summer of 1980 John was at the Stanford business school. He was tooling around in old VW Beetle that I had loaned him and said he felt like a student again except this time he had a little money. One Saturday evening he popped in with a wok and the ingredients for shrimp stir-fried in beer. Our family’s enduring image is of John stirring the shrimp with one hand and a pitcher of Manhattans with the other. He brought cases of Dr. Pepper for the kids and he left us huge Dr. Pepper beach towels that we used for years.

Even after going on to a brilliant business carreer, John always kept in touch. He never failed to call on St. Patrick’s day and whenever he was in the Bay Area we had dinner together. One early morning he called and said he had a difficult meeting coming up and could either wind up bankrupt or in great shape. Obviously things worked out OK.

John was an extraordinary person, an irrerepressible and charismatic personality, always up, always positive, ready to take a risk,
crack a joke, always enjoying life - and a great life-long friend. I miss him.
John Farley
December 26, 2009
I remember John from years ago at 3M Company. He was very smart and ambitious and didn't stay with the company for very long. He had a wonderful sense of humor and we shared many laughs. I found out that he graduated from high school with my brother and they had a chance to visit one time when John was at our house. He was also very thoughtful and concerned when friends like me had problems in their lives and I've never forgotten him.

Mary Urbanski
October 11, 2009
John Albers
Friend and Businessman

I met John in 1965. We moved from Casper Wyoming to Dallas Texas and rented a duplex. John lived across the street……of course John owned his duplex. I rented ours.

One Saturday I was cutting the grass, looked up and here was John waving at me from across the street,….so I waved back. It wasn’t five minutes and John was in my front yard introducing himself to me. “Let’s have a gin and tonic.” I remember this first meeting because I grabbed a bottle of club soda by mistake, so we had club soda and gin instead of Gin and Tonic. John said, “Billy, this is the worst Gin and Tonic I’ve ever had!! We laughed at that story over the years. I worked 44 years with John since that meeting in my front yard. We had great fun and many, many adventures traveling around the world together. He was a wonderful business partner and friend who I loved to be with. He had a great sense of humor, wonderful business judgement and tremendous people skills. He knew his customers intimately and helped them attain business success with the Dr. Pepper Family. John was a man of great business acumen, he was full of life, had many friends, great business success and a wonderful family. He was truly a special person and I’m glad to have had him as a friend. He made a difference in my life.

Even John’s smile was contagious – full of fun –full of friendship –life – full of the bright side of life. He was compelling. creative and easy to follow.
Bill Shaw
September 25, 2009
I remember our calling the Albers several years ago and seeming to get a wrong number. We had somehow reached an old man with a shaky treble voice, who was hurting. He was not getting good treatment at the nursing home and he was relieved to have someone to talk to. His food was late and cold, and the help scolded him, and right now he needed them to come and help him with his bed pan. As this went on and on, I was trying to think how we might help him out, when my wife, Dianne, who is normally a decent sort, started laughing in a loud and shameless way. For a minute, I was embarrassed. But she had been through this before, having introduced John to her friend, Jan, at Ten Mile Lake during their college years. She assured me, he was the same way then, always carrying on. This was just one more routine added to his large repertoire. No slouch, John Albers, at carrying on. I never knew anyone more full of fun.
Homer Olsen
September 22, 2009
What a remarkable man and unforgetable character. Positive outlook;great smile;sharp mind;welcoming demeaner;generous;willing to share himself. I developed such a great respect and affection for John that I insured that both my sons had the opportunity to meet and interact with him during their years at Texas A&M. John was one of those people that at times are bigger than life. Many lives have been made better because he lived. He will be missed by many!!
Henry Goodwin
August 18, 2009
Dear Wendy, Though I only met him briefly he seemed like an amazing man. The extent of his accomplishments are only surpassed by his warmth and generosity I remember so well one evening at Westminster. I hope you are doing well in these times.
Kirk Sudheimer
August 9, 2009
Scott and Wendy,

I was very saddened to learn about the passing of your father. I have a wealth of fond memories from the 9 years that I worked on the Dr Pepper account at Young & Rubicam, and John is at the center of most of them.

He had exceptional marketing instincts, and his willingness to take intelligent risks played a major role in the success of the company. The bold advertising that helped build Dr Pepper over the years would not have happened without his courage and his enlightened leadership.

