Tyson's Take
by Tyson Schwartz
April 14th, 2021

With David Rascoe a Pioneer of the Window Industry is Lost

The window industry recently lost a pioneer and entrepreneur. It also lost a terrific person.  David Rascoe, the former president of Thermal Industries, recently passed away after a long and valiant fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

When David was diagnosed with ALS, he did as he had for his entire life—he thought of others. He became part of a clinical study to help combat ALS, knowing that it wouldn’t help him, but it would help other people, because he knew it would help advance the study and treatment of ALS. This defines David Rascoe as a person – always looking to help others.

I knew David for many years and had the opportunity to work with him years ago. For those of you who did not have the pleasure of knowing him personally, he had a big heart, was a great advisor and an even better friend and person.

There are many people better qualified to write about David and his big heart than I am. I asked some of them to share a few words about him. One thing that you will find is unanimously agreed upon includes the fact that David was a wonderful person. I can tell you he was dedicated to his work but also to his family. He was so proud of his children and his wife Betsy – who he adored and loved dearly.

For those of you who don’t know, the Weises and Rascoes started Thermal Industries back in the very early 1960s – I believe in 1961. Thermal Industries was the first to do many things, including introducing countless innovative ideas that have helped shape the window industry as we know it today. Thermal sold many years ago and David exited the business to spend more time with his family.

Art Poland, longtime vice president said, “When David was just getting out of college, he would go out on the road with different people from the company. He learned the business from the bottom up including working the factory. He trusted his employees and didn’t second guess their decisions.”

Russ Nirella, another longtime employee said, “David was a wonderful man and a giant amongst his employees. He was always looking out for other people. He always helped out those in need—giving money out of his own pocket to help someone in need. He loved his company and his people.”

Evan Kaffenes, longtime CFO and friend, said, “David was a wonderful father, husband and friend who never hesitated to help anyone. He positively influenced many in his professional career as well as his time outside of work. One of the many positive attributes David demonstrated was how he patiently took the time to listen and discuss peoples’ concerns and help them address the matter. He was a close friend, confidante and problem solver for so many employees, vendors and customers alike. He is sorely missed by all who knew him well.”

Rick Mendola, longtime sales manager, said, “What I will remember about David was his integrity. He never retreated from any commitment he made. I also remember his leadership style. It never seemed like you worked for him but you worked with him. Last but not least I remember how he treated me with respect, no matter the situation.”

As you probably guessed, David and Thermal had many longtime employees, as people loved to work for and with him. I could have filled this with hundreds more people, but I will try to sum up what many would say.

David was a fantastic man, husband, father, brother, son, advisor and friend. He was truly a mensch, who will be missed by so many. David will be remembered, and his legacy will live on.  We pray for David’s entire family including Todd Rascoe, his brother.

David, may your memory be a blessing.

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  1. Extremely well done. Thank you

  2. Well done! Captured David very well in this article. I like so many will miss his friendship and advice!

  3. Wow. That was touching and sums up David’s life perfectly. He will be missed.

  4. Very nice tribute Tyson to one of the best in our industry. David will be sorely missed. Prayers and condolences to the family!

  5. Not much I can add to that Tyson, except to say “ditto” to all of it. Our industry and our world are now weaker for the loss, but as David taught us and would want, we will carry on as best we can in order to do honor to a great man.

    Zikhronah livracha

  6. Many thanks Tyson, he left a legacy we will all remember.

  7. Tyson, Very nice. I knew David, his father Eric, and his brother Todd. Great family.

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