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In Loving Memory
Norton "Nordy" Rockler
February 22, 1922-December 28, 2020

Nordy Rockler

Remembering Our Founder

Norton “Nordy” Rockler passed away on December 28, 2020 at the age of 98 years old. He founded Minnesota Woodworkers Supply Company in 1954 as a mail order business, which later became The Woodworker’s Store with the opening of the first retail store in 1977. In 1996, the company was renamed Rockler Woodworking and Hardware and has since expanded nationally and internationally.

Nordy was a true pioneer and innovator in his field. He was able to recognize trends in woodworking and furniture making. He loved developing and selling great products, especially finishing, woodturning and furniture hardware. His vision created a company unique in the United States and introduced hobbyists and DIYers to specialty items that formerly were only accessible to professionals. His first catalog included many of the same products the company still carries today. It was to become the foundation upon which the home shop woodworking world was built.

Nordy’s kind and gentle nature attracted many wonderful employees to Rockler over the years, many of whom became great friends. He and his late wife, Bert, supported many arts organizations and charities. He was committed to doing good in the world – with his family, friends, business, community and more.

Nordy’s woodworking legacy lives on in the company he started through the stewardship of his daughter, Ann Rockler Jackson, her children and the many employees current and past who have made careers and friendships at Rockler.