More importantly from my personal perspective, John was uniquely warm and caring, and always made me feel more like part of his extended family than like a business associate. No one was more fun to be with, and I will always consider him to be a close friend.
Ed Comiskey
August 5, 2009
August 4, 2009

Scott and Wendy

John’s optimism and love of life was an inspiration to me and I miss him very much.

I met your dad the first time with Bill Rhame at his newly completed ranch house years ago. I think it was 1996 and as I was meeting your dad as a prospective new investor in our real estate ventures, I was of course a bit nervous. I had heard about John from Bill over the years but only bits here and there.

One day, Bill said “let’s just go visit with him and see the new ranch house”….so we did just that and I had about an hour and fifteen minutes during the car ride to think up a reason why my real estate knowledge and acumen was more keen and our investments therefore more financially compelling than the 15 similar groups that he had met with earlier in the week. So, in the car, I thought of my pitch and what it would be……what I came up with was …….nothing. I came up with nothing…at all. By the time I arrived at the ranch….I was almost panicked….truly panicked.

We pulled up to the main house, Bill quickly pointed out that the beautiful and well appointed structures that we had seen on the way in were really for “over flow” guests…I was impressed……the panic increased measurably. Bill stopped the car at the main house and we got out, walked to the door and knocked….knocked again…and again. For a second, I felt a sigh of relief, no answer, John was gone, must have forgotten our appointment and as I had not thought of a good “pitch” during the drive out…I was off the hook. What a relief!

Not five seconds later, Bill and I hear “Gentlemen!!!!!! Good to see you”. I’m thinking, Oh he is. The first thing I noticed was his smile and mischievous eyes, he was very gracious, shook our hands as we exchanged pleasantries. The next thing I noticed was that his jeans and tee shirt looked like he had been wrestling the horses, not merely feeding them. I relaxed, this was a regular guy. He showed us around the house and then we took a ride around the ranch. John was excited to explain how he had assembled his acreage with great skill and his plans for further land acquisitions. He also advised that, in relatively short order, there would be a freeway through the ranch and as a result, the place would be the home of Neiman Marcus, Saks, 7-11’s (filled to the brim with Dr. Pepper products) and the like….littered with retail and residential development. Now that’s a real estate deal!

As my purpose was to convince John that he should invest with us, I waited patiently for the right opportunity to discuss what we were doing in real estate. John was busy showing us his wine cellar, describing where the building materials came from that were used to construct the main house, particularly the logs, how they were transported to Dallas, how he had selected the building contractor, how many head of cattle resided at the ranch, why he liked his Hummer vehicle, describing an investment he made in a company that made a product that fixed potholes in freeways, like the one that was to traverse the ranch soon…….I never got a word in…..not a word.

He knew exactly what he was doing and I think, I know, he enjoyed the torment he was putting me through. Our visit was over. Bill and I said thanks and good-bye and as we turned to head for the car to return to Dallas, John put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Come by and see me on Monday”. That was it.

The next week Fairfield Enterprises became a partner of ours in a real estate venture and in many more during the following years. During those years, John became my dear friend, mentor and confidant. I miss him very much.

Curt Boisfontaine - Dallas, Texas
August 5, 2009
Having known John and Carol since 1964 in Dallas, Barbara and I have enjoyed many goodtimes with them through the years producing many wonderful memories which we still cherish today; including the honors of serving as Godparents to Scott and enjoying the celebration at Wendy's wedding.
I recall the many times when John and I would swap work experiences long into the night,sharing with each other our goals and dreams,most of which were lofty and,if overheard by anyone else,would certainly seem unreasonable and probably unattainable. But as history shows,John would go on to not only achieve those lofty goals,but also lead those around him to high levels of performance.
This short tribute is to an energetic,sincere,and passionate man. John's transmission involved FORWARD only,with no NEUTRAL or REVERSE and he certainly left his mark on the world.
Wayne Jolly
August 5, 2009
My many memories of John go back over 50 years...and they are inextricably linked to my beloved friend, Janet Boss Albers. Janet and I were Gamma Phi Beta pledge sisters at the University of Minnesota in 1956. In short time we were both dating Phi Delts: Bill Hostettler and Johnny Albers. I remember John so well from those frat party days. Always fun, always smiling....and THAT TWINKLE!! Everybody loved him!!

