OCEANSIDE, NY, August 11 -- Victor Herbert Lavay, chief executive officer of VENDING TIMES, died today after a brief illness. He was 78.
Vic served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and saw action with the Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. After attending college under the G.I. Bill, he pursued a career in advertising. This led him into the fast-growing field of trade journalism, and he worked on a number of magazines covering industries that were becoming important suppliers to the nascent full-line vending business.
In 1962, he became part owner, with Morris (Tiny) Weintraub, of a corporation established to publish VENDING TIMES, which first appeared in that year. A sister publication, VT Music & Games, was launched in 1968, and the two magazines became one in 1970. In 1974, VENDING TIMES purchased Vend magazine. Nearly two decades later, Lavay became trustee and majority shareholder of a stock ownership trust that purchased Weintraub's interest in the corporation, upon the latter's retirement.
Vic is survived by his wife of 59 years, Fay; five daughters, Linda Lavay-Mankowitz, Ellen Lavay-Milton, Andrea D'Avanzo, Dori Shoshana, and Alicia Lavay-Kertes; three grandchildren, Sarah Buchweitz and Shimone and Chelsea Shoshana; two brothers, Gabriel (Gabey) and Emanuel (Manny); and a sister, Allegra Clemente. Alicia Lavay-Kertes, who joined the VT editorial staff in 1988, became president and publisher of the magazine last year.
A man of wide-ranging interests, Vic retained a love of ships and the sea from his Navy service. He was an enthusiastic student of all facets of the coin machine business, including the less publicized but profitable ones, and of the history, languages, cultures and religions of Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia and the Levant. He belonged to a generation of practical visionaries who shaped the modern world, and whose like will not be seen again.
Services were conducted on Wednesday, August 13, at Gutterman's Chapel, 175 Long Beach Road, Rockville Centre, NY.