By Michelle Graff
Banice Carl Bazar was a Korean War vet, father of four, and chairman of the board for Imperial Pearl Company. He died on Sept. 20 at the age of 90.
Providence, R.I.—Banice Carl Bazar, who started his career in the jewelry industry in 1953 after earning a Bronze Star in the Korean War, died Sept. 20.

He was 90.

Born Feb. 13, 1929, 20 minutes after twin sister Doris (“Dottie”), Bazar was one of six children of Samuel and Jenny (Bloom) Bazar. Samuel was in the jewelry business; he owned a rhinestone jewelry manufacturing company called AS Manufacturing.

Banice Bazar went to the University of Rhode Island after high school, making his way through college by working as a waiter and entering the university’s ROTC program.

After he graduated as a chemist in 1951, Bazar went off to fight in the Korean War as a U.S. Army lieutenant commanding a unit in the 388th Chemical Smoke Generator Company (the unit laid down smoke screens to protect the infantry.)

There, he earned a Bronze Star Medal by driving a Jeep across the smoke-screen line to rescue several soldiers trapped on the wrong side.

When Bazar returned to the United States, he started a business as a representative for jewelry manufacturers, hopping onto U.S. Navy ships in port in Newport, Rhode Island and Boston to sell lines like Bulova, Giovanni Jewelry Company, Imperial Pearl Syndicate and Deltah Pearl Company into their on-board exchange stores.

In the 1970s, with the pearl business in the midst of a downturn, he had the opportunity to buy Imperial and Deltah and so he did, combining them to form one big company.

Imperial-Deltah grew over the years, with three of Bazar’s grandsons coming on board.

In an interview on the history of Imperial Pearl posted online, Bazar talked about his fondness for the gemstones and their “subdued” beauty, and what he believes has kept his company in business all these years—making everyone feel valued.

“Treat your customers like family, treat your employees like family, and you’ll come out like I did, and I’m very proud of that fact,” he said.

Bazar was a member of the Providence Jewelers Club, 24 Karat Club and Cultured Pearl Association of America, and was a founding member of Prime Jewelry Group and past president and member of the Plumb Club.

Outside of work, he and his wife Beverly Bazar owned an inn in the ski resort town of Waterville Valley, New Hampshire. He was known as a gregarious host in the inn’s lounge, the last to leave at night and the first on the slopes in the morning.

He loved spending time with his family and all sports, particularly men’s basketball at the University of Rhode Island.

Bazar is survived by his children and their spouses, Peter and Charlotte Bazar, David and Susan Bazar, Karen and Alan Bergel, and Ann Bazar; 11 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings; his wife of 66 years, Beverly; one son, Joseph; and a granddaughter, Dayna Bazar.

Funeral services for Bazar were held Sept. 24 at Temple Beth-El in Providence. Burial was in Swan Point Cemetery.

Donations in his memory may be made to the URI to support the men’s basketball team, 79 Upper College Road, Kingston RI, 02881.

Editor’s note: This story was updated post-publication to correct Banice Bazar’s birth year (1929, not 1926) and he number of children he had (four, not five). In addition, the name of Bazar’s sister was listed incorrectly in the obituary submitted for him. It is Doris, not Dorothy. 

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