Years passed...loves and lives evolved. Janet and I remained close. Then....wonder of wonders! Janet and Johnny were together again! How perfect was that! I and several other Gamma Phi friends visited the happy couple in Dallas. I remember so clearly. Johnny walked into the kitchen and there he was, the highly successful corporate CEO, in jeans and a T-shirt...and he was just the same guy...with the same bright smile and THAT TWINKLE!! It was as if we were eighteen again and had never been apart!!

Over the past decade, my husband, Jost, and I have enjoyed annual get-togethers with Janet and John, Dianne (Cox) and Homer Olsen and Joan Pastor. Whether in Texas, our Florida home or the Olsen abode in Tuscon, we seven have laughed and played together, creating memories that will never fade. One year at the ranch, John provided Dianne's and my husbands with a fun-filled day by taking them on a bull-buying venture, instructing them on the finer anatomical points of bull-selection along the way!

It will soon be a year since John died. I think of Janet and John frequently, often recalling his voice peppered with "all right? OK?s" during his conversation. Jost, too, grew to love this man...this force of nature...and we both miss him very, very much. How blessed we are to have known John Albers, to have shared precious moments of life with him and to have the wonderful memories of him that keep his generous, loving, joyous spirit alive in our hearts. Truly, he has enriched our lives and we shall never forget him.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share our love for Janet and John and a few special memories with members of his family, present and future.
Martha Reed Michelsen
July 14, 2009
I knew your father for twenty years or so. We first met as members of the Central Life Insurance Board. A few years later, John invited me to join the Dr Pepper/Seven-Up Board. Later still, I invited him to join the board of First Alert, of which I was Chairman.

We started as business colleagues, but we rapidly became friends. Your father's achievements are obvious even in the spare words of his resume, but the bare facts don't capture the essence of the man. John was strong, energetic, kind, considerate, demanding, honest: a leader of men and of women. How about negatives? Well, he didn't suffer fools (or rogues) gladly, if that be a negative.

Personal memories? There are so many they would fill several volumes, not the single book you are planning. But perhaps one memory stands out for me. It was the night before the Board of Directors of Dr Pepper/Seven-Up signed the final papers transferring ownership of the company to Cadbury/Schweppes. We were in the private basement of an upscale restaurant in Manhattan on a night-long spree of eating well -- and drinking well, too! We started swapping stories.

I remember John talking at length several times during the night, although I can't remember a word of what he said. Anyway, the words didn't matter. What I remember vividly and poignantly is the deep emotion with which he spoke of his years with Dr Pepper and the tears which welled from his eyes when he discussed the impending sale and the impact that might have on Dr Pepper's employees.
I'm proud to have been John's friend. I know you are proud to be his children. I hope that through this book, your children and their children will be able to share your pride.

Don't let them cry. That's not what John would have wanted.
Malcolm Candlish
Malcolm Candlish
July 14, 2009
John’s zest for life,

John was a man of many interests and took considerable delight in all of them. None were enjoyed more than his beloved ranch. During one visit John suggested we take the 4-wheeler out for a spin on the property. John liked to go fast and so did I. Soon the tour became a bit of a drag race. Then John, while we were stopped, looked at my shoes (tennis) and said, “Oh, I probably should have had you wear some boots. This is a field full of copper head snakes”. Then he sped off leaving me to contemplate my situation. With little choice I sped after him. When I caught him at the next gate, he looked at me with a smile and I knew I had been had—I think. Being with John was special and it was a privilege to be his friend.

