PHILADELPHIA – Herb Lotman, founder of Keystone Foods, died May 8 from complications of heart failure. He was 80 years old.
Lotman was an icon in the food industry, known for his innovation and philanthropy. A Philadelphia native, Lotman began his career in the food industry working for his family's wholesale beef business. In the late 1960's, Lotman and his partners developed a mass-production system for frozen hamburgers. Lotman went on to sell his products to McDonald's. Keystone Foods became the supplier of McDonald's burger patties, poultry and fish. The company also helped develop the Chicken McNugget in the 1980's.
Lotman retired from Keystone Foods six years ago to dedicate his life to philanthropy. He was an active member of the Keystone Foods board and shared his management expertise with several organizations including the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (where he served as chairman for 15 years), The Children’s Cancer Research Foundation, The International Board of the Ronald McDonald’s House Charities, and most recently with revival of the Prince Music Theater in Philadelphia.
Lotman co-founded the McDonald's LPGA Championship, which has directly benefited Ronald McDonald House Charities. The professional golf association tournament has raised more than $48 million for the RMHC in the 29 years since it was started. Lotman also served on the board of Ronald McDonald’s House Charities.
Lotman and his wife, Karen, established the Macula Vision Research Foundation, which provided nearly $20 million to fund research projects aimed at finding a cure and restoring the vision of people affected by retinal and macula diseases.
Lotman is survived by his wife and children, Shelly Fisher and Jeff Lotman, and grandchildren, Julia, Sam and Joseph Fisher and Anna Sophia and Gianna Lotman. He also is survived by a sister, Marlene Weinberg.
Services will be held at Main Line Reform Temple on May 12 at 1 pm. The interment will be for immediate family members only. The family will hold shiva at the Lotman residence on May 12-14 from 7 pm- 9 pm and respectfully request that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Macula Vision Research Foundation, 100 Front St., Suite 300 W. Conshohocken, Pa., 19428.