Ralph Schrank, who founded the Appleton, Wisconsin, distributor Ad-Vantage Corp., passed away on September 22. He was 77.

Schrank’s early working years were in the oil-drilling industry selling instrumentation, but he discovered promotional products in the 1970s. He and his then-wife Sharon launched Ad-Vantage Corporation in 1973. Active in professional education in the industry, after he and Sharon sold Ad-Vantage, he continued as an industry consultant working with both suppliers and distributors. His passion of working with customers led him to join Appleton-based Strategies, Inc., which was founded by former Ad-Vantage employee Doug Dobbe. Schrank was an active member of the industry for more than 50 years.

He was a fan of wildlife art, a great steak, the wine country, smooth jazz and fast cars, and he and his wife Jane enjoyed road trips around the Midwest.

Schrank is survived by his wife, daughters Jennifer Schrank-Williamson and Kari Tenley, step-son Philip Hurst, grandson Richard Allen and his wife Chelsey, granddaughter Taylor Tenley and her husband Alex, sister Holly Schrank, brother Mark Schrank, former spouse Sharon Schrank and many friends.

A small private memorial service will be held for immediate family and a celebration of life will take place at a later date. Memorial messages may be sent to the family at www.wichmannfuneralhomes.com.