Richard Engler
Cretin-Derham Hall High School
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Richard Engler
July 13, 2009
I was so saddened to hear of John Albers' passing. I worked for the Dr Pepper Company for 17 years, and will always remember his friendliness to ALL of the DP employees, big or small. I was just an administrative employee, working for Tom Quiett, and then Collin Quigley. I remember once how concerned Mr. Albers was after I had been the victim of an attack (I was assaulted by a strange man in my apt. parking lot). He came up to me the first day I came back to work after that, and asked how I was, and talked a while with me about it. One of the few times I remember him not smiling. I remember how mad he seemed as he saw my scars and heard some details...he was so concerned.
Years later, the day I announced that I was engaged to get married, he seemed as happy as I was (I remember him kissing me on the cheek when I told him the news). Yes, he was a great man. Caring, fun, and smart. He cared so much for his made you want to do your best for the company. I am proud to say I knew John Albers. I have so many great memories of Dr Pepper, and he is surely one of them. I know his laughter rings out in heaven even now!
Mrs. Albers, Scott, and Wendy,
you have my heartfelt condolences...this man was big as life and I know leaves a big hole in your hearts. May your memories bring you many smiles, and remind you how fortunate you were to have him as a husband and father.
Jo Allison Archer
July 10, 2009
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Albers in 1983 when i took over as Head at Dallas Academy. He immediately took an interest in the school, became a member of the Board, and contributed financially and personally to the success of DA. The athletic center bears his name. The John R. Albers Athletic Center!
Mr. Albers and I had a wonderful relationship! He would call me about once a week to see how the school was doing and if i needed anything. He loved to hear about student successes and he was personally involved in many of those success stories.
Mr. Albers was instrumental in keeping Dallas Academy a leader in education, and helped make the hard decisions that arose from time to time. Some of the board members wanted to change the name of the school, Mr. Albers stood up in a meeting and said "what do you want to call it, Boedecker Academy". That was the end of that discussion! I still think about that and laugh.
As i told Wendy, I lost a deer friend and mentor.
I miss him every day.
Jim Richardson
July 10, 2009
In 1991 John took a courageous step for corporate leadership in dallas.He and janet were among the first to reach into south dallas fair park to channel sustained support to ignite academic excelence in a devastated community. They came forward personally and through DP/7UP at a time in which most had lost hope .

john's leadership as a trustee for stphilip's school and community center allowed us to restructure curriculum,attract highly trained faculty and leverage urban revitalization.John was a true believer that education is the elixir of the soul.John's impact continues touch the lives of children and families through the ministry of St Philip's. As the African proverb teaches us" a man is not dead unless he is forgotten"

John lives on through the ministry of St Philip's.
terry flowers
July 9, 2009
John has always been a generous benefactor of the Christian Brothers and of their Cretin High School, his alma mater in St. Paul. A few years ago I had the opportunity to visit John at his Fairfield Enterprises in Dallas. He, being a gracious host, asked if I would care for a beverage, perhaps coffee or a soft drink. As soon as I said "Diet Coke" I knew that my foot had ended up in my mouth. With a smile and a touch of mocking rebuke John said, "Brother, I will serve you a Diet Dr. Pepper! After all, that is what helped start all of this."
Brother Thomas Hetland, FSC
July 7, 2009
I first met John Albers in 1967 when he was an Account Supervisor at Knox Reeves, an advertising agency in Minneapolis. Knox Reeves had the Potato Buds account for General Mills. I had just begun my marketing career at General Mills and John was quite willing to provide guidance for newcomers.

The interesting thing about John Albers is that he always had an entrepreneural spirit. Even in Minneapolis he was an early investor in a Mexican fast food chain and would cook in the chain after work ended.

Years later John invited me to join the the Dr Pepper Company in Dallas and he still had not lost his flair for side ventures. He was an early investor in IPOs for medical devices.

However, not all the deals were successful. We both lost money in a fraudulent oil well venture.

Even when John left the Dr Pepper Company briefly in the early 1980s he was involved with business consulting and investing.

This non-corporate, entreprenural spirit of John provided the right balance of flair and business "horse sense" to guide the Dr Pepper Company in its great period of transformation from a family company into its series of leverage buyouts.

Personally, John was very influential to my business career. I miss him.
Harry Rumberger
July 6, 2009

Oct. 5, 1931 - Oct. 9, 2008
"Cannon to the right of them,
Cannon to the left of them,
Cannon in front of them,
And into the valley of death,
Rode the six hundred."

Alfred Lloyd Tennison

The Legacy of John Albers as he led a brigade originally half that size, around 300 Dr Pepper corporate employees, through a valley of five consecutive Leverage Buy-Outs to a successful conclusion was an achievement of historical dimensions. The field of battle in business is littered with the discarded carcasses of companies moving through comparable transactions. His tenacity, concern for his fellow employees, and drive to grow and succeed are all documented measures of his character.

His ability carried the Dr Pepper Company after it had been stripped of most of its assets through a period of growth that was the envy of the soft drink industry. One of the first giant leaps was the acquisition, and third LBO, of 7-Up USA from Miller Brewing. Legend has it the first proposed steps were outlined on a napkin in the restaurant at the Mansion on Turtle Creek. As recognition of his success with the 7-Up transaction he was recognized as Beverage Industry Man of the Year and a short time later was inducted into the Beverage World Hall of Fame.

Dr Pepper has long maintained a record of internal management development with on site management training seminars utilizing general business and industry leaders as well as the talent and facilities of organizations like the American Management Association. John Albers realized the ultimate in team building when he introduced the company to the world-renowned organization, Outward Bound. The physical and mental challenges are incorporated in a program designed for strength and confidence as well as fair play. Management techniques and theories come and go but once you have experienced Outward Bound it is with you forever.

His concern for ALL Dr Pepper/7-Up employees is best illustrated by the introduction of the company's version of the Employee Stock Plan and the 401 k as employee benefits in addition to the regular employee fixed benefit retirement program. He also greatly expanded the health benefits of the medical plan.

His concern for his children and in fact all children was shown when be became the prime mover in the organization of the Dallas Junior Hockey League. He served as a hockey team coach for many years and made sure the teams had a good supply of Dr Pepper. Now hear that Sarah Palin.

John served his country with distinction in the military. Today probably few remember the surface to air missile sites that were located around the country in the 1950's during the height of the "cold war." One of our veteran Dr Pepper bottlers, Ray Snider recalls the small island off California where the missile site which John commanded was located.

Our sincere sympathies go out to Janet, Wendy, Scott, the grandchildren and all members of John's extended family.

"The lives of great men all remind us,
We can make our lives sublime,
And departing leave behind us,
Footprints on the sands of time."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The footprints of John Albers will range far, wide and forever in the halls of Dr Pepper.
Charles Grier
July 5, 2009
I worked with Mr. Albers for more than ten years, first with DP/7UP, and then with Fairfield Enterprises. What can say but working with Mr. Albers, Ira Rosenstein and Tony Bangs was one of the greatest (and most challenging!!) times of my life. Mr. Albers was always excited about DP/7UP and you caught the excitement when around him.

But I will remember Mr. Albers the most due to the fact that he made it possible for me to return to college to achieve my Masters Degree in Environmental Management. Mr. Albers had the faith in me to co-sign for my student loan and kind words of encouragement that began my adventure on a positive note.

He loved life, he loved his family, and he loved people in general. I will never forget him. He was a great man.
Gail Davis
July 2, 2009
I was CFO of Dr Pepper from 1972-1983. John joined the Company about the time I did and was VP-Advertising for much of my tenure. I remember he came into my office one day to get my reaction to the newest proposed advertising campaign - "Be A Pepper". I told him no one wanted to be a "Pepper" - that was too fruity. He said they would use people and ads that would make it desireable. I am wearing my "I'm a Pepper" T-shirt as I write this (I just looked down and realized I had it on). I always enjoyed John and miss being with him.
Alvin Lane
March 19, 2009
Little did I know that when I entered the office of Fairfield Enterprises for an interview with Mrs. Smith in 2002 and was hired that I would not just be beginning a new job, but an adventure working with special people. Knowing and having the privilege to work with John Albers has been the height of my working career and a true pleasure. In addition to his business acumen, his sense of fun and good nature gave every day a fresh approach and was NEVER mundane. I miss his coming through the door with a cheery "Good Morning" and hearing his "what's the market doing today?" Mr. Albers had my utmost respect and admiration for his kindness, generosity, and contributions to the betterment of individuals. He's left big footprints and is missed by all who knew him.
Janice Gregory
November 29, 2008
Scott and Wendy
I was sad to hear about your fathers passing. He was such a great man with a cheerful smile. I remember him fondly when growing up. All the hockey teams that were sponsored by Dr.Pepper, the Dr.Pepper hats, the HOT Dr.Pepper that we tried for a while and the Dr.Pepper light in your house. Still to this day, after 30+ years, every time I have a Dr.Pepper, I still think of your family.
He was a great man and he will surely be missed.
I hope it is somewhat comforting to know that he made a big impact on this world and to many people that crossed his path.
Much Love
Darla Jacks
November 18, 2008
When I heard of Mr. Alber's passing, I was saddened, yet full of fond memories.
I was blessed to work for Dr Pepper/7UP under John's leadership. He provided many examples of how to lead through grace and kindness to his employees...which it felt more like a family environment than a typical job. John and his management team did a great job in recognizing hard, heart-felt work from all levels of the organization. I always enjoyed listening to John speak to the team when we gathered for holiday and other business announcement functions. He seemed to always convey a great sense of optimism about our business and how our roles could make a difference. He always had time for a question and no question was too trivial for him to answer.
When I left the company, he was quick to take a call from me and provide wise counsel. We need more men like John Albers.
I was not close to Mr. Albers personally, yet he made a great impact on me and how I attempt to treat others. For that, I am grateful.
To Scott and Wendy...all the best and may the Lord comfort you knowing your Dad helped many.

Take care,

Bart Johnston
DPSU 1989-1995
Bart Johnston
November 8, 2008
I worked for the Dr Pepper Company from 1965 to 1978. I always enjoyed talking John Albers when every I had the opportunity.

I remenber on a Dr Pepper Bottlers trip back from Scotland/England we had to put out our luggage out at night to be able to fly back to the States. John had forgot to leave a shirt out. He flew back to the States with his pajama top.

One thing I can truly say is that Jonn Albers is a classy individual.

A great beverage man and will be missed.
Leonce Collins
November 7, 2008
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Bob Love
November 4, 2008
Dear Scott and family
I am so sorry to hear about your Dad
He did a great job raising you .You are a fine gentleman and always have been rescpectful to me and oh so cute!! Please take care .Now you have someone in heaven watching over you.Tell your mom thank you for always being so great about us being able to hang out at your house.
denise barchuk
October 30, 2008
Dear Albers Family:
I was very sorry to hear about John's passing. He was, in my 30+ years in the marketing business, someone I think of as a true natural leader--he had the focus, charisma and persuasion--but he also let people do their jobs and succeed. I had the great opportunity to work with him as a young Agency Exec from Y&R (sometimes I would fly down from New York and present creative to him one-on-one--how rare is that!--and he was always very welcoming.) and then later worked with him as Marketing Mgr and Director of Marketing at DPSU.
Those of us who have worked a long time in Marketing and Sales realize how hard it is at points to maintain your sense of humor and motivate your employees, while also serving your customers. John was an inspiration here as well--because of his close relationships with the bottlers.
In closing, when I think of the LACK of role models in business today, I feel privileged to have fond memories of John--he really built a great brand and a great company.
Sincerest sympathies,
Ian Parmiter
October 28, 2008
I never knew John, I am a graduate of Cretin High School. His contributions have been incredible and I just want to thank the family for continuing to support where John went to school. His contributions allow so many kids the opportunity to experience the place where he began his journey.
Greg Mergens
October 26, 2008
Wendy and Scott, I am so sorry for your loss. Your Dad was one of my favorite neighbors. (always there when called on) Would love to see you two. Love ya, Mrs. Betty Assenheimer-Becker.
Betty Assenheimer-Becker
October 24, 2008
Dear Scott and Wendy,
I am so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. One of my favorite memories of your dad is from a Halloween night in 1973 (74)? Dr. Pepper had a commercial with the Abominable Snowman. Somehow your dad obtained the costume for Halloween. He then proceeded to "trick or treat" in the neighborhood. He scared our dog, Buster all the way to the back of the house from the front door. Even better, he went across the street to the Lewis' house. Mrs. Lewis had just put the baby down to sleep and your dad stood in the doorway behind her. When she turned around all she saw was your dad in that costume blocking the doorway. I remember Mr. Lewis saying that his wives' feet were moving but, she didn't go anywhere she was so frightened. Your dad like my dad, had a great sense of humor. Please know you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Kelly Assenheimer Long
October 23, 2008
I was very sorry to hear of your loss. I have fond memories of the Albers family. My father always referred to Mr. Albers as a great friend. Mr. Albers also gave me words of advice at a time when I needed it. I have never forgotten. Our thoughts are with you all.
Scott Assenheimer III
October 22, 2008
There are many words that are appropriate to describe John Albers: loving, caring, confirming, approving, encouraging, genuine, enthusiastic. However, memories serve most of us far better.

John and I were always pals and for many recent years we were planners and dreamers together. John offered me and my loved ones 20 years of dreams and hope for the future. You can't give more than that.

John will be remembered forever by everyone who enjoyed the pleasure of knowing him. He was a true friend.

My wife , Betts and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Janet and to John's entire family---
Peter C. Wittig
October 20, 2008
Dear Janet, Wendy, Scott and Jennifer- I am so sad and sorry for the loss of John... I feel so blessed to have known him through the years and to have been able to absorb his generous spirit and infectious energy. You are all in my thoughts and prayers as I hold a loving image of John in my mind and send each of you all my strength and support. I only hope to live such a full life with only a fraction of his adventurous spirit and success! John knew how to live!....and what a beautiful legacy of family and friends he has left behind....the stories and memories of John will go on forever.... With much love, Gretchen Lilyholm
Gretchen Lilyholm
October 17, 2008
I just learned of Mr. Albers' passing today, and I am truly saddened. As a former employee of Dr Pepper/Seven Up, it was my privilege and honor to have worked under such a caring and wonderful President/CEO. He was truly an inspiration and mentor to many, and he always took the time to make everyone feel like they were part of a special family. I have always admired him, and I am so grateful to have known him. I have some great memories and much respect for him. Other leaders came and went after he left Dr Pepper, but none could hold a candle compared to John Albers.

My condolences to his family, and may God comfort you all.
Lana Hughes
October 17, 2008
Our deepest sympathy to the family of John Albers. Both the owners and Winter Texans will really miss him here at Suntide I on South Padre Island. We so enjoyed his visits here with Janet and know that there were many pleasant memories here for them. Hope to see Janet and the rest of the family here soon.
Stuart and Judy Macintyre
October 17, 2008
Scott, Wendy and Mrs. Albers. I am very sorry to hear of your loss. God Bless.
Jon Eberle
October 16, 2008
Please accept my deepest sympathies.
Ben Cornett
October 15, 2008
I had the opportunity to work with John as part of the Trident Group for a number of years. He is one of the finest men I have known. Caring,honest,intelligent, with a true concern for those he worked with. He's passing is a true loss to those who were lucky enough to have known him.
Walter Witoshkin
October 15, 2008
To the Albers Family:

John provided me with an opportunity to share in the success of the company through the stock program. It enabled me to send my sons to college. I appreciated John's leadership.
Alan Mesches
October 15, 2008
We worked with John for several years as consultants. It wasn't long until he became a respected friend that we had great love and admiration for. We will miss him. Our love to Janet and the family. God's blessings be with John.
Ray Freisheim, Anita Lobley Trident Group LLC
October 14, 2008
For over 20 years, I've known Scott, Wendy and the Albers family and have had the great pleasure of enjoying time around Mr. Albers. On those occassions, there was always reason to smile. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Greg Traxler
October 14, 2008
I knew John, his brother Tommy and their parents while growing up in Roseville, MN..and yes, they were great people and kind to us kid's when we played in the yard..John's mom, was a great Minneapolis Laker fanantic at the time and she always grumbled when they lost..I hung out with Tommy as he was my age and one day I was riding my bike and Tommy was on the handlebars when he somehow stuck his foot in the spokes and we both took a header right on Lexington ave...well, that was the end of our biking for two...I last talked to John while he was in town and speaking at Cretin High school and we talked about the old neighborhood and the kids we knew, but as he was on a schedule, we cut our conversation short, but I told him I would send him some pictures from back in the good 'ol days and he acknowledged them by sending me a letter thanking me...I could go on, but in closing, I want the family to know how much he meant to all who knew him...God Bless you...R. Carlson..Anoka MN
ray carlson
October 14, 2008
Mr. Albers was one of the nicest people that you could meet. I met him when I first started working for Dr Pepper/Seven-Up in 1987. He always greeted the employees of the company with a smile and he was never in such a hurry that he could not take the time to say hello. Rest in Peace, Mr. Albers.
Sylvia Gates
October 14, 2008
John touched many lives and left a true legacy. He will be missed. God bless.
Paul and Dana Studebaker
October 14, 2008
I never knew Mr. Albers, but having lived in Minnesota most of my life and experiencing positively the MOST DELICIOUS and EXCEPTIONAL fast-food Mexican quisine ever invented, the world will surely miss a great man! Also, my father graduated from St. Thomas.
My prayers and thoughts are with the family this day. God bless and may he rest in peace.
George Doran
October 14, 2008
It is appropriate that we acknowledge and pay tribute to John for the valuable services and contributions he has made to the Dr Pepper Bottlers Association.

The Board of Directors express our gratitude for all that he has done... for his loyalty, friendship and assistance throughout his association with our bottler members.
Dr Pepper Bottlers Association
October 14, 2008
Maggie and I share your grief. While we're sure you have the strength to accept the inevitable, it is never easy to face the specific moment.

God bless,

Bob & Maggie
Bob & Maggie Birdsong
October 14, 2008
Hearing the news of Mr. Albers' passing makes me sad and my thoughts and prayers go out to the Albers family. As a recipient of the John Albers Scholarship from Cretin Derham Hall in 1997, I am forever grateful for Mr. Albers' generosity to me and to other students at the school. After graduating from Wellesley College, I was able to join the Peace Corps and give back to a West African community, an experience for which I am grateful and one that may not have been possible without the scholarship. May his memory and generous spirit continue to live on in the lives of those he has touched.
Molly Mattessich
October 13, 2008
My Beloved Janet and Wendy,

There are no words that ever seem to fit in the passing of a loved one. I just wanted to let you and your family know that I send all my love. And to remember that each time you think of John and remember things he has said and done, that he really is always with you, now and forever.

Don Wells
don wells
October 13, 2008
Wendy, Scott and the Albers family, my thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

I do recall a time when I saw your father without a smile on his face. It was a joy to work for Mr Albers at Dr Pepper/SevenUP.

But there is good news. Mr Albers is now in a much better place without any pain or illness.

More good news, we will all get to see him again.

God Bless you and your family.
Ira Terrell
October 13, 2008
John Albers will be sorely missed. I had the pleasure of working with him on a business matter over the past couple of years and witnessed first hand his innovative mind, his strength, his high ethical standards, and amazing work ethic. I am better for having known him.
Tammy Wood
October 13, 2008
My prayers go out to the Alber's family. I met Mr. Albers many years ago when they came to Arkansas to visit Scott. Hotels were scarce so they stayed at my house. At college, we were not the best of housekeepers and when they left, the Albers had taken the time to clean the house and fixed a few things that I did not have the money for. What a great man with many accomplishments but never thought he was above the little things. I have never forgotten that "little" thing by a man that was greater than any corporate title bestowed on him. Anybody that was touched by him, albeit briefly, learned from him. Scott and Wendy, you were truly blessed to have a father like John Albers.
Bradley Bruce
October 12, 2008
My sympathy and prayers go out to all in the Albers family. I met Mr. Albers after becoming his daughter's college roommate. It has been many years since I have been in contact with Mr. Albers, however the memories are all very sweet. I remember him with such sincere kindness and a love for life - heaven's gain indeed.
Leslie Green
October 12, 2008
I have great memories of an amazing man.

I had the opportunity to grow up with Scott, and be around the family. Beyond John’s many business accomplishments was what I remember the best. My dad passed at an early age and the people that were there for me the most were John and Scott. John in his extremely busy schedule with work and family found time to sit with me on Sunday’s and mentor me both in life lessons and business as a young adult. John showed me grace when I made some huge mistakes; he was always there through the good and bad. John gave me direction that guided me to the successful life I live today. That time that he didn’t have to spend with me but did, will live on with me forever.

When I was younger, we would say a quote "You make a living by what you get, a life by what you give" John did just that and passed it on to many.

My heart and prayers go out especially to Scott and Wendy and all of the family as well. I am forever grateful.

We will miss you always. Chris
Chris Gamell
October 12, 2008
My heartfelt sympathy go out to Mrs. Albers, Scott, Wendy and the rest of the family. The world has lost a "Truly Great Leader". Mr. Albers was the epitomy of earned not given respect. As an employee of the the former Dr Pepper/Seven Up Company, Mr. Albers lead and successfully cemented the growth and stability of the company while creating an atmosphere of family within the entire organization. He made some contributions to my life personally for which I will forever be grateful. Surely God must have needed a great CEO.
Genaro Lopez
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